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Thread: Quilt top storage question.

  1. #1
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    With the 4 cats always laying all over everything, I want to store the quilt top until I get the border done and ready to attach. Then I want to store it again until I'm ready to get quilt it. It does have starch in it right now. Should I wash it, then store it? And how do I store it?

  2. #2
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I think it is always risky to wash a quilt top, so I would avoid doing that if at all possible. Unless you live in a tropical climate or intend to store the quilt top for years at a time, it should be fine to leave the starch in the top.

    There are so many different ways you could store the top, it would be hard to describe them all. If it's a large top and you want to avoid a lot of ironing later to get creases out, you can wrap it around a length of PVC tubing (big tube rather than smaller tube, for less distortion. Otherwise it would be fine to fold the top.

    Storing inside a rigid plastic container is fine, although small quilters worry about long-time storage this way because of gases emitted from the plastic. For anything a year or less, I think it's fine. (Some of my fabrics have been in rigid plastic storage bins with covers for years and show no signs of deterioration.)

    If you wrap around a tube of PVC, I would enclose the quilt in white cotton fabric to keep dust off and let the fabric "breathe". That is probably the ideal, although it won't protect the top from water damage (if you have a flood, for instance).

  3. #3
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I buy the rectangle Mainstays cake carriers at WalMart. It will hold a quilt top and I use them to keep quilting projects together. They stack and are perfect for storage and easy to tote anywhere. I would never wash a quilt top, that could become a big problem. I would wash the quilt after it's finished.

  4. #4
    shaverg's Avatar
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    I also save all my old pillow cases and store finished and unfinished quilts in them first, before putting them in anything else.

  5. #5
    Super Member carrieg's Avatar
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    Depending on how large the top is, you could hang it on a pants hanger in a closet. I hang my finished blocks on skirt hangers.

  6. #6
    Roben's Avatar
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    Washing them before they are quilted leads to a big, tangly, snarled mess - ask me how I know :lol: I had some stored upstairs in a dresser, and the chimney right beside it developed a leak. I really had no choice, they had to get washed - but now they're folded in the lateral files by my sewing machine.

  7. #7
    omak's Avatar
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    I just want to share a fabric storage story ...
    My mom sent me a box she had found in my closet from the home place.As soon as I opened it, I remember starting a bathrobe for my husband with that yellow terry cloth in 1983 (she sent it a couple of years ago). I know the fabric came from Fabricland in Astoria, Oregon... for those who don't know... damp weather, by the ocean and a big river so humidity is always a problem. The box was in my closet, but the room wasn't always heated. The box was cardboard. In the box was the terry cloth, little panels of clown dolls, and I don't know what else.
    The point is: This was not top of the line fabric, stored in less than ideal circumstances in a cardboard box, which arrived again in my hands almost twenty five years later (I kid you not! 25 years!) Everything is fine ... This isn't the ideal storage by any means, but if it worked for 25 years, it shouldn't hurt your quilt top for a few months (or more :wink: ) The one thing I might do differently, were I you, would be to line the box with tissue paper, just in case the box has dust or whatever, and a sheet of fabric softener either in the top or bottom with the tissue on top of that to repel little beasties.
    Ideally, I would go with a discarded tube from my local rug store, roll the quilt top on that and cover with a sheet. But, again.. there is that cardboard thing. I just have this hunch that as we have become "environmentally" more sophisticated, surely the products we deal with are better than what things were stored in, say, a hundred years ago?

  8. #8
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I have heard of people storing them between the mattress and box springs. I have never tried it but it sounds interesting.

  9. #9
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I washed one quilt top because it was really skanky. (It is a 1930/40s? top my MIL's grandmother made and it was stored unprotected in an old trunk.) It will take some serious ironing and squaring before I can actually complete the project. Unless you plan to wait decades to finish the project, don't worry about storing it. I sometimes just fold my tops loosely and keep it with the intended backing. I have a bunch of project tucked away on a shelf.

  10. #10
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    i like to store mine folded and draped over hangers with round rods, preferably plastic. then i keep them in my closet til i quilt them. they don't get musty or smell like plastic boxes and they aren't full of creases. if i had the space, i would roll them around a cardboard tube from batting and eliminate all creases, but i don't know where i could keep it.

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