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Thread: Plastic bins for storing quilts?

  1. #1
    Senior Member shirleyd's Avatar
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    Plastic bins for storing quilts?

    I'm making 3 twin size quilts for my 3 grandchildren this year for Christmas. I have to transport them from CO to IL. I've finished 2 of them so far and since I'm going to be traveling to IL in July, I plan to take 2 of them out then. I wondered if it's o.k. to store (temporarily anyway) quilts in plastic bins? Are there any pros or cons to storage in plastic? I would just gift wrap the quilts in the plastic bins. Thanks for any input you have in this. I've asked for and received lots of great advice on this board! I hope I can post pictures of the quilts here soon.
    ShirleyD

  2. #2
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    It not recommended for long term storage , but for the short term.. I would do it and in fact have done it. I would just make sure it was not packed in/on a high humid day. If you have concerns about the humidity.. you can purchase those silicone packages , the type you find in new shoe boxes, to absorb the humidity.
    Another alternative is to make a decorative pillow case for the quilt . It would serve as wrapping , plus the storage would breathe .. and the recipient would have a pillow case.

  3. #3
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    Are you driving or flying? Which method will pack better? The quilts can get there either way.

  4. #4
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    I would put them in a well washed white pillowcase first and then into the plastic container. They should be all right or a little while but I would not put the top on tight until you are ready to transport. You don't want to lock in any moisture that could cause mold or mildew.

  5. #5
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    Pretty matching pillow cases are a better way to go than plastic tubs. In the summer humidity mold and mildew grow really fast in dark airless places like plastic tubs. have a good trip.
    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  6. #6
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    Why not long term storage in plastic bins (other than the aforementioned mold/mildew)?
    ​tea

  7. #7
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    According to the appraiser/conservator I consulted for value and storage of several vintage quilts (my great-grandmother's), wrapping them in a white sheet and storing them in a plastic bin is the preferred method. Toss in a couple dessicants to take care of any moisture as well (the kind that come in electronics boxes are good). You can always crack the lid a bit if you're worried about it, but most of the time they let in enough air without having to do that. It's certainly safe for the six months you're talking about.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  8. #8
    Super Member M.I.Late's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that some of those "plastic storage containers" will put off an odor if left in there very long. I would not try to store them somewhere that has a huge temperature variant (garage/attic). I would agree with ghostrider if I was going to use bins, I would first wrap them in a white sheet. I would also throw in an odor absorber and a dessicant to remove any moisture that might get in. However, I would not gift a quilt with a plastic container. I'd be afraid they might just keep it stored and I'd rather the quilts were used. I usually gift a quilt in a custom made matching pillow case except that I add four button holes in order to put drawstrings through it which I also made out of matching fabric.

  9. #9
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    When I use the plastic bins for anything, I drill about 3 holes under the handles in order to add more air to the boxes.
    I talked to the guy from Texas who makes those beautiful glass front/oak wood quilt cases and I told him they need air.
    If they were in a area, say next to a heater in the winter, or as the sun moves around the house, if the sun hits it at all,
    then the quilts stored in there are in trouble. We have to SAVE OUR QUILTS, ladies.

  10. #10
    Senior Member shirleyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    It not recommended for long term storage , but for the short term.. I would do it and in fact have done it. I would just make sure it was not packed in/on a high humid day. If you have concerns about the humidity.. you can purchase those silicone packages , the type you find in new shoe boxes, to absorb the humidity.
    Another alternative is to make a decorative pillow case for the quilt . It would serve as wrapping , plus the storage would breathe .. and the recipient would have a pillow case.
    The pillow case is a great idea! I'll have to see if I can get it done by early July! Thank you.
    ShirleyD

  11. #11
    Senior Member shirleyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TanyaL View Post
    Are you driving or flying? Which method will pack better? The quilts can get there either way.
    I'm driving with a friend so space is not a problem.
    ShirleyD

  12. #12
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    Some plastics actually transfer the oil they are made from into fabric. My aunt's silk wedding gown was stored in a plastic bag and is permanently yellowed. The cleaners told her it was from the plastic. Undyed muslin works wonderful!
    Fay

    "You can't help that. We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.

  13. #13
    Senior Member shirleyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by faykilgore View Post
    Some plastics actually transfer the oil they are made from into fabric. My aunt's silk wedding gown was stored in a plastic bag and is permanently yellowed. The cleaners told her it was from the plastic. Undyed muslin works wonderful!
    All the input has been great. I was worried this was a "dumb question" but the comments on some of the cons of plastic and what to use in place of it have made me glad I asked. The quilts are going to IL, a very hot and humid place in the summer! Thanks so much, board members!!!
    ShirleyD

  14. #14
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    I've not stayed in Illinois in the summer but have lived a few decades along the Gulf. I wasn't aware of the humid weather in Illinois; I would have expected it to be drier like Kansas or Kentucky. I never cease to be amazed at the scope of learning that is available on the QB!

  15. #15
    Senior Member shirleyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TanyaL View Post
    I've not stayed in Illinois in the summer but have lived a few decades along the Gulf. I wasn't aware of the humid weather in Illinois; I would have expected it to be drier like Kansas or Kentucky. I never cease to be amazed at the scope of learning that is available on the QB!
    I've never been to the gulf area but compared to CO, IL feels VERY humid to me! And hot. The further west you travel, the drier it is.
    ShirleyD

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    Until you get used to it, the Gulf area is like living in liquid air. Saves you the trouble of sweating. LOL!

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    Senior Member angiecub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ube quilting View Post
    Pretty matching pillow cases are a better way to go than plastic tubs. In the summer humidity mold and mildew grow really fast in dark airless places like plastic tubs. have a good trip.
    peace
    I agree with the pillow cases. If you want to package them after that, put them in a cardboard box so they can "breathe."

  18. #18
    Super Member Gail B's Avatar
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    I have had some quilts stored in plated totes for over 3 years in our sea can due to lack of space in our cabin. I take them out & refold about twice a year. Have not had a problem with moisture.

  19. #19
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    I, too store fabrics in plastic bins, but I drill holes all around the bin, so they can breathe. Have had no trouble.

  20. #20
    Super Member BettyGee's Avatar
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    I've been using plastic storage boxes for years and, knock on wood, never encountered any problem. Our very dry climate may be the saving factor and as you live in beautiful Longmont you know what I mean. Putting the pillow case as a liner sure couldn't hurt, but I don't know if it is really necessary. Just my opinion.
    BettyGee, quilter on a Rocky Mountain High

  21. #21
    Senior Member shirleyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BettyGee View Post
    I've been using plastic storage boxes for years and, knock on wood, never encountered any problem. Our very dry climate may be the saving factor and as you live in beautiful Longmont you know what I mean. Putting the pillow case as a liner sure couldn't hurt, but I don't know if it is really necessary. Just my opinion.
    Hi, Coloradan! I don't think I'd worry about it here in CO so much, but they'll be going to IL. Thanks for the comments! Hope you're not in area of fire. We see lots of smoke. Sad.
    ShirleyD

  22. #22
    Senior Member shirleyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TanyaL View Post
    Until you get used to it, the Gulf area is like living in liquid air. Saves you the trouble of sweating. LOL!
    That's very funny! Not sure I'd think so if I lived there; sounds awful. But I'm sure you get used to it.
    ShirleyD

  23. #23
    Super Member jeanharville's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirleyd View Post
    That's very funny! Not sure I'd think so if I lived there; sounds awful. But I'm sure you get used to it.
    I was born and raised in Arkansas (very hot and humid) and I've never gotten used to it. I would love to have the climate of the western states.
    jean

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