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Storing old quilts

Storing old quilts

Old 01-23-2009, 01:40 PM
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My Mother recently gave me a very old quilt from her side of the family. It was my Great (at least one great maybe more?) Grandmother who made it, a wedding ring quilt. It was given to me hanging on a hanger in a plastic bag. Now I know that isn't the proper way to store a quilt. It's in fabulous shape and want to keep it that way. But also would love to enjoy it to some degree.

Help. I have gotten conflicting advice on proper storage. I would love easy access to viewing it sometimes but I don't want it ruined either. I've been told acid free tissue paper, keep in the dark, re-fold every couple of months etc.. I just need quilters advice on this.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:40 PM
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I would also like to know. I have a lot of older quilts.
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Old 01-23-2009, 03:33 PM
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If you aren't going to display it on a quilt rack I would store it in a 100% cotton pillowcase.

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Old 01-23-2009, 04:29 PM
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and every few months you are suppose to take the out and unfold them then refold then in a different way to prevent wear on folded edges,the yes in a cotton pillowcase
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:46 PM
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Concerning the folding of quilts, one of my old QNM magazines had a one-page article on a method that is highly recommended. I'm probably not remembering the entire method correctly, but it involved making the folds on the bias rather than the usual length and width. I know you had to fold in corners to do this. Basically all of the folds end up on the bias grain, which is stronger, so you don't get the indelible imprints so common if you fold on the straight-of-grain. With the bias, many different threads are taking the stress of the fold rather than just a few. You would still need to take out and re-fold periodically.

You absolutely do not want to store quilts next to wood, cardboard or paper (unless the cardboard or paper is archival quality or acid-free). I like the idea of storing them in cloth pillowcases.

An alternative to folding is to take a length of PVC, wrap it with batting, and roll your quilt instead of folding it. There will still be uneven stress on the quilt, with the inner layer getting more wrinkles than the outer layer, but you probably wouldn't need to re-roll as frequently (I would switch rolled-in sides) as you would want to re-fold. You would still want to cover the roll with sheeting, and it would need to be stored propped up.

Some people store quilts on a bed in a spare room. You can store lots of quilts this way, and (with the exception of the sides hanging down) lying flat is the least stressful on the fibers. A sheet on top keeps them clean too.

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Old 01-26-2009, 03:15 PM
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Thanks. I like the idea of storing in a pillow case and it makes good sense...
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:32 PM
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My advice would be to roll it around acid free tubing (or cover cardboard tubing with tin foil). Cover with washed muslin or acid free paper. If you want to fold it for storage, pad it with acid free paper and cover with musllin. Store in a dark place.
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