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Thread: Vacuum bags - how small does quilt get?

  1. #1
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    Vacuum bags - how small does quilt get?

    For those of you who have used vacuum bags, how small does the quilt get? The quilt I'm thinking of is 70"x 55", but I'd appreciate any insight into how well the vacuum bags work on any size quilt.

    What size vacuum bags have you used?

  2. #2
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    what are you talking about?

  3. #3
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    I think she's talking about a plastic bag that one can suck the air out of - sort of like the food saver process -

    and how small will the "package" get after the air is sucked out and the bag sealed.

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    I haven't used them for quilts but I have for other linens. I would say they go down about a third. But that is just a guess. Poufier items go down further of course.

  5. #5
    Senior Member IceLeopard's Avatar
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    If we're talking about "space bags" as bearisgray said, I bought some to use for batting & fiberfill. In my experience, they don't stay sealed. This is both the brand name and the generics. Don't waste your money.
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  6. #6
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    I used them once for storing out of season clothing, but when I found a few the vacuum didn't hold and they inflated again....I sort of gave up on them.

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    I fit a large king with polyester batting and flannel backing into a large flat rate USPS box.

    I used a heavy duty garbage bag, put the bag in the box and folded the quilt so I could get it into the box (it stuck way up) then used my vacuum and sucked the air out of the bag until it was sucked down so I could close the lid, then tied off the bag and taped the package shut.

    Since I only needed to do this for shipping, I didn't need a bag that would hold the seal for a log time. And I also needed it to fit a specific size box. It made it to where it was going fine, and poofed right up after being removed.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

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    That's a pretty brilliant idea for shipping! *makes note for future use*

  9. #9
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    I also found they go leaky before too long, maybe 6 months?
    And a couple of times the quilts came out reeking of some chemical, but not always.
    anyway, they have left the building

    One way I keep number of total quilts down is to always use two tops, for front and reverse.

  10. #10
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    I used one in my suitcase to take two lap quilts and two pillows to my granddaughters. The bag was still sealed after my 1-1/2 hour flight. I’d say they were compressed about 1/3.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    They are good for temp storage but not long term. I have had all brands and they do leak, some last longer then others.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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  12. #12
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I had same experience as most others. Bags leaked.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  13. #13
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    I used a vacuum bag to send a 90x90" quilt to my sister. It allowed the quilt to fit in a box half as big, thus reducing the postage substantially. It worked great, but I don't think I would use it for long-term storage.

  14. #14
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I agree with the others. My experience is that the bags stay compressed for maybe 6 months or so. Would work fine for shipping, but I would not store a quilt for longer than a week or so because of the risk of permanent creases. You can decrease your risk of permanent creases by folding the quilt on the bias (see how-to video here).

  15. #15
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    I only use them for short term items...such as mailing a quilt.

  16. #16
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I've used them as well and some work better than others. But they are nice to keep large things in such as quilts and blankets. I've also used them for winter clothes. Even if they don't stay quite sealed they still keep cat hair out.

  17. #17
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    I found a bag that I stored my husbands shorts in, found it a year later and it was still sealed. Didn't think about mailing quilts and items like that. Getting ready to mail 20 12 1/2 x 12 1/2 quilt blocks wonder if it will work for that.

  18. #18
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    I got twin sized quilts into a medium box to mail to my GD's. Put the bag inside the box and then fold the quilt to go in.

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    They are difficult to get the ‘zip’ seal completely closed. Take your time and manually close them. The little plastic piece they have to zip them closed doesn’t work. The ends are especially difficult to seal. Once you get that done, they really work well

  20. #20
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    You do realize if you use the vacuum bag on your quilt that when you do remove the quilt from the bag it will be covered with wrinkles. So if your mailing your quilt in one of these bags and want the quilt to look nice for the receiver don't use one of these bags! The quilt will compact to 1/2 its size in these bags. But like the rest of the ladies said the air doesn't stay out of them.

  21. #21
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    A queen sized quilt took up about half of my carry on bag, in a space bag. The quilt looked fine the next day when I got it out. I wouldn’t say it was show ready, but it was fine as a gift. My quilts are meant to be used, not displayed.

  22. #22
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    Use of plastic bags of any kind are not a good idea. Shipping is OK, with a note to tell the recipient to store in a cotton bag or pillowcase as soon as they receive it. Quilts need to breathe.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macybaby View Post
    I fit a large king with polyester batting and flannel backing into a large flat rate USPS box.

    I used a heavy duty garbage bag, put the bag in the box and folded the quilt so I could get it into the box (it stuck way up) then used my vacuum and sucked the air out of the bag until it was sucked down so I could close the lid, then tied off the bag and taped the package shut.

    Since I only needed to do this for shipping, I didn't need a bag that would hold the seal for a log time. And I also needed it to fit a specific size box. It made it to where it was going fine, and poofed right up after being removed.
    What a great idea! I may use this for other "material" items as well.

  24. #24
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    Thanks for all the replies. Sorry about the confusion on the name ... it didn't occur to me that vacuum bag more often means the bag inside your vacuum cleaner that collects all the dirt. "Now why would someone want to put their quilt in a vacuum bag?"

    I was thinking about using one temporarily to ship a quilt, but in the end I don't think I'll save as much as the bag costs, and I don't think I'll put it to other uses, so I don't think I'll buy one. I might try Macybaby's solution of using a heavy duty garbage bag and a vacuum. I just need to get the air out for long enough to stuff it into a box.

    Somehow I'm picturing the quilt going up the hose like in the cartoons when someone gets sucked into a vacuum.

  25. #25
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    We didn't have much luck with the "space bags" either. I stored some Fiber-fil in one, we sucked out the air, wrapped it in a 30 gallon trash bag and taped it with packing tape all around the thing. It stayed that way, but would be a terrible mess for the poor person on the other end!!

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