Caring for Your Quilts


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Pattern pictured is Italian Tiles Quilt Pattern 

On the blog today I am sharing all about how I care for my handmade, modern quilts. I'll add a few tips for how to care for your antique, heirloom quilts as well.


First of all, you should know that in this household we USE our quilts. We take them to the park, spill juice on them, snuggle them in a stroller, and pretty much just love them to death. There are some folded up in closets, some laying across beds but most of them are well worn. Which leads me to Tip #1.



Pattern pictured is Italian Tiles Quilt Pattern 

TIP #1: 

If you have quilts all over the place - rotate them. There are a few from the Sewn Home Series that stay in the rooms they are designed for, but everything else gets moved around. This helps even out the wear and tear on the quilts. Honestly it's just lovely to pull a quilt out you haven't seen in a while!


TIP #2:

Rotate them based on seasons. I pull out different quilts for different seasons. I'll wash the ones that were originally out and store them away for a little bit in a closet. Then in a few months I'll do the same and swap them out. Swapping out the quilts always makes me nostalgic for whatever season it was out for before. It's a nice time for reflection!


TIP #3: 

This tip specifically applies to heirloom or antique quilts. Store them away from any moisture or humidity. Make sure they are complete dry if you have recently washed them. In my research I found that you should wrap them in a cotton or muslin bag and store them in an acid-free container. It was also recommended that you place some acid free paper along the bottom. Once you have done all that you should get the quilt out and refold it in a different direction every year. Then store it again. There's lots more info out there but these were the highlights of what I found. 

Before washing my quilts:

  • I prewash all my quilt fabric BEFORE making the quilts. I even wash the backing. I know this is debated in the quilting world, but I think the fabric handles much better during piecing if you prewash it. It will also stick better to your design wall and for quilt photos afterward.
  • If you prewash your fabric there is one rule: prewash ALL of your fabric. You can't wash some and not the rest. (This includes the backing!) All the fabric in your quilt needs to start from the same state of either shrunken from the wash or new from the box. So pick a route and stick with it! 


Ok - now onto washing your quilts. ( The information below does not apply to antique or heirloom quilts. Only modern, handmade quilts. ) Honestly I keep it really simple. 

Washing Modern Handmade Quilts:

  • I was my quilts in cold water on the "normal" or "casual" cycle of my machine. Occasionally, if it's a large quilt I'll do a "deep water" cycle, on cold with a low soil level setting so it stays pretty gentle. Sometimes you may need to run an extra drain or spin cycle if the quilt is too wet when the cycle is complete. 
  • If you're worried about colors bleeding try these color catchers in the wash.
  • Next, I set the heat to low and do a timed dry for about 25-30 minutes. I remove it from the wash (still moist - not dry) and lay it to completely dry out. I also use these wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.
  • Then, I steam iron it. I have found this takes some of the stiffness out of the fabric after it's air dried. I'm honestly not sure if this is "proper" or not but it works for me! 


If your quilt is an antique, heirloom OR hand quilted you should proceed much more cautiously. These quilts need to be hand washed or even professionally cleaned. 



I hope you find these tips to be helpful! Coming soon I'll have a blog post about how to repair or patch a handmade quilt so you can continue to love them for as long as possible. 


You might also enjoy reading:

Cost of Handmade Quilts

Curved Quilting

A Beginner Guide to Quilting



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  • Amy Schelle on

    Yes the pattern is called Italian Tiles Quilt Pattern. Thank you!

  • xenia on

    do you have the pattern for the quilt on the cover? I love it and would like to purchase it

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