Thursday, September 9, 2010

Quilt Care

QUILT CARE by Judy Howard

DISPLAY Quilts give a warm, cozy feeling and provide the dynamic inspiration for decorating; whether hung as a work of original art, draped over a sofa or table or beautifully covering your beds.

Always keep quilts out of direct sunlight and away from smoke and air vents. To hang
a quilt, simply baste a double layer casing or sleeve of muslin along the top of quilt, just under the binding and along the bottom of the casing. Slide a rod between the fabric casing and hang the rod on nails in the wall. It's great to change quilt displays from summer to winter, autumn to spring for quick decorating impact and to rest the quilts.

CLEANING: To air musty quilts, spread them out flat in the grass upside down in the shade. Gentle vacuuming with a portable hand-held vacuum removes surface dust or you may shake to remove loose dust. Sunshine will kill mildew and mold.

AVOID DRY CLEANING. To wash quilt, first test for color fastness by wetting a white cloth with water and rubbing some of the bright colors like the reds and yellows. If any color transfers to the white cloth, use one cup of white vinegar in the wash water or use a Dye Grabber Cloth by Carbona. Make any repairs necessary before washing. If fabrics are weak and disintegrating, first seek professional advise. You may need to baste wedding veil tulle over the fragile fabrics. Spot clean before washing.

Hand wash in washing machine or bathtub using Orvus or Quilt Wash and cool soft water on the Gentle Cycle. Gently agitate by hand, turning the machine off during the agitation cycles. Only let the machine add the water and spin it out. Heavily soiled quilts may require extra soaking and rinsings. Dry quilts by spreading flat on the grass on a hot day. If the quilt is thick, flip flop it every couple of hours to dry evenly. Or if you’re afraid the colors might fade on an early quilt, lay it in the shade. The ozone rays of the sun and chlorophyll of the grass will brighten colors. If you have no grass or dogs or it’s wintertime, lay the quilt on the carpet and turn on the ceiling fan or any fan and flip flop it to dry evenly. Always block the quilt out, pulling it to straight edges, and attach weights on corners if it’s windy.

STORAGE Spread all quilts flat out on a guest bed.
Or wrap quilts in washed unbleached muslin or sheet, NEVER PLASTIC, and store in living area of house, never a garage, attic or basement and never on bare wood or in a cardboard box unless it’s acid free. Fold in thirds lengthwise and then loosely roll down from the top. Refold yearly off center with muslin padding under creases so the fold lines don’t weaken the fabric.

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