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Cleaning Quilts

Appliqué with maple leaf quilting
Dead Pool Quilt

Sorry I haven’t written in quite awhile. I didn’t anticipate the busy season being THAT busy but it was. Living in a tourist state keeps one very busy also. Thank you to all my relatives for helping me achieving my first in the black profit since the conception of my company. Yeah!!!!

What helped with the bottom line were my quilts. I had a lot of special orders and booth sells of my banners and quilts. After you get them home and admire them for a year or two the inevitable happens, they become soiled. So down the road we have Spring Cleaning. Okay, my Grandmother use to do that, quite frankly, I am allergic to cleaning of any kind and rather be sewing. But when it is an absolute must, how does one clean a quilt?

Solution 1:

Toss it out and buy a new one! For a custom quilt this solution is not economical. The Dead Pool one featured cost close to $300 and that was with the family discount. (It was a Christmas gift so I am not going to give the exact dollar amount.) Plus it took me over three weeks to design, make the front, and finally quilt the thing. So no! Do not throw it out. Since it is a wall hanging, it may be only dusty. Go ahead a place in dryer for 10 -15 minutes on fluff.

Let’s say, there was a wild New Year’s party at the apartment and so cola got on it. (The Christmas present was for a niece so we are going with cola.)

Solution 2:

You can go organic and try soaking the stain in vinegar and rubbing a little salt on it to fade the stain. Then wash in cold water. By hand! In the old days, before I was born and my grandmother even, they washed everything by hand. Me? The dog is lucky to be washed by hand!

Solution 3:

Washing machines have a delicate wash cycle you can use. This is a small quilt so it will easily fit into your washer. A king size quilt may not fit. So size does matter when using your machine.

Few things to remember: The quilt has red in it, and red loves to bleed and fade. Make sure you use one of those famous color grabber sheets made for washing machines. Also throw a cup of salt in the wash. It helps to set colors. It is made of 100% cotton material and fleece backing. Therefore, the shrinking of the front will be different than the back.

When placing in the dryer, use medium heat and only dry to “mostly” or “damp” dry. Then lay out to finish drying the rest of the way. The cotton will find its way back into place. If wrinkled, iron only after completely dry. It is funny, I don’t iron clothes, but I will iron fabric all day long.

Solution 4:

Jack & Sally Panel with free motion quilting
Nightmare Before Christmas

Take it to the cleaners! Yes, just do it! For a wall hanging, it shouldn’t be that often and for the king size spread, about once a year.

Handmade quilts are a work of art and some do end up on the walls or out for special occasions. But they are functional and meant to be used. The Nightmare Before Christmas had a hanging mount but was large enough to be used as a blanket. This one had 100% cotton batting and backing so tossing it in the wash wasn’t a problem at all. Since it went to a fellow artist, I know it will be taken care of for years to come.

While doing research for this blog, I also came across another blog with helpful tips so I am including it as . . .

Solution 5: How to Wash a Wall Hanging Quilt (by

1. Soak the quilt in lukewarm water in the bathtub. (I would throw in the color grabber to be safe)

2. Throw the quilt in the washer to spin out the excess water.

3. Stretch out the quilt on a table or polystyrene boards and pin it straight and square. This step ensures the quilt will hang beautifully on the wall.

4. Set up fans and let the quilt dry overnight.

Leah Day doesn’t wash her wall hanging quilts very often, but she still likes to be able to wash them if she want to. Generally these quilts don’t get dirty, but they do tend to get dusty. Twice a year, when you’re dusting your ceiling fans, take down your wall hangings and roll off the dust using a lint roller or damp washcloth. (Me, I toss in the dryer.)

As you can see, washing your quilts doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful! So long as you prewash your fabric before cutting, the care of your finished quilt will not be a challenge.

Okay, I must say, I am bad at this! I never prewash my material and I would never count on the designer prewashing the material. Why? To prewash, one must serge all the edges first so the material doesn’t unravel and knot up in the washer. After drying, it is no longer a nice flat piece of fabric that can be easily cut so hours of ironing need to be invested in the process. Then the fabric has to be folded and ironed again before cutting. For someone who produces quilts, I am not that patient! I want to start the design, NOW! Like RIGHT NOW! Come home from the store, ignore husband, kids and dog and cut the fabric. Just ask Sean the next time you see him at a Con! Mom doesn’t have a lot of patience. Even when I sew my own clothes, I make them and then wash them. No, I don’t have stock in those grabber sheets but I should. But I digress, a lot. Sorry. Anyway . . .

What not to do!

Because you bought this beautiful item, you should use it. Don’t hide it away in a closet. Quilts are to be loved and not ignored. Even when people stop by my booth and admire the quilts, I feel appreciated. When children excitedly point them out to their parents, I am ecstatic! Show them off! Use them to keep warm! I even have one that I take to the beach and after 30 years, it still is being used. So never be afraid of your quilt!

Remember: Obtain pleasure from the objects you buy and their value increases exponentially.

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