Displaying Quilts in Your Home

Quilt1

In a previous blog, we discussed methods for cleaning the quilts you may have in your home.

 

 

 

Here are a few tips for hanging that special quilt:

 

  1. If the quilt is an older one or a on the delicate side, consider sewing a lining to the entire back of the quilt. The lining will help protect the quilt from dust and will help support the hanging weight of the quilt. Use an unbleached muslin that you have washed and dried a few times. This will soften the lining and allow the quilt to drape or hang more naturally.
  2. You can also make a casing the width of the quilt. You can use leftover scraps from the quilt if you have them, or use the unbleached muslin again. This casing helps distribute the hanging weight of the quilt more evenly.
  3. If you put a casing at both the top and bottom of the quilt, you can change the direction it is hanging occasionally.
  4. Remember not to hang the quilt in direct sunlight. Even indirect sunlight can cause the fabrics in the quilt to fade. Dark fabrics are affected more rapidly than other colors.
  5. Avoid areas with extreme temperature changes; such as near a heat duct or a window. Over time this can damage the quilt.
  6. Change the quilts you have on display periodically. Old quilts may stretch or tear if hung on display for long periods of time.
  7. Avoid hanging quilts in kitchens were dust and grease fumes can soil the quilt rapidly. Also avoid areas where people or pets will often touch the quilt. Skin oils will also add to the soil and stains on a quilt.
  8. NEVER hang a quilt by directly tacking or nailing it to the wall. NEVER hang a quilt with clip-on metal curtain hangers. The weight of the quilt gradually creates small tears where it is clipped.

If you have a number of quilts, you will want to store them carefully between the times that you choose to display them on your wall. Of course, the easiest way to store them is to use them on a bed that is seldom slept on. Otherwise, the best methods for storing quilts are:

  1. Acid-free boxes or papers would be best for storing quilts, but if unavailable, quilts can be wrapped in clean cotton sheets or washed, unbleached muslin.
  2. Quilts can be stored folded in acid-free boxes or storage units or rolled around cardboard tubing. If you choose the rolled method of storage, it’s best to purchase acid-free cardboard tubes from an archival supply vendor (see attached list). If an acid-free tube is not used, cover the tube with a protective barrier layer of tin foil, then muslin or acid free tissue. If quilts are stored folded, folds should be padded with acid-free tissue paper in the folds
  3. .Plastics should generally NOT BE USED for storage. They contain harmful vapors which contribute to the deterioration of the fabrics. Plastics which are particularly harmful: dry cleaner’s bags, heavy duty garbage bags, garment bags and Styrofoam.
  4. Newspapers and cardboard boxes are NOT OKAY because they are full of harmful decaying agents — just remember how your newspaper looks after being out in the sun for only a few minutes. Think of what contact with your quilt can mean!
  5. Don’t stack too many folded quilts on top of each other or else the weight of all of the quilts will create creases that are hard to get out. For the same reason, unfold and refold your quilts every 3-6 months to avoid severe creasing.

 

Enjoy the quilts in your home. I have quilt racks in most of the rooms in my home; several rooms have two or three quilt racks. I enjoy rotating the quilts seasonally.

 

 

 

 

 

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Liz Meimann

Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

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