Quilt Care

Saturday, August 21, 2010
This is how I take care of my quilts. You may or may not agree and that's ok! This is what works for me and I thought some of you might like to see how I wash my quilts.

First I add a teaspoon {yes just a teaspoon!} of this awesome quilt detergent, "Quilt Care," I found on clearance long ago ($3 clearance, regular $11)  to the washer as it is filling up. Quilt Care is phosphate free, bleach free, and it's biodegradable too!

Just a teaspoon does the trick and it bubbles up nicely. I usually cold water for my quilts unless they are really dirty then I use lukewarm water still on the cooler side though.

Once the basin is about half full I add the quilt and make sure it is all submerged. I also add a  color catcher cloth to the washing machine at this point. The cloth acts as a magnet for loose dye. At the end of this cycle it had a pink tinge to it from the red fabric prints. Without the color catcher those loose dyes could have redeposited themselves elsewhere on the quilt, like on the backing fabric making the whites look pink instead of white.

I don't have a front loading machine and I don't have a nice laundromat nearby so I just use my top loading machine which happens to have a hand wash setting:

It is a very short cycle with intermittent low agitation and a low spin. It goes something like this: swish swish, pause, swish swish, pause... and it repeats. The pause is like a 15 second pause and the swish is very gentle.
Once the cycle is done I run the quilt through about 15 seconds of a high spin cycle. Then I throw the quilt in the dryer with a clean towel for 10-20 minutes on a low heat setting depending on the size of the quilt. You don't want the quilt to be completely dry but still damp.

Next I lay the quilt out on my bed to finish air drying. At this point you make sure your quilt is lying square as it will retain this shape once it is dry.

That's it! It may seem a little tedious but it is a step I truly enjoy! I love the smell of a fresh clean quilt. This step gives me one last chance to enjoy, pet, smooth, and caress that quilt before it leaves on it's way to it's future home. Taking good care of something you spent hours on truly makes sense to me. I want my quilts to be around long after I'm gone so my great great grand-kids can enjoy them someday.

Do you have any special quilt care tips for me?

~ Norma


Gene Black said...

sorry, no tips from me. However, I am totally with you on the dye catcher sheets. If there is any red in a quilt I absolutely use one of those. Why does the red run so much worse than any other color?
All I can find on the web is that it usually is a "direct dye" rather than another type.

Di~ said...

Norma! I made that very same quilt for Quilts for Kids! My binding was different tho'.

Annie said...

Thank you for this tutorial! I love your blog!

And to answer Gene's question (I'm going to sound like a real geek here, which I'm totally fine with) is that red is the largest color molecule, which makes it harder for it to absorb into anything. Any girl thats had her hair dyed red will also know this because it washes out really fast because it can't 'fit' into the hair properly. In fabric its the same principle. More of the red molecules come out in the wash because they don't have enough room to fit in the fibers.

Don't ask me why I remember this out off all the things I learned in college chem!

Anonymous said...

How can you wash a really old quilt that falls apart if you wash it.

ann said...

Hi. I also wash my quilts I use my homemade laundry detergent with no bubbles in it. We think it's the bubbles that clean but not so. I dry my quilts on the clothesline, and oh so fresh and clean they get.

Unknown said...

Excuse me for not knowing exactly what a color catcher cloth is? I really don't understand if this is a special cloth you buy or, is it something old that you don't care if it gets colored?

Carole said...

Hello from Carole in eastern Canada.
I have a suggestion that may help some quilt owners. When removing the quilt from the washer, gently ease it out while supporting it with your hands and arms. When you have all the quilt supported, you can put into the dryer. If the quilt is large, put a small stool or table near your washer, put your largest dishpan (or large towel) on the stool. Then gently ease the quilt into the dishpan. This will reduce the strain on the stitches.

Hover to Pin
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Designed with ♥ by Nudge Media Design