Episode 428: How to Wash and Care for Your Quilts
Clean and store your quilts, so they'll last for generations. Plus, hear an interview with Chawne Kimber.
Listen to the show in the player at the end of this post.
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How to Wash and Care for Your Quilts
Lindsay Mayland, the multimedia editor of American Patchwork & Quilting, and Alison Gamm, the designer of Quilts & More, give tips for washing and storing your quilts. They share how to refresh a quilt quickly by airing it outdoors, using a dryer, or vacuuming. If your quilt needs a deep clean, they walk you through the steps of washing your quilt by hand or with a machine. (See more detailed instructions here.) When storing your quilts, there are five sources of fabric damage to be aware of. See them below:
Fluorescent lights and ultraviolet radiation from sunlight cause fabric dyes to fade and fibers to become brittle. Rotate projects frequently to prevent damage from exposure to light. Make sure that projects are not stored in an area exposed to direct sunlight to prevent the exposed portions from fading.
2. FOLDS AND CREASES
When folded projects are stored for long periods of time, the fibers along the folds begin to weaken, and permanent creases can develop. Some sewers refold their fabrics periodically to keep this from occurring. It's best to roll, rather than fold, projects for storage.
Paper, cardboard, plastics, and unfinished wood in shelves, drawers, and trunks release acid, which is damaging to fabrics. Prevent your projects from coming in contact with these surfaces by rolling them in acid-free tissue paper or storing them in acid-free boxes or white, cotton pillowcases.
Mold and mildew flourish in warm, moist environments, so projects shut in closed containers or wrapped in plastic and stored in areas of temperature extremes and excess moisture (attics, basements, and garages) are susceptible to the growth of these fungi. Store them in a cool, dry location. You can also wrap them in white, cotton pillowcases to allow air to pass through and let the projects breathe.
Getting Sewcial with Jess
On today's show, Jess Zeigler of Threaded Quilting Studio chats with Chawne Kimber, a mathematician and quilter known for expressing her political activism in her quilts. She currently has an exhibit at Layfayette College called Cottoning On, which represents the height of exploration of self-identification and current social justice issues -- and they're mostly made from denim. She is widely known for her improvisational designs that features words (see her quilt I Am Still Not here). Chawne learned about the lettering process from Tonya Ricucci, who has a book with the technique called Word Play Quilts. She does hand-quilting without a hoop and just holds the quilt in her lap -- she encourages everyone to not adhere to anyone's standards of the stitch length and see what comes natural to you. (She learned more about hand quilting in the book Quiltmaking by Hand by Jinny Beyer.)
Back to Basics with Joanna
Joanna Burgarino, the editor of Quilts & More, share tips and tricks about a sewing tool or technique. This week, she conquers labels. She shares what information to include on your label, how to prepare your label, and a trick for sewing it to your quilt while you're doing your binding. (See more about labeling your quilts here.)
Collector's Corner with Jody
On this segment where we explore antique quilts, Jody Sanders, the editor of American Patchwork & Quilting, shares her tips for shopping for antique quilts. She give resources to educate yourself on antique quilts before you shop, how much you should spend, and where to buy.
Reader Tips with Lindsay
Lindsay shares your best advice to common quilting struggles. This episode, we explore tips for choosing and storing thread -- everything from using golf tees for keeping thread and bobbins together to conditioning thread for hand quilting. If you're interested in submitting your own tip for feature in our magazines or on the podcast, send an email of your tip to APQTips@meredith.com.