Now that you have the quilt finished, what do you do with it if you’re not giving it away as a gift? Will you be using it or displaying it? Or do you need to store it carefully if you’re not ready to display it yet? Here’s some of my tips on displaying quilts different ways and also how to store them when not displayed or in use. Share some of your ideas with me in the comments!
Displaying Small and Medium Quilts
For most of my small and medium size wall hangings, I put a hanging sleeve on the back when I add the binding. Combining those steps gets two things done at once. And I like that! Here’s what a hanging sleeve looks like:
Cut a strip of fabric for your hanging sleeve (I cut mine about 2 1/2″ wide), fold in the raw edges on the ends of the strip and stitch. Then line up the top of the strip with the top edge of your quilt and pin in place before the binding is stitched to the front.
Once that is done, you can fold about a 1/4″ under on the bottom of the strip and stitch it down to the backing.
Now that the sleeve is on, I can use several things to hang the quilt, including curtain rods and yardsticks.
No hanging sleeve? Improvise! I found this old wooden clipboard at a garage sale and used it to display this small winter quilt:
You can also frame these small quilts. I like to search for old frames at garage sales too. Here’s one I did for my small Christmas quilt:
These are just a few of the many ways you can display the small to medium size quilts.
Displaying Large Quilts
For larger quilts, I usually don’t hang them with a sleeve, mostly because I don’t have that much wall space! For those quilts, I often drape them from ladders, over banisters, over a chair or, of course, on a bed.
For quilts that the family uses to snuggle with when it’s cold, I fold them up in a basket or store them in a cabinet by the TV.
Caring for and Storing Quilts
Caring for the Quilts: Here’s my tips on caring for and cleaning quilts that are on display.
- Display them out of direct sunlight to prevent fading
- If the quilt is folded or rolled for the display, unfold or unroll them periodically and re-fold them another way. This will help prevent creases from forming in those folds.
- Use a soft brush attachment on your vacuum to carefully brush off dust, etc. from the surface of a quilt hung on a wall. Be sure to use the lowest suction setting to keep from damaging fibers and seams.
- Rotate quilts you have displayed so quilts that are precious to you are not exposed to the everyday household elements all the time.
Since I can’t have all my quilts out at time, some of them have to be stored. If you are storing quilts folded, be sure to also unfold and re-fold those periodically so crease lines do not form those quilts.
Removing Creases: Here’s a trick I have used to remove some deep creases. I lay the quilt out completely unfolded on a bed, I lightly spray some Best Press on the portions of the quilt that are creased and carefully smooth out the creases with my hands. Do not soak the area. I then leave the quilt on the bed and the creases appear to work themselves out.
Storing Quilts: For storing small quilts, I actually hang them from skirt or pants hangers and place them in a closet.
For larger quilts, I fold them and store them on shelves with a clean sheet covering them.
I have found that the sheets keep dust from settling on the quilts and keeps the sunlight from the window off of them too. Like I said above, I periodically re-fold these quilts that are not being displayed.
You can fold your quilts in a traditional way or you can try folding them as I show below. Folding them on the bias seems to reduce creases. Folding on the bias puts less stress on the fabric fibers so any creases that happen while it’s folded this way will smooth out easier. Start by laying out the quilt you want to fold on a large flat surface and make the first fold on the bias:
And then the folding continues this way until you get a folded square small enough to store on a shelf.
Here are some storage don’ts:
- Do not store them in the basement or attic of your home where the temperature and humidity is not at ideal levels.
- Do not stack too many folded quilts on top of one another. That will make the ones on the bottom crease more.
- Do not store quilts in plastic containers or bags. Plastic can trap moisture which could develop mold that will stain quilts.
If you have an extra bed in a guest room, consider spreading out quilts there, a few on top of each other. Just make sure there’s no direct sunlight hitting them.
So that’s all I have on displaying and storing quilts. I hope my tips are helpful to you for your quilts. Remember to enjoy the quilts you have. Although you can’t have them all out, be sure to display some and rotate your displays periodically or even with the seasons. Such beauty should not be hidden!