So, you make quilts of all sizes. Most of them you give away to family members, cherished friends or to charity organizations. But what about the ones you keep? How do you display those? How do you store the ones that you don’t have on display? This week I will talk about displaying your quilts, including some unique display ideas and tips on how to store the quilts you are not displaying. So let’s get started!
The easiest quilts to display are large quilts, like lap quilts. Besides a quilt rack, you can drape them at the end of a bed or over the back of a couch and you’re done, right? But, here are a few other ideas that I have used. One of my favorite is hanging the quilts from a ladder, whether it’s an old one or one made for that purpose.
This ladder has only one quilt on it, but I could probably fold it differently and add a few more quilts.
Here’s another ladder that I hung from my wall to display some of my antique quilts. The ladder is old so I sealed it and there are pillow cases under the folded quilts to protect them even more from the wood.
Since these are antique quilts, I have the ladder hanging in a hallway where they are protected from direct sunlight. Be sure to think of that when you are displaying any treasured quilt. Direct sunlight is not their friend!
I’ve also been know to drape large quilts over chairs or hanging out of baskets.
Finally for larger quilts, I found an old drying rack (left) at a garage sale that is perfect for quilts. Just like with the old ladder, make sure to seal the wood and drape a pillow case or a sheet discreetly underneath to protect the quilt further. I also found a unique towel rack (right) at a garage sale that I hung on a wall to drape a quilt.
Now on to smaller quilts like wall hangings. From large to small, there are so many fun ways to display these around your house. An easy way to hang wall hangings is using curtain rods. A lot of the curtain rods you find in stores like Target or Wal-Mart are also adjustable size, so it’s easy to find the right fit for your quilt.
First, here’s a mini tutorial on hanging sleeves that your wall hanging will need for you to hang it. An easy way to put a sleeve on a quilt is to do it at the same time as when you attach the binding like I did on this quilt below:
First, I cut a strip of fabric 2 1/2″ wide with the length 2″ shorter than the width of the wall hanging. This quilt is 24″ wide, so I cut the strip 2 1/2 x 22″.
Next, hem the short ends of the strip.
Now, lay the strip on the back of the quilted item aligning it with the edge and pin in place. So, when you attach the binding to the front, the top of the sleeve will be attached. Then, you turn under the bottom edge of the strip and pin in place so you can hand stitch this while hand stitching your binding to the back (last photo).
Now that you have the hanging sleeve on your quilt, here’s some of the fun ways to hang them. First, by a curtain rod:
You can also use the hanging sleeve to hang the quilt from quilt hangers, yard sticks and even dowels affixed to an old drawer!
Caring for and Storing Quilts
Here are some tips to keep displayed quilts in good shape.
- 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 refold them another way. This will prevent creasing the quilts in one place.
- 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.
That last item in the tips, rotating out quilts you display, gives arise to the need for storage. For large quilts, you need to start with folding them. Here’s a few tips.
Begin by laying out the quilt you want to fold on a large flat surface and make the first fold on the bias:
And then continue bias folds until you have a square:
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. Straight folds create heavier creases that could be permanent if the quilt is folded for too long.
The other way I fold quilts is in thirds. The following photos will show how that is done.
Some dos and don’ts for Storing:
- 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.
- Do not store quilts in plastic containers or bags. Plastic can trap moisture which could develop mold that will stain quilts.
- Do use clean white sheets to cover a stack of quilts for protection.
Now what you you do with the smaller quilts like wall hangings and table runners? For these quilts I use clip hangers that are made to hang skirts and pants. This makes them storable in a closet anywhere in the house.
A final tip: It’s a good idea if a large quilt has been stored for over 4 to 6 months to pull it out and re-fold it or take it out to display. They important thing is to keep checking on your stored quilts to make sure they are holding up.
So that’s all for this week. Share your display and storage tips for all of us to learn from and you will be entered into a drawing for my new pattern, Kaleidoscope:
The drawing will be on Monday, November 22nd. Good luck!