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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know a lot of you on the board are quilters. I have a beautiful quilt that my Aunt made me and I want advice on how to clean it and how to hang it if I decide to do that. My Aunt is on dialysis and is a gifted artist with quilting and sewing. She made me a quilt with lighthouses on it (I live in Lighthouse Point, FL) and it is needs to be cleaned. She told me not to have it dry cleaned, but I'm just not sure what I should use to wash it.

I am also thinking about hanging it. It only covers the top of my bed and I put it over a solid white bedspread. It is a nice size to hang and it would look nice in the bedroom. Here are a couple of pictures of it, so you can see the colors.



 

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That is an absolutely gorgeous work of art, I'd be petrified to try to clean it.  However if I had to I would put it in the washing machine on gentle cycle in cold water. I would then put it in the dryer for just a few minutes to steam out the wrinkles and hang it straight to dry. Good luck if you get up the nerve to try it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. It needs to be cleaned. My dilemma now is do I keep using it on the bed, we always fold it and take off the bed when sleeping or do I hang it. I think hanging it would be the better way to preserve it. My aunt is so sick and is on a kidney transplant list, so the quilt means a lot to me. She is 70 so it will be hard to find a kidney for her. She is more like a sister than aunt because she lived with us from the age of 11 until she graduated from high school. My mother had 7 sisters and 4 brothers and this aunt was the 2nd youngest of the 12.
 

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I don't have any advice, I just want to say that the quilt is simply stunning. You are lucky to have such a work of art in your home!

I can't put anything that nice on my bed because of the four monsters cats that I own own me. They ruin everything. Even the quilt that's hanging on the wall gets dragged down by them sometimes. They're lucky they're cute!
 

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I'm not sure about the cleaning.  I've always been under the impression that you can throw it in the wash with cold water only. I would probably block it dry - but I haven;t finished a quilt yet (in a few weeks I will).  As far as getting it to hang on a wall, usually (the on'es I've seen) have a sleeve on the back that you can put a rod through.  Then you just have to figure out  how to have the rod.  The sleeve is usually shorter than the width of the quit so you could also get a rod that fits the sleeve behind the quilt and nail it to the wall.  The corners might droop.  Another option is to get it framed (especially if you are worried about ccritters and the like).


Finally if no one here can give you good answers or you feel that you need more direct hands on held, I'm sure you can find a quilt shop in the area.  There may even be a quilt guild or a logarm quilter that could provide you with some assistance.

I hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Sunflower. Everything helps. I didn't think of trying to find a local shop. I'm thinking about having it framed.
 

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Hi Kathy,
Thats a very pretty quilt. If it needs washing first check to see if the material was washed before the quilt was made. That way you will have an idea if the fabric will bleed or not. I would wash it in cold water and a mild soap like you would use for babies clothes. My grandmother always told me to hang my quilts on the clothes line to dry so  they would not shrink.(some cotton fabrics do if they arent pre-washed ). Then I would lightly steam iron any wrinkles out.

Hope this helps,
Dalene
 

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oh that is beautiful - good luck with whatever you decide to do with it - I love the idea of hanging it - Hope you find the best way to do that so you can enjoy looking at it for years to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dalene said:
Hi Kathy,
Thats a very pretty quilt. If it needs washing first check to see if the material was washed before the quilt was made. That way you will have an idea if the fabric will bleed or not. I would wash it in cold water and a mild soap like you would use for babies clothes. My grandmother always told me to hang my quilts on the clothes line to dry so they would not shrink.(some cotton fabrics do if they arent pre-washed ). Then I would lightly steam iron any wrinkles out.

Hope this helps,
Dalene
I know that she did wash the material. Now I just have to get brave enough to wash it.

rho said:
oh that is beautiful - good luck with whatever you decide to do with it - I love the idea of hanging it - Hope you find the best way to do that so you can enjoy looking at it for years to come.
Once I wash it I'm seriously thinking of having it framed to hang.

LuckyRainbow said:
You might try sending Betsy a PM for advice. She is our resident quilting artist.
I'll do that, thanks for the advice.
 

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Kathy,

what a fantastic quilt.  My first thought is you should give it to me to care for for you.
;D

The idea of taking it to a local quilt shop is an excellent one.  They can see the types of fabric it is made from and the kind of stitching.  You can also get some Orvis Soap at the quilt shop.  This is the recommended soap for quilts.  It is extremely gentle.  (It is actually the same soap sold as "Mane and Tail" soap in feed stores.  Animals are more sensitive to chemicals than we are.)

I would recommend washing it without agitation in the washer or the bathtub.  Squeeze it gently to get out as much of the water as you can.

To dry, I layer the quilt with a sheet underneath to support it, and hang the quilt between two clothes lines in a "u".  Or you could drape it outdoors over some chairs or on the ground, with a sheet underneath to keep it clean (and maybe one on top to keep the birds off).  Quilts hold a lot of water so hanging a wet quilt can be quite hard on the stitching.

I generally hang quilts using a rod pocket on the back that goes almost to the edges of the quilt, stopping about an inch short on either side.  I don't have a problem with the edges drooping.

Consult with the quilt shop about hanging it too.  Framing a large piece can be tricky (and expensive.  Again, quilts are very heavy, and you want to be careful on how the edges are attached to the frame.  Generally strips of fabric would be sewn to all four sides and then the quilt would be stretched around the frame like a canvas would be.

That's my best advice without seeing the quilt in person.

Keep us posted on what you learn from a local shop and what you do.  If you can't find a quilt shop, you might consult with a needlepoint shop; they probably know someone who they use for framing.

Betsy
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Betsy. I've been trying to locate a quilt shop. I'm thing about going to the fabric store this weekend and see if they know a local quilt shop that they can recommend. This quilt fits only on the top of my King size bed, so it isn't real heavy, but I don't want to damage it in any way. My aunt is very ill and I am very close to her. More like sisters. I want to preserve it and pass it down to my daughter. Thanks so much for the information. Kathy
 

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Kathy, glad I could be of some help.  I'm so glad you shared the quilt with us!

No, quilts aren't heavy compared to say, horseshoes, or anvils, but compared to one layer of fabric hanging from something, they are, especially if wet.  The stitching isn't intended to support the weight of the quilt hanging vertically, so it puts quite a pull on on the top edge when hung.  The rod pocket distributes the weight across the whole length.  If it is framed, and a length of fabric is stitched across the edge of the quilt and then pulled around the frame, that would do the same thing.

I'm talking effect over time here, it isn't likely to pull loose as soon as you hang it.

Just be gentle washing it, and don't worry about getting every last spot out, we used to call them beauty spots when I worked in a shop.

I forgot to say yesterday, if it's mostly just dusty, you can put a piece of cheesecloth over the end of the hose of a vacuum cleaner and vacuum it to get the dust out.

Betsy

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Betsy the Quilter said:
I forgot to say yesterday, if it's mostly just dusty, you can put a piece of cheesecloth over the end of the hose of a vacuum cleaner and vacuum it to get the dust out.

Betsy
Great idea. It doesn't have any spots or anything on it. It is just dusty. I'm very careful of it. I remove it at night so that it doesn't get wrinkled or anything. My father did beautiful woodwork and made me a quilt stand to fold a quilt on. My sister, niece and aunt all quilt, so there are a lot of quilts in the family. My aunt has been sick and on dialyses the last 5 years and made the quilt during that time. She makes the cutest little teddy bears where the arms and legs move. They are exquisite and only about 2 inches in height, but now that she is sick it is hard for her to do. She started making quilts again and each one is more beautiful and very personal.

Thanks again for the advice.
 

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Kathy said:
Great idea. It doesn't have any spots or anything on it. It is just dusty. I'm very careful of it. I remove it at night so that it doesn't get wrinkled or anything. My father did beautiful woodwork and made me a quilt stand to fold a quilt on. My sister, niece and aunt all quilt, so there are a lot of quilts in the family. My aunt has been sick and on dialyses the last 5 years and made the quilt during that time. She makes the cutest little teddy bears where the arms and legs move. They are exquisite and only about 2 inches in height, but now that she is sick it is hard for her to do. She started making quilts again and each one is more beautiful and very personal.

Thanks again for the advice.
If it's just dusty, I definitely wouldn't wash it, do the cheesecloth vacuum thing. You may need to change the cheesecloth around, and do both sides.

I'd love to see a picture of one of the teddy bears (I'm a bear collector, too), they sound wonderful! How great that you have such talent in your family! We'll keep your aunt and your family in our hearts.

Betsy
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Betsy the Quilter said:
If it's just dusty, I definitely wouldn't wash it, do the cheesecloth vacuum thing. You may need to change the cheesecloth around, and do both sides.

I'd love to see a picture of one of the teddy bears (I'm a bear collector, too), they sound wonderful! How great that you have such talent in your family! We'll keep your aunt and your family in our hearts.

Betsy
I'll take a picture of it. She also made me an elephant. They are so cute. We have a lot of artist in the family. My sister paints, sculps, quilts and sews beautifully. My sister does the cutes 3 D pictures. I like Betty Boop and she did one for me. I have another aunt that paints. My son and two of my grandsons draw beautifully. Both of my grandsons have won 1st place for their school district, with their drawings. Now with me, I can't even draw a stick figure well. It seems that in my family you are either really talented or not at all. Funny how it passes down. Of course, since my Mother was 1 of 12 children and I have 38 1st cousins on my Mother's side alone, it stands to reason that there would be some with artistic talent.
 
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