Caring for your quilt

Washing your quilt
In most cases, I use 100% cotton fabrics and polyester batting. When I buy the cotton fabric I wash it before I start sewing to make sure it is shrunk and doesn't bleed. I sew with cotton thread and wash the finished quilt so the thread also shrinks and gives the quilt a soft puffiness.

So far the only exceptions to the polyester batting have been the Mended Stars quilts where I used cotton batting. In those quilts anything goes: there is metallic and polyester thread, rick-rack in all kinds of materials, and sometimes even polyester fabric.

The quilts I have in my own home have been washed many times in the machine in lukewarm water on a delicate cycle. A lot of people recommend laying them flat, but I usually hang them up over something like a stair railing or the shower stall because they are too big to lay around somewhere.

Some of the small projects are not 100% cotton and/or are stuffed with shredded scraps of either fabric or batting, but they can be washed in the same way.

Storing your quilt
Personally, I believe in using quilts, having them out in the open. If you are going to store your quilt, don't pack it away in a plastic bag. Most people don't recommend wrapping them in any kind of paper but acid-free. If it's going to be wrapped, the best alternative is in a cloth bag, like a pillow case. And keep it out of the light, which will bleach only the exposed parts and weaken the threads. At any rate, I think it's a good idea, if you do store it folded up, that you occasionally take it out and fold it in a different way so as to lessen the creases.

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