Patches From the Past
Scraps of Fabric, Sewing & Quilting History

Antique and Vintage Quilt Care at a Glance

~ give your heritage quilts the tender loving care they deserve ~


quilt care: displayDisplay your quilts out of direct sunlight and bright indoor lighting.
(Also away from kids, pets and other critters.)

Wall or standing quilt racks work well for displaying large quilts. The quilts can easily be rotated or refolded in different ways on these racks.

If you prefer a muslin sleeve can be hand sewn to the back for a wall hanging.


Clean your quilts with a very gentle vacuuming through flexible plastic screening.

Do not wash them unless you are willing to take the chance they might be destroyed. Then wash very gently in your bathtub, lay out flat to dry.


quilt care: storageStore in an acid free box with acid free paper between the folds. Do not stack.

You can also roll quilts around archival tubing for storage like some museums do.

For an alternative method you can lay out a well washed cotton sheet, spread the quilt over it then fold them together. Wrap all this in another sheet to protect the quilt from the container.

If you have folded your quilt either in storage or on a quilt rack unfold and refold in new areas of the quilt every three to six months.

Never store your quilts in a plastic bag or other air tight container.

Store quilts in dry area away from extreme temperatures.


Use a pre-printed form for documentation and fill in what you can on the form. The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum has very detailed one.
You can also type up your own page telling about the quilt and what you know of the quiltmakers life.

Do not store paper documentation directly against the quilt.

Ideally sew a fabric quilt label with basic information onto the quilt back.

Quilt Appraisal:

If you decide you want to have your quilt appraised be sure the appraiser is properly trained. For a certified appraiser go to Quilt Appraisers. Appraisers are listed by state

Find links to online resources at Tender Loving Care for Heritage Quilts

2004 Judy Anne Johnson Breneman (do not reproduce without permission from the author)

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