jandcembroidery

Washing and Drying quilts

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I tried to search this in the forums to make sure I haven't posted something that someone has already asked. Sorry if I didn't dig deep enough.

While in my favorite quilt shop yesterday, which I frequent at least once a week to learn tips and techniques ( plus all those nice ladies miss me :D ); we picked up a discussion about washing quilts. The main reason is that I noticed some of my quilting had come undone on our quilt. Now granted, in the past year or two that we've had it, it probably makes the wash every other week, so it's probably outlived it's lifetime. I also quilted it on my DM, so I used Essentials cotton thread....not as heavy as say Signature. Just in case somebody is wondering why the need to wash it so much....our little dog sleeps on it most of the day and then at night.

Now for the true question:

Does anyone follow this technique or just throw it in the washer?

Hand-washing is the preferred method for cleaning quilts. Even with a new quilt, machine washing can cause stitching to ravel. If you decide to machine wash, use cold water, a gentle detergent and the shortest, delicate cycle.

If you have hard water or iron bacteria in your water source, you should use distilled water for washing your quilt. You don’t want to risk having minerals stain your fabric.

To hand-wash, fill a deep, laundry sink or bathtub with cold water. Be certain that the sink or tub is very clean and has no residue from cleaning agents that could cause damage to the quilt. Use a liquid detergent that is gentle and free of dyes and perfumes. A liquid detergent will disperse in the water and leave less residue on the fabric. Add ½ cup vinegar to the water to both brighten colors and soften the quilt.

Place your quilt in the water, being certain that the entire quilt gets wet. Gently move your quilt around in the water. Allow the quilt to remain in the water for about 10 minutes. Next, drain the wash water and fill the tub again with fresh water. Repeat draining and refilling the tub until the water and quilt are soap free – clear water and no suds.

Drying the Quilt

Proper drying is key to keeping your quilt at its best. Wet quilts must be handled gently. Pulling can break seams and cause damage. The quilt will be heavy and should be dried flat. To lift the quilt from the tub, use a white sheet to create a sling. Allow the excess water to drain than place the quilt on a bed of heavy towels. Cover with more towels and roll up to absorb water. Move the quilt to another bed of dry towels, spread out flat and allow to dry. Placing a fan in the room will help to speed the process.

If you have space, place a sheet on the grass outside and spread out the quilt. Cover the quilt with another clean sheet and allow to dry. Never suspend a wet quilt from a clothesline. This causes too much stress on seams and cause tearing and can displace batting.

How Often Should A Quilt be Cleaned?

For any quilt, less washing is best. For a new quilt that you use on your bed everyday, washing once per year should be sufficient unless you have animals that sleep on the bed or your quilt attracts stain makers. Antique or heirloom quilts should be cleaned less often. Between cleanings, the quilts should be aired outside or placed in the dryer on the air only – no heat - cycle to freshen.

James


James

James & Carrie Melton
APQS Freedom '08 - Hand guided - M&M Wheels - The Topper
 

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James, the quilts we use I just toss in the washer and dryer. I have a few that are over 10 years old that have seen the wash a bit, same reason as yours but my little fur ball is a feline :). I haven't had any undoing of stitches or breaking stitches yet (knock on wood). Most of my old quilts were quilted with King Tut or Signature as that is what I used back then but the more recent ones in the last couple of years are Isacord.

The quilt on my bed is almost 3 years old now and I wash it every other month (unless my cat throws up a hairball on it). It was quilted with Anton-Robison 100% cotton and the stitches are intact, too.

80% of my quilts I used W&N or W&W batting.

Where are your stitches coming undone? Maybe you had a thread break when you were quilting and it didn't get tied off well enough or are the stitches coming undone from under the binding? I always worry about the latter happening!

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I only wash and dry my quilts by machine. They haven't given me a problem with breaking stitches. I don't have animals (of the 4 legged variety) so they don't get washed frequently, but still are not a problem. I have a couple that are over 10 years old and still no problem. None are cotton batting.


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Hi.

I wash my quilts in my washing machine in cold water and tumble dry them on medium.

I love washed wrinkly quilts better than when they are brandy new off the frame.

We use them a lot so I bet they are laundered at least 6 times/year.

My bed quilts are king sized, so I have to hit the laundromat with them.

I only launder these once a year, or for an unforeseen stain.

(DH is a wandering coffee drinker...ugh!)

Perhaps this was just a fluke.

Linda posted about using magnets to do repair quilting.

You should check it out...might save time!


Meg

"Do small things with great love." Mother Teresa

"Life's too short to fuss with thread." Meg Fazio

http://theonewiththreadsonherclothes.blogspot.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/megfazio

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I machine wash as well on gently cycle and usually hang dry. If I do use the dry it is set on low heat. So far I have not had any problems with stitches coming loose. Now I will only hand wash my photo quilts, I don't want to take a chance with them in the washer.


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Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken.



 

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I machine wash in warm water and dry on high heat. I have a quilt on my bed I've been using for 15 years that gets washed at least 6 times a year but then I have 3 little fur babies that sleep with me. The only way I would hand wash, air dry is if it was an art quilt, an applique quilt or a heirloom.


Lynn W
Needle, Thread and Thimble

 

 

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain.

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I wash all my bed quilts in a front loading washing machine in warm water and dry them in the clothes dryer on medium heat. I learned through experience to use only quilt shop quality fabric and batting. I believe that is why I've never had a problem washing them.

Leslie


Quilted Stitches

APQS - Lucey

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So sorry that you've experienced this, James. I machine wash my quilts in cold and dry on low. Actually, that's the way I wash 98% of all the household laundry.

I believe that the thread might be the culprit in your case. To be durable, the quilting has to be really dense when you're using cotton thread. If I'm correct, the Essentials line is a 50 weight cotton, 2 ply or even 3 ply. I think it's intended for piecing rather than quilting. It is not as durable as the heavier weight cottons or some of the synthetics. If the fabrics in your quilt are still sound, you might consider sticking it back in the DSM and adding some more quilting.

I have seen washing instructions like the ones you posted but I believe they were the recommendations for washing fragile, antique quilts. Again, so sorry that you've experienced this problem. Nancy in Tucson

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I have to admit, I'm pretty slack in this department in regarding the 'ideal' laundering technique for quilts.

I wash mine in the machine and then put them on the line, backing side out to dry. If I lay them flat to dry on the lawn with a sheet underneath, they wouldn't be clean for long. The cats and the magpies here would walk over it!

James is it possible while the quilt is on the bed at some point direct sunlight can shine on it from a window? Sunlight does weaken the integrity of thread, so with repeated washing may perish it a little quicker.


5D9B899E078457BB53D3F7C6030FEE84.pngJulie & "The Pearl Girl"

Hand guided 2012 Blissed Millennium with Glide.

http://heritage-keepsakes.blogspot.com.au

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I also have pets that will sleep on our quilt. However, I will vacuum it between washings. I think washing your quilt every other week is too much...you will eventually wash your quilt to death and it will disintegrate. You may want to place a sheet, towel or quilt you don't care about over your other quilt to keep it from having to be washed so much. I also wash my quilts in the washer and dry them in the dryer. I have never had any problems doing this and have been using my quilts for over 15 years on our bed.

I think the thread you used is a problem. As some said this thread is mainly used for piecing quilts and not quilting them. I would recommend looking at the Superior Thread web site in the educational section as it will really help you to understand just how thread is made and what types of thread are used for different projects.


Laura

my.doterra.com/naturespoweroils

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I agree with Laura! I wash my quilts in the machine and dry them on medium. Washing them too much will wear them out just like clothing. Back in the day quilts were not washed very often due to the difficulty of washing them. They lasted and lasted. We over-clean i think. I stray away from cotton thread just cause I never know how stinkin old it is. Cotton is made to go dust-to-dust so I use a man made poly which is made to last forever in the local land-fill. ^_^


Just Sew Simple Sylvia Blissett APQS Freedom '09 "Stitch" Circle Lord 2010 “"Until one has loved an animal, Part of their soul remains unawakened.”

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My philosophy that I stand by for EVERYTHING is, if it can't go in the washer and dryer then it shouldn't be in my house. My old top loader and my new front loader, didn't make a difference. Even things that say dry clean only. I know what fabrics will get ruined and I don't buy them. I also know which fabrics are just fine to wash even though the tag says not to. I haven't gone to the dry cleaner for over 16 years.

I also make my own laundry soap. I have spent a total of about $5.00 on my ingredients for the past 3-4 years. And yes, I use it on my quilts too. I have one quilt that placed 3rd at Paducah and it is treated the same as all the rest, washer, dryer and home made soap.

Anyone interested in the recipe, I got it off the Duggar family website, 20 kids and counting. They obviously know how to save money.

Mindy

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Mindy, I want the recipe. I am allergic to everything!!!! Perhaps this would solve my problems. Found it! I will do this soon. I also make my own goat's milk bar soap. Looks great and even fun.


Just Sew Simple Sylvia Blissett APQS Freedom '09 "Stitch" Circle Lord 2010 “"Until one has loved an animal, Part of their soul remains unawakened.”

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I wash all my quilts on warm and place in the dryer until they are dry! I primarily use cotton or bamboo batting and love the look of a shriveled quilt. The texture is wonderful and the feel is old-timer. With seven kids in the house...all my quilts get used! I only have one small quilt hanging on a wall...it was a gift from a mini quilt exchange. Thanks lynn. Other than that...quilts are meant to be used.


Kristina at website http://withakquilting.blogspot.com/ and personal blog http://froggybottomquilting.blogspot.com/

 

Hoppily quilting along with FROGGER - my Green Millennium, and TOAD - my Liberty. Quiltazoid equipped too!

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I have a page of instructions I give to people for washing quilts.  My customers asked me to do this for them.  Mostly they know how to handle washing quilts, but a lot of the time people we gift them to don't know.  They make copies and send them with the quilts.

 

Agitation can be a killer, spinning doesn't seem to hurt.

 

Front Loader:  Set on bulky setting (blankets, bed clothing, etc., adds more water).  I wash on a normal cycle for bulky items in cold water, using Orvus soap (paste at room temp., dissolves easily in a little warm water). 

 

Top Loader:  Put quilt in washer and fill tub with cool water.  Add dissolved Orvus soap.  Let soak for an hour or so, then plunge by hand a few minutes.  Set washer to spin out the water.  Fill tub with rinse water, plunge by hand again, then spin the rinse water out.  I just don't let it agitate the quilt.

 

Dryer:  I dry on no (or very low) heat until almost dry, take them out and let them finish air drying.

 

Never had a problem doing it this way.


Merry Jo

Merry Jo Rembold, Julian, CA

APQS Sales Representative

Millie & Quilt Path

Facebook: Creative Quilting by Merry Jo

Merryjorembold.com

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My philosophy that I stand by for EVERYTHING is, if it can't go in the washer and dryer then it shouldn't be in my house. My old top loader and my new front loader, didn't make a difference. Even things that say dry clean only. I know what fabrics will get ruined and I don't buy them. I also know which fabrics are just fine to wash even though the tag says not to. I haven't gone to the dry cleaner for over 16 years.

I also make my own laundry soap. I have spent a total of about $5.00 on my ingredients for the past 3-4 years. And yes, I use it on my quilts too. I have one quilt that placed 3rd at Paducah and it is treated the same as all the rest, washer, dryer and home made soap.

Anyone interested in the recipe, I got it off the Duggar family website, 20 kids and counting. They obviously know how to save money.

Mindy

Mindy what is that bar of soap they are talking about I have never heard of it.

 

James I wash all my quilts on warm water and if nice out side I hang on the line and if not in the dryer they go.  Think of it this way my Grandma washed hers on a wash board and then a wringer washer and then a regular washer and even through them in the dryer and I am still using some them even today I wash and dry them in the washer and line dry in summer and dryer in winter.


Connie

Any day that I get to quilt is a great day.

Freedom SR 2011

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I too wash my quilts in the washer and dry them in the dryer.  I have the first quilt I ever made and it still usable and it belonged to my daughter starting at age 2.  Our much loved family quilt, you know the one you all want and fight over, well it has been washed and dried millions of times.  The only thing failing on it is the fabric and only some of it.  We still fight over that quilt.  LOL  I've decided I'll cut it into fourths and everybody will get a piece of it so they are always reminded of our love.  I need to make a new one.  

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Mine go in the washer and dryer. Always have and always will, because they won't get cleaned any other way. I make mostly full to queen sized quilts and there is no way I could get them clean if I did them in the tub. They are too heavy, bulky and awkward to wash by hand. Thank goodness for washers and dryers.


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Is maybe some of the handwashing ideas because of HAND stitched quilts?  I would think hand stitched quilts would be needed to be treated more gently.  


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Linda Gibbons

Cabin Creek Quilting

APQS Freddie (aka, Gracie ll)

Hand guided

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I use orvus, just like Merry Jo, I give washing instructions to my clients. I use the washing machine front loader, no agitation, just spinning. normal cycle. Then damp dry in our dryer, just to warm the quilt a bit, spread flat and block the sides, turn on the fan. After a few hours the quilt dries and looks so nice no crease. I never ever hang quilts to dry, could break stitches.

For quilts that needs special attention, show quilts, I bought 2 insulation R-Tech foam boards from Home Depot, used ductape to join the two pieces. So after washing or dunking the quilt, I lay it flat on the boars, stretch it, square it & let it air dry for few hours. I copied some ideas from Judy Woodsworth's book.


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Corey Starkey

IQ & Bllissed Millennium

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I wash mine in a front load on the hand wash cycle and lay flat to dry. No pets here, so wash once a year, but the one on my bed is a good 15 years old and still looks great. The placemats I am using are watched weekly with this method, and have to be 5 years old and also still look great. I avoid the dryer as I read somewhere that dryer heat causes cottons to fade.


9BD280A625D2D6D2E2166C9DE34879A9.png

Quilting from the Heart

APQS Millenium, Circle Lord equipped, hand guided and lov'n it!!!

http://rosecityquilter.wordpress.com/

http://qfth.ca

Quilting From the Heart is on Facebook!

RoseCity Quilter is also on Facebook!!

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Ok I have a question if you lay it flatto dry what do you lay it on?  If I were to lay something out flat to dry even with a fan it would sour before it dried too much humidity in the air.  I hate soured clothes.  


Connie

Any day that I get to quilt is a great day.

Freedom SR 2011

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