Preserve Modern Quilts Like a Pro

Modern portrait quilt by Kim Soper called "Lincoln"
“Lincoln” by Kim Soper

Quiltcon 2017 is just a couple days away! Are you ready? The buzz of excitement throughout the community, for those of us attending in person (or vicariously), is palpable.

I love the way Vivika Hansen DeNegre, our Editorial Director, describes QuiltCon as “more than just a yearly quilt show with colorful eye candy, renowned speakers, unique classes, and amazing vendors. It is also a gathering of passionate men and women who all have a similar mission: to make and share great modern quilts.”

As QuiltCon has grown, so has the feeling that modern quilters are sewing tomorrow’s quilt history. One day these quilts will be housed in museums for future generations to marvel at this period in quilting history.

Some of the quilts featured at QuiltCon will go on to be shown in more quilt exhibitions, others will be displayed in homes, and several will keep their owners warm at night. For those of us interested in conserving this legacy of modern quilts (or really any quilt, for that matter) it’s important to learn how to preserve your quilts to extend their lifespan.

Modern quilt designed by Stacey Day displayed at the QuiltCon 2017 show
“Jam Tarts” by Stacey Day

Here are a few tips for preserving quilts in your home from museum curator Laura McDowell Hopper:

  • Use museum-quality storage materials.
  • Avoid storage in wood, or create a barrier using polyurethane varnish on the wood and unbleached muslin on the quilt.
  • Choose a storage location in a dark, climate-controlled space in your home.
  • Clean your storage space regularly. Don’t eat or drink near your storage area.
  • Never use chemicals, moth balls, or cedar as pest deterrents.
  • Light damage is irreversible. If you display quilts in your home, rotate them into storage every 3-6 months to prevent long-term light exposure.
  • Store your quilts folded in a blue board box with unbuffered tissue padding in every fold line.
  • Refold your quilt a different way every six months.

To read Laura’s full article about preserving modern quilts check out the 2017 edition of QuiltCon MagazineDownload your copy to meet the judges, to preview 35 quilts from the show, and to discover quilting tips from Angela Walters as you travel to the show. And don’t forget to get the physical magazine to revel in the 2017 QuiltCon experience and inspiration for years to come.

Happy quilting!

Brenna's Signature

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Modern Quilting, Quilting Daily Blog

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