How to Select and Care for an Heirloom Quilt

"A quilt is a work of art.  Appreciate its beauty and give it loving care."

How to Select a Quilt For Your Bed

When selecting a quilt, choose the size of quilt to give the desired look, based on mattress size, height of bed, inches of drop wanted, and pillow tuck if desired.

Example:  92” x 108” quilt on full, queen, or king

Full - 19 inch drop on three sides, with 14 inch pillow tuck

Queen - 16 inch drop on three sides, with 12 inch pillow tuck

King - 8 inch drop on three sides.  Use over floor-length skirt.  Generous pillow tuck allows for more or larger pillows

Approximate quilt sizes:

  • King  = 120” x 120”   (76 x 80)
  • Queen  = 90” x 108”   (60 x 80)
  • Full  = 81” x 96”   (54 x 750)
  • Single  = 72” x 96”   (39 x 75)

Caring For Your Quilt

Quilts today are generally made of washable fabric and batting, however, these three layers are held together with small stitches of fine thread.  Care must be given to ensure its life.

Cleaning options are vacuuming, professional cleaning or wet wash. If the quilt is to be washed, it should be done in lukewarm water with a small amount of mild detergent or wool wash, preferably in a bath tub.  Avoid spinning, tumbling or wringing of the quilt in washing or removing excess water. 

The least amount of stress to the quilt and its stitches is to dry it in a horizontal position, flat on the lawn, on a sheet or other absorbent material – out of direct sun. Machined drying is not advised.  Old or vinage quilts require professional cleaning. Dry cleaning is not recommended.

Storing Your Quilt

When not in use, store the quilt in a cloth wrapping such as a pillowcase or sheet.  Never leave a quilt in a plastic bag as plastic does not allow them to breathe and they will turn yellow.  Refold the quilt occasionally to avoid permanent crease lines and fabric tensions.  Examine the quilt periodically for possible insect damage.

--Submitted by Laurel Horst