cleaning a quilt?

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8 years 5 months ago #36939 by kaumea
cleaning a quilt? was created by kaumea
Hi

i have a quilt, that we received as a wedding gift from friends. It's beautiful and usually have it as a throw over the bed. But now, since a while it has a strange odour when i take it out of storage, like mouldy or simply said, it stinks :(
is there a way to clean it so that it smells fresh again? As it is quite large i can not put it into the washing machine...

thanks
kaumea

it's an old picture of it when we received it :D

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8 years 5 months ago #480477 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic cleaning a quilt?
If it isn't grubby, why not try one of those dry spray deodorises from the supermarket. For freshening curtains etc and hang it out on the clothes line. Because if you wet it, you would never know which colours might run.

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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8 years 5 months ago #480482 by Mich
Replied by Mich on topic cleaning a quilt?
Hi Kaumea - what a lovely quilt - I was really taken with the different blocks and the quilting on them. Being a wedding present, I can sure understand how special it is.

Deanna's right - it's amazing what hanging things out on the clothesline regularly does to keep things fresh.

I regularly wash large quilts in the washing machine, but only on a wool or delicate wash/slow spin. Washing in a bath is also another option. But as Deanna said, you need to know if any of the colours will run. One way of determining that is to get a piece of white cotton fabric, immerse it in warm water and gently rub it against some of the darker colours. If any of the dye comes off on the white fabric, then you know that fabric will run. I understand (although I've never used them) that there are products you can buy that prevent runs (like dye catchers etc), but I'd still do the fabric test first before trying them. You could also ask your friend if she pre-washes her fabrics before she uses them. If she does, then the dye issue is unlikely to be a problem and washing would therefore be a good option.

Oh, one more thing - it's said that lying a quilt flat outside (on a sheet) in a frost freshens them up beautifully. I've never tried it, but I know it works on washing I've left on the line overnight. :-)

Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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8 years 5 months ago #480485 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic cleaning a quilt?
it is a lovely quilt! I agree with hanging it out to see if it freshens up naturally but failing that i would have it dry cleaned.

Generally speaking quilters are supposed to wash their fabrics prior to making up a new quilt, but I would still be worried about the colours running in yours.

I use the woollen wash with aussie formula Softly (different to NZ formula) for the thinner wool insert quilts, but for the big stuff off it goes to the dry cleaners.

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8 years 5 months ago #480497 by kai
Replied by kai on topic cleaning a quilt?
put it in the bath with ordinary washing powder at whatever temperature you feel comfortable with. hang over the line to dry.

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8 years 5 months ago #480500 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic cleaning a quilt?
I use wool wash for anything that doesn't require or would suffer from too much agitation. Its already dissolved and is better just to soak sometimes. I washed my candlewick bedspreads yesterday in it because they really don't require heavy washing, just freshening up and they smell lovely now.

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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8 years 4 months ago #480509 by kaumea
Replied by kaumea on topic cleaning a quilt?
Thanks for all the replies :)

the problem will be that i don't know if all the pieces were washed before...:confused: all our friends did this together and therefore each part comes from different people...[^]
It wouldn't fit into my washing machine, it's simply to big for it and then it would be way to heavy when wet, but the bath tub will do, so i will try that or maybe i hang it on the clothesline and hose it down :D

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8 years 4 months ago #480510 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic cleaning a quilt?
Colours can still run even after an initial wash. I bought a light weight top whilst I was in Aussie and in the following washes turned my whites into pink. [}:)][}:)][}:)]

I guess it depends on how important this quilt is to you as to whether you try giving it a gentle soak in the bathtub or take it to the dry cleaners. years ago I washed a very delicate quilt that SOH used to have on his bed as a boy, and the fabric tore apart.

I have regretted that mistake every since. :(

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8 years 4 months ago #480532 by Mich
Replied by Mich on topic cleaning a quilt?
Personally I'd be wary of taking the quilt to a drycleaner - conventional wisdom about quilts is that the gentler you treat the fabric, the longer it'll last and that's why quilters don't generally recommend leaving quilts (or their quilting fabric) where the sun can get at it, or using harsh chemicals on them.

In this case I'd try the freshening outside first (but not in the midday sun) but if you wash it, I suggest you try drying it flat on a sheet - freshly mown grass would be lovely because the intoxicating smell gets into the quilt - rather than over a line or pegged, which can weaken or stretch fabric or batting because of the weight of the fabric when wet. You might need to freshen it outside several times to get rid of any mugginess but it would be kind to the quilt.

Otherwise the bath solution sounds good. I use a washing machine because they're my own quilts and I intend them to be well used as utility ones, but I wouldn't do that with quilts intended for others.

Do let us know how you get on. :)
Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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8 years 4 months ago #480656 by RaeM1
Replied by RaeM1 on topic cleaning a quilt?
If washing the Quilt in a bath, first get a large sheet and put that in the bath of water, then the quilt, so once you have washed it, then use the sheet to pull the quilt out of the water, that way you will not be putting a lot of strain on the quilt. Also try to dry flat if possible, even on a deck or something that the water will run away from the quilt.
Wave to Mich, I will email you soon with some photos of another quilt I have made for another Cattle bred society, they have not advertised the quilt yet as their main raffle, so cannot post the photos on here for another week or so.

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8 years 4 months ago #480662 by Mich
Replied by Mich on topic cleaning a quilt?
Hi Rae - can't wait to see your photos! I haven't gotten much quilting done these past couple of weeks - was going great guns then ... nothing. I'm stuck on a border that I mucked up the cutting on - it's a directional fabric and I'm pondering an alternative design to use it as it's the right colouring for the quilt. I expect that once I start playing around it'll all come together quickly and I'll wonder what on earth I've been procrastinating over. Isn't that always the way?

That's a great idea about putting a sheet under the quilt when washing in the bath - will be much easier to get out when wet - you wouldn't need to have octopus hands, LOL. Thanks for the hint.

Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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