There are many opinions on the best way to store and care for quilts. Above all, quilts are intended to be used! Curl up on the sofa for a nap, take it on a picnic, sip hot coco on a cold winter night, and seek comfort underneath it with chicken soup when you are sick. Each quilt is made with love, and should be a part of your life, not tucked in a drawer. If you must store a quilt, unless noted otherwise for specific quilts, below are the best care practices recommended for quilts constructed by Calvin and Carolyn.
Your best option is a spare room with an unused bed and no direct light. All light (even artificial) is damaging to fabric. Spreading quilts out on a bed will minimize fold lines and other damage that can occur from being folded over time. If you have multiple quilts a clean large flat sheet in between each (quilts should not be touching) will keep colors from bleeding and other damage that may occur from having quilts stacked.
If this is not an option for you, the best way to store a quilt is rolled. Use two clean large flat sheets to make a quilt “sandwich” with one sheet on the top and bottom of the quilt. Loosely fold the quilt and thirds then roll and store. If you prefer you can roll the quilt around a cardboard tube or wooden dowel, but be sure the quilt is not touching the wood or cardboard. Another good option is to loosely fold the quilt again in thirds, place in a clean pillow case, and lay flat to store.
Always store quilts in a dry and warm area. Avoid attics and basements. If you use a cedar or other wooden chest, line it with a clean flat sheet to prevent acids in the wood from damaging the fabric. If using a cardboard box to store your quilt acid free is best, but even acid free boxes need to be replaced every three to five years. In dry climates storage in plastic containers is acceptable but if your home is humid keep an eye out for damaging moisture.
Quilts should be unfolded and folded in a different pattern each three to six months. This will prevent damage to your quilt caused when left in a creased position for extended periods of time. Taking your quilts out periodically will also reduce potential damage caused by household pests (insects and rodents), which prefer the dark quite places you may use to store your quilts.
If you would like to display your quilt, a cotton hanging sleeve can be added to the back. A wooden dowel, PVC pipe, or even a sturdy curtain rod can then be used to hang the quilt on a wall. Again, be sure that the quilt does not touch your hanging rod, only the hanging sleeve. The same goes for traditional wood quilt racks, old ladders (all the rage recently) or even stair banisters, ensure there is a clean plain fabric between your quilt and any wood surface.
Quilts made by Calvin and Carolyn are usually constructed from prewashed fabrics, and are always washed and dried when they are finished. It is perfectly safe to periodically wash a quilt made by Calvin and Carolyn. I do not recommend dry cleaning quilts. Dry cleaning chemicals are generally quite harsh and can damage the cotton fabrics used in most quilts. Usually your quilt will need a simple airing out or spot cleaning of small stains. A good place to start when cleaning a quilt is with vacuuming, but use care to not let the end of your vacuum hose rest on the quilt. To spot clean place a clean white washcloth under the stain and use water to pat the stain with a second white washcloth. Let the quilt sit for a few minutes to see if the stain is gone, if not use a small amount of a mild detergent. Again patting with clean white washcloths, do not rub, scrub, or agitate. Rinse the area, and let air dry. If you feel you need to wash your quilt it should be washed separately with a mild detergent on a gentle cycle. It can be tumbled in a cool dryer and laid flat to finish drying. You may need to turn/flip the quilt a few times as it is drying. Ensure that your quilt is completely dry before storing it.