Antique Quilt Care Instructions – Live and Learn

I recently got a frantic phone call from a woman for whom I had done a quilt restoration  months earlier.  It is a light green and white sailboat quilt that I am guessing  was made in the 1940s.  It had a fair amount of damage from overuse and laundering so I restored it as fully as possible.  There was alot of what I call “sponging” which is holes in the fabric that resemble  a sponge.  This type of wear is indicative of laundering too much or too harshly, or from sun damage,  because the wear is consistent across the fabric. This quilt was being restored in the Fall of 2011  because she wanted to give it to her son on the occasion of his wedding in July 2012.  (I am thinking it was probably his quilt when he was a young boy.)  Anyway, the woman was panicked because she had washed the quilt in June 2012 after the restoration had been done to prepare it for the wedding and more of the fabrics gave way and shredded!  It was just a few weeks before the wedding but I assured her that I would push aside my other jobs and see that this quilt was back in her hands, fully restored and ready to give.  Well, the best laid plans…..her husband put the wrong address on the package and it ended up sitting in a restaurant down the street from me for a week before a kind gentleman opened the package, called my phone number and the package finally arrived on my doorstep a week before the wedding!  Needless to say,  all turned out perfectly and the quilt was given as a wedding gift.  The lesson learned here?  Vintage and antique quilts don’t need to be, and shouldn’t be washed unless absolutely necessary and  THEN, email me and I will tell you the proper procedure!!

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