Washing an Old Quilt 

I shared this finish with you last week and mentioned that I washed it when I was finished. I wanted to show you how I washed this . First, I decided to wash this as it was dirty and I felt it was strong enough after quilting to withstand the process. Not all quilts are.

You can see how one of the fabrics bled onto others as the top was folded for many years.

I used these products for washing. Just a bit of each in my kitchen sink. If the quilt were larger, I would have used the bathtub.

I gently kneaded the quilt in the soapy water. Then I placed this plastic bin with water on top to keep the quilt submerged and left it to soak.

I repeated this process several times. Below you can see how gross the water was after each wash/soak.

After rinsing several times, I rolled the quilt in a towel to remove excess moisture.

Then I threw the quilt and towel in my dryer. The stains from the color bleeding didn’t wash out.

Overall, the quilt is brighter and definitely cleaner.

You really have to evaluate each quilt to see if it is safe to wash. I think this quilt lost some vibrancy in the green, but I’m still glad I did it.

Have a great day!

About katyquilts

I am a wife, mom of four amazing kids, and a librarian. I have been making traditional quilts for ages but have ventured into art qulting in the last several years. I also love to knit socks and mittens and dye my own fabric. I am thankful to God my Father and Creator for the gift of creativity!
This entry was posted in Tutorials, Uncategorized, Vintage Quilts. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Washing an Old Quilt 

  1. I’m wondering how it got so dirty if it wasn’t quilted yet. Was it being used before it was quilted?

  2. rl2b2017 says:

    Hi Katy,
    It is a lovely quilt and I agree that it was a good idea to wash it. Of course, having the quilt and feeling it would make the decision for you. {{Hugs}} I hope you are enjoying time with your peeps! ~smile~ Roseanne

  3. Kudos! It does take a lot of courage to wash antique fabrics. Good job on this one. It is beautiful with your wonderful hand quilting.

  4. Sandi says:

    This is great information, thank you. It needed to be washed after seeing the cups of water. Hugs,

  5. Kimberly Barbour says:

    Shout color catchers have taken out fabric bleeding for me.

  6. It still looks better clean than before.

  7. ~Deb says:

    What a quilty treasure! I know there are multiple ways to quilt/launder a vintage quilt heirloom, and looks like you found another that worked fairly well. I’ve had great luck w/MelaPower for my old and new quilts, with rarely any bleeding and I generally use my front loader on gentle cycle w/cool water wash & rinse…works great so far 😉

    Enjoy your new/vintage quilt!
    ~Deb

  8. LoriD says:

    I’d rather be using a quilt that is clean. Did you use cold or warm water?

  9. Thank you for sharing that. I learned a lot.

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