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Oops, The Dog Ate My T-Shirt Quilt!

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Care For T-Shirt Quilts

NOTE: The following information relates to quilts made by T-Shirt Quilts of Texas®  but applies to traditional  quilts as well.

Washing

Generally, you can wash your quilt in a washing machine using cold or tepid water. If the quilt is large... queen size or larger... you might want to wash it in a front loading machine or at a laundromat in a large front loading machine.

T-Shirt quilts should be durable. We have one that has been our store sample for over 10 years, and still looks like a new quilt. Those t-shirts have probably been washed a hundred times, so those are not going to shrink or fade further.

Color Fastness

TSQ-washWe only use quilt shop quality fabrics for the borders and backing for our quilts. The colors shouldn't 'run'. Solid fabrics and other cheap fabrics are more likely to have problems. If you are worried about colors fading, an old time remedy is to set the colors by soaking quilt in vinegar for about 24 (or vinegar and salt) hours.

ANY time you start washing in a commercial detergant like TIDE or GAIN, you are going to start the fading process with your quilt (or any other natural fiber). We suggest that you use T-Shirt Quilt Wash for this quilt (or any quilt). It is a non-detergent soap, and will not cause your quilt to fade. However, once you start using a commercial detergant, the quilt will start to fade.

NOTE: This is another reason we ask that all t-shirts be laundered before putting into your quilt.

NOTE: If you have shirts that have an odor (from being stored for a long time, sweat, smoke, etc.) put a couple of tablespoons of vinegar in the washing machine and wash as usual.

Drying

You should be able to use a dryer on low heat, or hang on clothesline. If you use T-Shirt Quilt Wash your quilt will come out soft and fresh smelling with no artificial scents.

Holes

Really? We stablilize the T-Shirts with a 100% cotton stabilizer. Depending on the condition of the shirt, the stabilizer should retard the degration of the shirt.

The companies that don't use a stabilizer and suggest you use a fray check product are cutting corners. We stablilize your shirts before quilting, and your quilt should last generations. Of course, if there was a hole there before we get it, it will still be there. Ask us about doing minor repairs.

Threads

Although we try very hard to make sure that we have removed all the loose threads from the quilt, you may notice when your quilt is new that we missed clipping a thread. Don’t worry, just clip the thread close to the top and the problem is solved. No charge for extra threads! :)

Storing Your Quilt

Well, hopefully you are actually using your quilt and not storing it. But, if you must store it, there are preferred ways to store your quilt. First of all, what NOT to do.
  • Don't store folded quilt directly on wood shelving or cedar chest.
  • Don't store in plastic bag
  • Don't display on a bed (or on a wall) in direct sunlight
If storing, use acid free tissue and specific storage boxes for vintage use. The BEST storage bag is a cotton pillowcase that has been laundered a gazillion times. Those ugly brown spots that you see on vintage linens occur from direct contact to the wood, hence the need for the acid free tissue, or the frequently laundered pillowcase.

I use OLD towels as a shelf liner to line storage areas. These towels have also been laundered (hundreds of times), and provide a nice layer against the wood or the cheap plastic shelf liner in your linen closet.

The jury is still out on whether using 'Space Bags" is OK. I have to confess that I have several freshly laundered (and completely dry) quilts stored in the space bags. I am waiting to see if there is any damage.

What I am actually finding is that the bags don't hold their 'vaccuum' and the quilts are actually just stored in plastic bags. Probably not good. However, I am pretty sure that any rogue mice or moths are not getting into quilts stored in the space bags.
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Thinking about having a T-Shirt quilt made? 

Download our Free Buying Guide

Before you have a T-Shirt quilt made, be sure to read our T-Shirt Quilt Buyers Guide so that you have the information you need to make an informed choice about what type of T-Shirt quilt you want to have made.

T-Shirt Buyers Guide