Last Tuesday morning, as the San Saba Sew-N-Sews quilting group gathered around the table at the Presbyterian fellowship hall, our discussion led to remembering antique quilts. Several ladies told stories of relatives giving quilts as gifts or cherished quilts from grandparents. Some of our stories had sad memories for us, because we did not know how to take care of vintage quilts at that time in our lives. From different experiences with our own quilts, we’d like to share from our quilting knowledge and tough experiences concerning the special handling and taking care of quilts. Some of the following information has also been researched thru quilting books and magazines. One of the best ways to take care of any quilt is to very gently vacuum the dust every few months to keep it clean, especially if it is hanging on a quilt rack or displayed on a bed. The very best place to store a quilt is flat on a bed, perhaps in a guest bedroom. Another option for storing quilts is using acid free tissue paper and carefully folding it into as big a box as possible, with as few folds as possible. Then every few months refold the quilt to prevent stressing the fabrics. If quilts are to be stored in a closet or linen cabinet, rotate the quilts periodically, so folds are changed. Storage areas must be dry, so steamy bathroom cabinets are not recommended. Do not store any quilt in plastic, a pillowcase makes a very good cover to protect a quilt. Avoid direct sunlight on your quilt, as fabrics will fade and loose vibrant colors, which can be very disappointing. Whether your quilt is a family heirloom or a purchased quilt for everyday use, we recommend you follow label instructions, if your quilt needs to be laundered. Extreme care should be given to very old quilts and if you have any doubt about how to take care of your quilt, take it to the professionals. Museum curators and other advisors can be helpful with suggestions, especially if the quilt is made by hand. If a grandmother made the quilt she may have put her own label on the corner with a few ideas. Modern day quilts can sometimes be washed at home, however, it is best to know the fabrics and sewing process before placing any quilt in even a low agitation washing cycle. A simple soak in the bathtub can be the best solution, with very mild soap and rinsing well, before laying it out flat to dry. Allow all the water to drain from the tub and then pat excess water with towels before removing to a clean plastic drop cloth to dry. Considering all the tender loving work put into the making of a quilt, we hope these ideas will help you take care of the quilts in your home.