Friday, October 30, 2009

The Quilt Closet

Last weekend during the program I did in Mountain View, someone asked me how I store all my quilts. It was a very good question. If you asked ten quiltmakers this same question, you'd probably receive ten different answers! We all seem to develop our own way of quilt making, so it stands to reason we are equally diverse in methods of storage, and with all the interest in
"where women create", etc. - where we store all the 'goodies' seems important too.

Three things I will tell you that probably DO NOT vary from quiltmaker to quiltmaker.....#1, never store your quilts or vintage linens in plastic. #2, never store them in the hot attic or a damp basement, #3, never store them in or on unfinished wood, such as an unpainted wood shelf, or in a cedar chest without wrapping them in a cotton pillowcase or sheet. There's acid in that wood. If you must store them on an unfinished all means, the number one best way is to wrap them in acid free tissue in an acid free box. If you can't do that...then be sure to wrap them in that cotton sheet, etc.

Now, as I said, someone asked me how I store MY quilts. Here you see my entire quilt storage system! This is what works for is my quilt closet. This closet is in one of our three bedrooms.....the smallest bedroom with the largest closet. Go figure! As you can see, I have quilts folded on the upper shelves...painted finish on the shelves. These are quilts that are vintage...some are waiting for needed repair, some aren't. The one with the little appliqued circles visible on that center shelf is a one of my own UFO's....I really need to finish quilting that one. The hanging quilts are quilts that I have made, with a couple of exceptions. I use plastic coat hangers.....rather thick ones, to avoid creases if possible. I also have some smaller quilts hanging from those 'pants' hangers, which are metal with a plastic covering on the hanging part. These can hold about four or five small wall quilts. Well, you have to think of ways to 'make more space' sometimes!

The reason this closet works for me is that not only do I not have any other place to put my quilts, but I am constantly getting a quilt or two out of the closet, for study, or to show, and this is very convenient, making it easy to remove them AND put them back where they belong. One matter where or how you store your quilts, take them out every few months and refold them. This also helps to prevent permanent creases.

Another good thing about the closet....sometimes I have visitors who want to see all my quilts.
Now, the house may be a big mess, but when they see this closet....they are impressed, and that pleases me, not to mention that showing is easy as I can take the quilts out, spread them on the bed, show them off, then return them easily. Another good thing about it....when I'm feeling kind of down and thinking I haven't done anything....I just open the closet and see something pretty and think "Oh, yeah....I did do that!" And, then I feel better. You know, every quilt has a story and sometimes I just take out a quilt - look, touch and "remember." That's a good thing too. Sometimes I hang them on the walls for a while, then trade them out...another good thing.

Does this give you any ideas? I certainly hope you enjoyed the visit to my quilt closet...let me know if you make a quilt closet of your own! Now, take care til we visit again.....pat

PS. I just know some of you are going to take a look at this closet and tell me you don't have a spare closet. I should probably have told you in advance that I, evidently, am not "into" clothing, so one little closet will do me. I am into quilts.....need I say more?


Karen said...

Thank you for sharing! This is a terrific way to store all your beauties!

Anonymous said...

Just lovely - I can imagine standing at the door and just gazing at them all.

sandi s said...

My mouth is still hanging open from standing in the door of your closet. It is so pretty. Thank you for sharing and for the idea to make a closet of my own. Sandi

Cottage Rose said...

OH Wow Pat... I want a Quilt closet like you have.... but first I need an extra bedroom we only have a one bedroom,, but soon will be a two bedroom and I will,,,, I can't wait... thank you for sharing you closet..... love it...


brenco1 said...

Thank you for sharing, I need to go in and check out this closet more closely next time we visit. I see your beautiful tote bag in there too. Love it.

Sharon said...

Just a wonderful closet....I have been looking to clear out a closet for storage but this might be a better way for storage. Thanks for the gander..and I love your dolls...


Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

i am agog.
and there is such a variety.......'from folk art to thirties to modern.

i don't think the creator of such order could have a messy house.
thanks for the tips


Sherry said...

I'm taking the liberty of addressing my comment to Pat's readers and hope they read this far. Comparing Pat's idea of a messy house to most people's idea of a messy house is like comparing a summer breeze to one of our Arkansas tornadoes! She is the queen of organized creativity. I just keep waiting for some of it to rub off on me!

How funny! The word verification for this post is "amesses."

Sherry in Little Rock

The Rabbit Factory said...

Lock me in there, will you! Just love how your closet looks! Thanks for sharing!

parasols and maryjanes said...

We are all in awe of your having the pride to stand there and take a picture of your closet.
It's an inspiration, and a lovely one at that.
Carol in Maumelle

Christine said...

Wow Pat, how great to have everything in one place, I have a similar closet for my costume bits and bobs. I noticed your lovely suffolk puff or yo-yo quilt on the top shelf in the middle. Reminds me of one I inherited that my Nama made in the 1960's, on my blog Mine is made from nylon dressing gown and nightgown fabrics! I love your hanging arrangements too, and thanks for the advice re storage, a very timely reminder to everyone.

sparkle jars said...

That's one wonderful closet!

Sarah or Semmy said...

Such a wealth of beauty in the closet. Wish my closets were so neat. As fast as I finish a quilt some of my relitaves or friends want to claim it as theirs. So I never have quilts to look t but I do take picture of all of them before they disapear.
Thanks for sharing.

Nicki Lee said...

Oh WOW! I sure would love to come play in your closet ... and then you could throw away the key.... I'd be in quilters heaven!

Seriously, beautiful and so well organized.

StitchinByTheLake said...

I am officially coveting your closet...and that blue and white quilt hanging on the right! blessings, marlene

Cathy said...

Wow, what an awesome closet and so many beautiful quilts! I've never seen one quite like it!

Cathy ♥

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.