It's been almost two years since Scott and I got hitched, and it got me thinking.....I haven't ever washed our wedding quilt. (Don't judge - I use a sheet and we don't put things on top of the quilt.) It being allergy season and all, I thought it was about time. I've seen a lot of advice floating around the internet. Some people say to ONLY wash your quilts and others say to ONLY dry clean them. The quilters I talked to recommended this method:
1. Obtain quilt washing soap from your local quilting store.
I used Orvus Quilt Soap. It has no phosphorus that could harm delicate fabrics.
2. Shout Color Catcher
This stuff keeps your colors bright, even if different colors are thrown into the same load. I did this just to make sure that the browns in my quilt didn't muddy out the bright whites.
Note: You should ALWAYS pre-wash your fabric prior to constructing a quilt. Because I did this, I didn't need to worry that my fabrics weren't colorfast. The chances that the colors would run were extremely slim.
3. A Big Washer
Our apartment boasts a tiny stacked top loader. There's no way we could stuff my quilt in that thing. Top loaders (the old ones with agitators) can be hard on quilts, so I borrowed a family member's front loader.
From here, I followed the directions on the quilt soap bottle and added 1 Tablespoon of soap. I threw my quilt in, added a color catcher sheet, and set the load to wash on COLD. I would always wash quilts on cold, unless they are really filthy.
After the wash cycle, you can throw the quilt in the dryer. I dried mine on medium heat. It came out of the dryer looking a little more puffy than it was before. Love it!
So, don't be afraid to wash your own quilts. It's super easy! They will probably fade over time, just like our clothes do, but I think a well-loved quilt is a well-used quilt.