The Fiber of My Being: Keeping House With Creative Quilt Storage Ideas

You‘ve probably been asked questions similar to the two I’m most frequently asked:

Question: “Do you sell your quilts?”

Answer: “No, I need to hold onto them for teaching samples.”

Question: “How long does it take for you to make a quilt?”

Answer: “I wouldn’t know. I usually work on more than one at the same time.”

If I were ever asked “How do you store your quilts?”, I’d answer:

“I keep most of them in an oversized all-purpose storage bag, out of sight behind a sofa.” — Why? Because it’s translucent and dust-proof. I protect it from light and it protects the quilts from animals. I keep it slightly unzipped, enough to allow air to circulate. It’s so roomy at 30” x 60” that I situated two medium-size hampers filled with small quilts within one end of it. I say quilt storage, others say Christmas tree storage. 

I used to make myself crazy rounding up my quilts for teaching trips. I’d tucked them away in whatever spaces I could carve out in the apartment. The longer it took me to locate a quilt the more anxious I became that I’d left it behind at a presentation. Nowadays, when I can’t immediately see the quilt I’m after, I reassure myself that it just has be in there. Storage space can be deceiving. My parents drove a station wagon but that didn’t mean all six children were inside of it when they drove away from a rest area. Truth.

I collect antique quilts . They are neither in bag nor on a bed. You guessed it – they sit on a sofa, usually shrouded from the light.

I’m drawn to eccentric quilts especially when the manner in which they were constructed intrigues me. These three came from the Maryland dealer Stella Rubin .

Two delicate pieces are tucked away in the bedroom. One is English paper pieced with intact papers. I uncovered a dust-proof, lightproof, breathable spot for them. They extend flat over a dresser top without wrinkling. I cover them with a table runner.

I wrote a note to remind myself about these hidden quilts and placed it in the Christmas tree bag. Otherwise, out of sight, out of (my) mind.

I’m housing some tops on rungs of white ladders. The ‘ladders’ are lightweight, 23” wide and, because they are powder-coated, I presume won’t degrade fabric on contact. 

Storage is on my mind because I can’t find a certain piece of English fabric. A few years ago I contributed a chunk of it to a friend’s quilt. Because I have a system, I reassure myself there’s got to be a piece of it in the apartment.

When I’m down to a very small piece of a loved fabric I store it its rightful place, just where it would be shelved if it was of a regular size. Such a small piece would stick out like a sore thumb. If it could speak it would say “Anita, don’t think about looking further. I’m merely a remembrance of what’s left.”

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About the author

Anita Grossman Solomon is a full-time quilter, author and Bluprint instructor. Her quilts have been displayed everywhere, from the ceiling of the International Quilt Festival in Houston to an enormous screen high above Times Square in New York City.

In this Bluprint Blog series, she dives into the emotional and often humorous aspects of being a maker. Subscribe to the Bluprint Quilting Blog today to follow along, and enjoy personalized instruction from Anita in her popular Bluprint class Traditional Blocks Made Simple .

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July 18, 2015
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The Fiber of My Being: Keeping House With Creative Quilt Storage Ideas