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How to Wash Your Quilts

Your quilt is finished, bound, and ready to be used and enjoyed! But what happens if it gets dirty? Learn how I wash my quilts in this quilting tutorial:

Don't forget to check out Sheri's last walking foot quilting tutorial on the Leaf Peepers Quilt. Click here to check out her tutorial.

How to Wash a Quilt

As you can see in this quilting tutorial, I don’t make a fuss over washing my quilts. I do take my time loading washer and wrapping the quilt around the center agitator in my top loading washer to make sure the quilt is nicely balanced in the machine.

Then I throw in my favorite soap and set a regular wash cycle. Within 30 minutes or so, the quilt is washed and I throw it into the dryer for a quick tumble and then it’s ready to use once more.

How to Wash Your Quilts

What Makes Washing Easy

Of course, you might be feeling a lot more stress and worry over washing your quilts if you don’t prewash your fabric. By washing your fabric before cutting it up, you’re ensuring the fabrics are 100% color safe and the different colors will not bleed to different areas of the quilt.

Learn how I washed and prepared the fabrics for this Leaf Peepers quilt in this tutorial:

Yes, washing your fabrics is an extra step and it will take a bit more time to starch and press it flat. However, the time you spend at the very beginning will pay off big at the end because you’ll never have to worry about how you wash your quilt when it’s finished.

Many quilters swear by using multiple dye grabbers in the washer with a finished quilt. Yes, this can work in a pinch, but what happens if you forget to use dye grabbers once or, worse, forget the quilt and leave it laying wet in the washer for a few hours?

I know from experience how frustrating bleeding dyes can be. The blue fabrics in my very first quilt bleed over the white background and I knew from that first project, that would be the last time bleeding dyes ever ruined one of my quilts.

How to Wash a Wall Hanging Quilt

How I washed the Leaf Peepers Quilt in this video is how I treat all my cuddly quilts – bed quilts, throws on the couch, and table cloths. Wall hanging / art quilts are a different story. Here’s how I wash my wall hanging quilts:

  1. Soak the quilt in lukewarm water in the bathtub.
  2. Throw the quilt in the washer to spin out the excess water.
  3. Stretch out the quilt on a table or polystyrene boards and pin it straight and square. This step ensures the quilt will hang beautifully on the wall.
  4. Set up fans and let the quilt dry overnight.

I don’t wash my wall hanging quilts very often, but I still like to be able to wash them if I want to. Generally these quilts don’t get dirty, but they do tend to get dusty. Twice a year, when you’re dusting your ceiling fans, take down your wall hangings and roll off the dust using a lint roller or damp washcloth.

As you can see, washing your quilts doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful! So long as you prewash your fabric before cutting, the care of your finished quilt will not be a challenge.

I hope you enjoyed quilting along with Sheri and I in the Leaf Peepers Quilt Along! Click here to find the Leaf Peepers Quilt Pattern and make your own beautiful autumn quilt.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


I love your videos and your quilting advice. Thanks!!!!!


I regularly put my quilts in the dryer as Susan K does above. I also do this for blankets, throw pillows, bed pillows, clothes I haven’t worn in a while. If you want to kill the dust mites, use a hotter dryer than air fluff.


For wallhangings I put them in the dryer on air dry for 20 minutes. This gets the dust out

Susan K,

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