Where Do You Keep All Your Quilts?

If you’re a quilter like me, and haven’t managed to sell or give away all the quilts you’ve made, there’s a stockpile somewhere in your home. Where do you keep your quilts?

There are quilts on my walls and my floors,
On beds and tucked into drawers.
Still I will make them
Though my offspring won’t take them.
They already have quilts galore!

About a month ago I asked my children if anyone wanted a Christmas quilt, not this year, but next year. Crickets. No one even answered. Well, okay, I guess the answer is “no.” Each of the grandchildren has at least two quilts, and for various reasons, some have more than that. The grown-ups apparently have as many as they want, too, including some table runners and other decorative small items. Christmas stockings? Those are all made, at least until the new baby is born next year.

So I store quilts. I have a bunch on walls, some favorites of Jim’s and mine. Most of the rest are laid flat on a bed downstairs. Of course, when someone comes to stay the night, the quilts all get folded up and moved! It’s quite the process and feels like moving so many dead bodies from one room to another.

There is one quilt I’m about to send off to a long-time friend. Long-time, 25 years since we met, and though we haven’t lived in the same community for most of that time, we’ve stayed in touch.

He grew up in New Mexico, and after time in both Iowa and North Carolina, he and his wife recently moved back to New Mexico. I made this quilt in 2014, prior to visiting the state for the first time. It’s called “Southwestern Sun.” It’s about 60″ square.

With bars, flying geese, and hourglasses, the construction was very simple. Even the center block is just a fancy nine-patch. The apparent complexity is from the use of color and value. For example, alternating light orange and dark rusty orange in the final border gives a sense of three-dimensionality. The geese in multiple directions provide a sense of movement.

In some of my medallions all the corners are different and only relate to their respective borders. In this one they are patterned, drawing the eye outward with the repetition, alternating plain rust squares and two other, more complex blocks. Repeating with alternating designs creates a rhythm.

Another thing to note is the use of multiple fabrics of the same colors. There are several of each light orange, rusty orange, dark green, lighter green, and blue. If you use at least two of any color, you have invited another and might as well use it. When you do, you make the quilt more interesting, because there is more to look at. All of the fabrics except the back were from my stash.

At the time I felt like the colors were very strong. Since then my palette has become more saturated, so this doesn’t seem unusual to me any more.

Once this is gone, I’ll still have plenty of quilts to enjoy. At this time of year we bring Jim’s quilt up to use on the couch. Tiny whole-cloth lapquilts, made while practicing machine-quilting, are ready at our kitchen table to keep us warm there. Quilted placemats take their turns on the table.

Where do you keep your quilts? Do you use them? Do you give them away or sell them? Tell us in comments. 



17 thoughts on “Where Do You Keep All Your Quilts?

  1. KerryCan

    As you know, I work slowly and haven’t finished that many quilts. And that’s just as well since no one in the family seems to want them. I have one on a wall. I can’t put them on the beds because of our cats. So, they get folded up and stuck in an armoire. Honestly, I think this is one reason I am leaning toward weaving these days–it’s easier to give the product away and to store what’s left.

  2. KrisR

    I have the same problem. Everyone in my family has a minimum of 1 quilt – some of them several. Friends too. Even the gal who does my pedicures received one this year! And charity quilts…I’m sure I’m well on the way to 50 smaller charity quilts – plus Aussie Hero blocks on a monthly basis. And some quilts, well, they just aren’t appropriate for charity. I struggle to decide if, when I die, do I want my quilts shipped back to family (in the USA) or do I just want them taken to Op Shops or given to the homeless? I also struggle with continuing to quilt…why do I continue to quilt when I have no need for another quilt and no one that needs/wants another quilt? And, the quilts I want to make are unusual/artsy/bat-shit-crazy designs. Questions I have yet to answer.

  3. snarkyquilter

    Oh my, the dark side of prolific quilt making. I will always have to have under bed storage, so I can tuck my quilts away in boxes and wrapped on pool noodles. Then, there’s the big black trunk and a small dresser. I’ve been generous with quilted gifts, most recently 15 to a cousin. Others have gone to fund raising efforts. Still others decorate my house. My chief way to deal with the abundance is to make small quilts. They take up less space.

  4. Mercedes

    Honestly, this is why I don’t mind the “will you make me a quilt” question. I will make so many quilts in my life time, and I can’t keep them all! Plus, I participate in many group challenges and block exchanges that produce quilts that were fun to make, but may not be my style. So to get back to the question, I give to family (I have a very large one), friends, friends of family members, co-workers, schools & other charities for raffle quilts.

  5. Allison Reid

    Your bright quilt is lovely – even better for having a destination where it can be used and appreciated. I have too many quilts and runners stacked on a spare bed – their presence is weighing on me and about to become a nuisance as the house fills up with guests over Christmas.I have tried to sell them (the quilts, not the guests!) but despite being admired they haven’t been bought. Maybe in the New Year I will parcel them up and send them as charity quilts… Although the charity quilts aren’t such a big thing in the UK as compared to the US.

  6. mgjbtx

    At this point I don’t have enough finished to have a storage problem.. although I have more than enough WIP’s that it could be a problem in the future!
    I think that’s why I like making seasonal quilts. I can rotate them out and keep my decor feeling fresh without an over-abundance of quilts!

  7. katechiconi

    I have one on our bed, one on the wall, one on the spare bed, a couple in the caravan. Generally, I make them to give. I still have family who don’t have one (large family….), I have charities who want them, I have friends who still want them. And very occasionally, I make them just for myself. Those quilts end up on beds, over chairs (ready to be grabbed when the aircon is too chilly for me but perfect for the Husband), that sort of thing. I don’t have a special place or a special way of storing them.

  8. Linda

    Ah yes, what a lovely problem to have! All my family have one or three quilts, and I gift them to special friends, and mums having babies always love getting a quilt. Other quilts stay here for a while where I can enjoy them, and then around this time of the year I often sort through them and donate them to Hospice. And other quilts are ‘keepers’, ones that I have used lots of special fabrics with memories included.

  9. audrey

    It really is a lovely problem.:) I keep trying to give away just enough quilts that we don’t get totally overrun with quilts!

  10. jmn

    Since I began making quilts I have made ~ 75. I have three quilts which I have draped over furniture which I use myself to curl up with a book or to snooze. Baby quilts have been given away because they were made for specific new children. I have given a quilt to friends who live nearby. I have dropped off a quilt to friends when I’ve travelled and stayed overnight. I’ve mailed quilts to other friends. My sisters and niece have just taken an interest in my work and each now has one quilt. That leaves my spare room/sewing closet with 29 large throw size quilts folded and hanging on hangers. I know they shouldn’t be folded but I have nowhere else to put them. Four of those are new quilts which will be shown in an exhibit next July (along with four more that haven’t yet been made). That doesn’t include the wall art quilts – five are hanging in my apartment. I have given away three, the rest (12) are in a pile on a shelf in that same closet closet. I find the quilts and the wall art hard to part with – but I need to find recipients for more because I need space to hang the new works still waiting to be made!

  11. Isabella

    I give mine away when I see someone who could use one and, most importantly, will appreciate one. Mostly though I keep them. When I have house guests, even if it is just my grandsons, they like to choose which quilt they will sleep beneath. Great post Melanie.

  12. Kerry

    I haven’t made enough yet! So far family have them, and we have one on our bed. Two are being used as lap quilts in the living room. I have 3 waiting to be quilted but not stretched, in bags with their backings and batting ready to go.

    Love the quilt – to me, the fabrics do radiate warmth, possibly because they are so rich. Gorgeous.

    Thought of you today – at Exeter Christmas market, in the grounds of the cathedral, was a wood craft stall with lots of carvings of the Green Man! LOL.

  13. tierneycreates

    I so reading your posts Melanie (and seeing your gorgeous quilts – wow on that one!) and the questions you pose! I have given a lot of quilts away but I have kept a lot too. I have quilts on many of the walls in my small house. I also have multiple quilts strew about our two small sofas and 2 overstuffed chairs. The rest I keep in storage in my closet. I have them folded and protected in pillowcases and or bags. I also keep cedar on hand to protect from moths.
    That quilt for your longtime friend is so awesome – I LOVE the palette!!!

  14. piecefulwendy

    Funny, I was just wondering about this the other day. I was thinking about what to do with my quilts that are stacked on chairs, hanging on walls, waiting for a mini quilt wall. I thought of putting the large ones on the guest bed, but thought against it, because of moving them when someone came to stay. I have some mini stored in a big plastic tub, and that does and doesn’t work. It’s a pain to pull it out. Hmm. Maybe a bigger house – or not!


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