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  1. #1
    deedum is offline Senior Member
    Binding Belle

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    Default cedar chest and quilts

    I would love to store some quilts in my cedar chest, but I am not sure if it is safe with the cedar. Any thoughts on this? Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    K. McEuen's Avatar K. McEuen is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: cedar chest and quilts

    I've read/heard that the oils in cedar can stain your quilts. That said, my grandma kept hers in her cedar chest and my mom kept some in hers. I know Grandma's cedar chest was old, Mom's was one that my dad had made, with composite cedar inside. Neither one had that strong cedar smell and nothing ever happened to any of the quilts stored inside. I know my mom always had an old blanket laying on the bottom before she put anything inside.
    K is for Karen

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  3. #3
    deedum is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: cedar chest and quilts

    Thanks Karen. A blanket in the bottom would be a good idea.

  4. #4
    Sandy Navas's Avatar Sandy Navas is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: cedar chest and quilts

    Using (and even viewing) a quilt shortens its life to some degree (light causes irreversible damage), but locking a quilt away in dark climate-controlled storage pretty much eliminates any chance to enjoy it, and most quilters want their work to be enjoyed.
    The International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska (Lincoln) houses one of the world's great quilt collections in a state-of-the-art facility, and publishes guidelines for the serious preservationist (see the link below).
    Some more 'middle of the road' suggestions I've heard from appraisers and conservators include:
    - NEVER use plastics
    - handle the textiles wearing gloves, or at least with freshly washed hands
    - pad any folds in quilts with old well-washed cotton t-shirts (avoid ones with plastic-y printing on them), sheets or pillowcases, or even stockings/pantyhose with the elastic removed, and refold the quilts several times a year
    - better yet, lay the quilts out flat on top of the sheet-covered box springs of a guest bed, then cover with another clean sheet and replace the mattress
    - protect the quilt from any strong light - fluorescent, halogen, sunlight, and others can produce UV which damages fibers
    - keep temperature and humidity as constant as possible
    - if you use the quilt on a bed, do so only for limited periods and then store for a while
    Many quilt experts feel that the most important thing you can do for your quilts is to document them - photograph them (limitedly, as flash can damage quilts, too) and (using archivally-safe pens like Pigma) write labels on washed muslin to sew to your quilts' backs stating how and when you got them, as well as who made them and when. It's as important to preserve the history as to preserve the quilt.
    Good luck - you have a wonderful treasure! Source(s):

    http://www.quiltstudy.org/about_us/quest…

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  5. #5
    K. McEuen's Avatar K. McEuen is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: cedar chest and quilts

    Hey, they said nothing about letting or not letting dogs and cats on them, so it must be okay!
    K is for Karen

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  6. #6
    Sandy Navas's Avatar Sandy Navas is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: cedar chest and quilts

    Or anything about wayward SILs using them under their truck while changing oil . . . BULLETS FLYING!!

    Some people try to turn back their odometers.
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  7. #7
    Jean Sewing Machine's Avatar Jean Sewing Machine is online now Senior Member
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    Default Re: cedar chest and quilts

    Isn't that why cedar chests were invented--to hold a bride's dowry which I'm sure contained quilts and other linens? I have my MIL's dowry cedar chest, with her wedding dress, gloves and hat in it (from 1938). Everything in it is beautifully preserved. I also have my own bedroom furniture that has drawers made of cedar, no problems there on my precious t-shirts and jeans! LOL! I also have a cedar closet with pressed cedar lined walls, there is no overwhelming odor of cedar in my house, but I'm glad I have the protection of cedar.

  8. #8
    Mchelem is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: cedar chest and quilts

    The purpose of the cedar chest was to store the "dowry" items without the worry of moths or other bugs, which don't like the smell of cedar. I've always wrapped anything I put in my cedar chest in tissue paper or clear plastic, to keep any stains from getting on the fabrics.

    I know they make cedar chips, cedar balls, cedar blocks and cedar boards. I have cedar balls in my chest of drawers with my items I don't wear very often, and have even slipped them into shoes that don't get worn as often.
    Last edited by Mchelem; May 9th, 2013 at 01:38 AM.
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  9. #9
    bakermom is online now Senior Member
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    Default Re: cedar chest and quilts

    I've heard it's not the best way but my experience says different.
    My mom always stored "special" things in her cedar chest. Each of us kids has a quilt from our grandmother as well as our baptism clothes. they were all stored for many, many years in that chest. They are quite fine(and some are still stored in my cedar chest)

  10. #10
    rebeccas-sewing's Avatar rebeccas-sewing is online now Senior Member
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    Default Re: cedar chest and quilts

    I haven't read everyone's comments so this might be a repeat. If you're concerned and certainly I understand why, You might consider buying some muslin and make a big pillowcase or bag for the quilt. I'm told that wood can stain fabrics. If you don't want to make something you could just buy some muslin and wrap the quilt in it.
    Rebecca in Baarn, Netherlands by way of Orange County, CA.

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