March is National Quilting Month

March is a  great time of year to quilt. It’s usually too early to do much gardening, and there’s still snow (most years, anyhow). But if you have a stash, it’s a great time to pick up old projects or start up a new one. After all, there’s still time before spring sets in (normally).

Clean Up/Out Your Stash

If you don’t feel like starting a new quilt, why not clean your quilt stash? Many avid quilters (and textile artists) have stashes the size of Dallas (and just as many reasons why they bought that piece back in 1986 and excuses why they still haven’t used it.

If you are at that stage where you’d never be able to use all that fabric in two more lifetimes, consider doing something good with it. Check your area to see if there is any program where someone is making quilts for veterans, nursing home or hospital patients or others in need. Those quilters or support groups are often prolific and use fabric like water on a hot summer day. It will make you feel good knowing it went to a good cause.

Have a stash party — and surprise everyone that comes with a small packet of goodies.

Offer it to the schools or a sewing teacher to use in demonstrations or to help those who are just learning to sew.

Watch for Insects

Make sure that you take the opportunity when you are cleaning to dust open shelves to avoid attracting insects. Avoid insect sprays (unless all fabric has been moved out of the area); but do put sticky traps in corners or along baseboards. Museums use them all the time just to make sure they know what is crawling around and about in the darker recesses.

Rethink your Storage

If you have stacks of folded quilts (or textiles) on shelves or in closets, chests, drawers, remove them and refold them a different direction to avoid developing permanent creases. Consider hanging them on hangers or long wooden rods covered in clean cotton muslin or percale. (An old clean sheet works well.) You can convert a small closet with expandable shower curtain rods placed at several heights and depths to accommodate your particular quilts.

Take Care with Light

As much as we need really good lighting to see to quilt, once a quilt is made, it needs a lot less. A quilt does not need to be in direct light to start fading from sunlight or indoor lighting. It’s a good idea to change out hanging quilts every two months to avoid problems.

All this just gives you a chance to admire all that work you’ve done — and maybe gives you the incentive to bring out others you’d almost forgotten about.