Fold, display, and love your heirloom quilts with this guide! Come on a tour with me of our Coastal Maine and Vermont homes filled with handmade family quilts.

A cozy bed in a bedroom with a beautifully decorated quilt on it.
Heirloom quilt in attic bedroom.

What is a Heirloom Quilt?

An heirloom quilt is a special type of quilt that is passed down through generations within a family. It holds sentimental value and is often treasured as a family heirloom. These quilts are typically handcrafted with meticulous attention to detail and are made to be durable and long-lasting.

Heirloom Quilt displayed on Bed in bedroom.
Guest bedroom quilt in Vermont.

Heirloom quilts are more than just blankets; they are tangible representations of family heritage and the skill of the quilters who created them. They embody the love, creativity, and craftsmanship of past generations, making them truly special and cherished pieces of family history.

Heirloom Quilt Pink and White on Sleigh Bed.
Heirloom quilt in Vermont guest bedroom.

My mother loved making quilts in her later years. I always looked forward to what she would come up with next. All different colors, patterns, and sizes. She wasn’t an expert by any means, but today, her quilts are my treasured family heirlooms.

Heirloom Quilts in the Attic

On a recent rummage trip to our inherited Maine home’s attic, I discovered an old trunk that was filled with heirloom quilts along with a few hand-knit blankets that my mother had stowed away that surely dated back to her mother, my grandmother.

This inspired me to gather up all my mother’s handmade quilts to fold and display in our downstairs guest bedroom, with all their tears, wrinkles, and tatters.

There was something about these quilts, too. Ella, our Bernese Mountain Dog, was completely fixated on the quilts while I was folding and decorating with them. I even found her later roaming around the trunk in the attic, as you can see above.

This turned out to be the perfect cozy home decorating project, too, as we head into the winter months.

How Not to Fold an Heirloom Quilt

Do you have a collection of quilts that you’ve always wanted to display? Do you know how to fold a quilt so it looks pretty for display?

Many people think that you fold a quilt as you would a blanket, me included. But they didn’t look right folded this way. Much too cumbersome and bulky.

How not to fold quilts like blankets on dresser.

To properly care for a quilt and prevent damage, it is important to know how not to fold a quilt. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. Avoid folding along the same lines repeatedly: Folding a quilt along the same lines over time can lead to permanent creases and weaken the fabric. It is best to change the folding pattern each time you store or transport the quilt.
  2. Do not fold the quilt tightly: Folding a quilt too tightly can put unnecessary stress on the fabric and seams, leading to potential damage over time. Allow some room for the quilt to breathe and avoid excessive compression.
  3. Avoid folding on sharp edges or corners: Folding a quilt on sharp edges or corners can cause creases and wear out those areas faster. Instead, try to fold the quilt on softer curves or rounded edges.
  4. Do not fold a quilt when it is dirty or damp: Folding a quilt when it is dirty or damp can lead to mold or mildew growth. Make sure the quilt is clean and completely dry before folding and storing it.
  5. Avoid folding a quilt for extended periods: If possible, avoid folding a quilt for long periods of time, as it can cause permanent creasing. If you need to store a quilt, consider rolling it instead of folding to minimize stress on the fabric.
  6. Do not store a quilt in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures: Exposure to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures can fade and weaken the fabric of a quilt. Store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to preserve its quality.
  7. Do not store a quilt in plastic bags: Storing a quilt in plastic bags can trap moisture and promote the growth of mold and mildew. Instead, use a clean, breathable fabric bag or wrap the quilt in acid-free tissue paper for protection.

By following these guidelines, you can help preserve the beauty and integrity of your quilt for years to come.

Heirloom quilt on bed in coastal bedroom.

How to Fold Heirloom Quilts

I learned how to properly fold my heirloom quilts by watching homeowner Kimberly Kaufman, who teaches an easy way to fold your quilts for display! Sponsored by Country Sampler Magazine.

You may see and read more of our Coastal Maine Home’s story also featured in Country Samplers 2024 Spring issue.

Country Sampler Magazine Maine Home Feature

This folding technique is amazing, friends! I laid out each of my mother’s heirloom quilts on our dining room table, and it took about five minutes to fold each quilt. Super easy.

Folded Quilts on Coastal vintage style colorful guest bedroom.

How to Display Heirloom Quilts

Displaying heirloom quilts can be a wonderful way to showcase their beauty and preserve their legacy. Here are several tips on how to display heirloom quilts:

  1. Choose a suitable location: Select a location in your home that is free from direct sunlight, excessive humidity, and temperature fluctuations. Avoid areas near windows or heating/cooling vents, as these can damage the quilt over time.
  2. Use a quilt rack or hanger: Invest in a quilt rack or hanger specifically designed for displaying quilts. These racks allow you to hang the quilt vertically so that it is fully visible. Make sure the rack is sturdy enough to support the weight of the quilt.
  3. Consider a quilt ladder: A quilt ladder is another option for displaying multiple quilts. It provides a decorative and functional way to showcase several quilts at once. Simply drape the quilts over the rungs of the ladder, making sure they are evenly displayed.
  4. Wall mounting: If you prefer to hang the quilt on the wall, use a quilt sleeve or fabric loops attached to the back of the quilt. This method allows the quilt to hang flat against the wall without putting stress on the fabric. Use a hanging system that is appropriate for the weight and size of the quilt.
  5. Rotate your display: To prevent prolonged exposure to light and minimize wear, consider rotating the displayed quilts every few months. This allows you to enjoy different quilts and ensures that each quilt gets equal time on display.
  6. Keep quilts clean: Regularly clean the quilts according to their specific care instructions to maintain their appearance and prevent dirt or dust buildup. Avoid using harsh chemicals or excessive agitation that can damage the fabric.

My mother’s heirloom quilts are now folded and displayed beautifully on a vintage dresser in the home’s guest bedroom.

Display of folded vintage quilts on bedroom dresser.

You may also enjoy the post, Coastal Bedding Ideas For Your Beach House.

These heirloom quilts are in all their glory. Not perfect, not professionally made, and definitely tattered. But very sentimental.

And who knows, maybe I’ll find a pie cabinet to display the quilts in, like Kimberly’s…

Heirloom homemade quilts folded and gathered on a bedroom dresser.

With these heirloom quilts all being different sizes, I arranged them bottom-up from large to small.

I’m also using two additional heirloom quilts on this guest bed and another quilt on our master bed.

Display of folded vintage heirloom quilts on bed and bedroom dresser.

I really believe in enjoying our family heirlooms and not just keeping them on display.

See more of this small guest bedroom over the years in this Small Cottage Guest Bedroom, Vintage, and Delightful post.

Quilts folded and displayed on bedroom dresser in vintage style small bedroom
Vintage Braided Rug Book

You may also enjoy the Vintage Braiding Rug Stand | A Mother’s Day Reflection post with all of my mother’s handmade braided rugs.

Embroidery Hoop Quilt Hanger

Here’s another simple heirloom quilt display tip for you. Fan a quilt or blanket and hang it through an embroidery hoop. I used the second smallest one in this package to hang this white vintage blanket on the back of our guest bedroom closet door.

Embroidery Hoops

Simply lay out your blanket, quilt, or towel and fan the top of it. Then, hang the heirloom quilt into the hoop and fan it all out. Isn’t this such a unique and simple idea to hang an heirloom quilt?

I think you may enjoy the post, 3 Wallpaper Bedroom Designs Emblematic of a Cozy Vermont Inn from our home in Vermont, too!

Remember, heirloom quilts are delicate and should be handled with care. By following these tips, you can proudly fold and display your heirloom quilts and share their beauty with others while preserving their integrity for generations to come.

Bernese Mountain Dog on bed with Display of Folded Quilts.
And Ella still overseeing the heirloom quilts today.

I’m so glad you dropped by, and if you are new to my blog, welcome! I hope you enjoyed your visit with us here today at our Home in Coastal Maine.

Be sure to also check out our Home in Vermont, too, where we spend winters enjoying the coziness of home in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

How to Fold and Display Heirloom Quilts

I’ve created the above custom pin just for this post!  Hearing from you makes my day, and your comments mean so much to me! Please join me on Instagram & Pinterest to see more!

Ann signature black

Shop This Post | Start Your Own Heirloom Quilt Collection Today

This post may contain affiliate links, which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

Lifestyle of Love Blog Hop

Don’t stop here! Check out some of the other gals joining me below in sharing their heirloom quilt decorating ideas too. There’s so much inspiration!

A Lifestyle of Love blog hop hosted by my friend Cindy over at County Road 407.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Mis e lain e ous says:

    Treasure your quilts, care properly for them. I lost my grandmother’s quilt, 11 of my Mother’s, one a birthday gift from a friend and one of mine when my house burned to the ground. I got a call at work my home was on fire, by the time I got there everything was consumed. The first I missed my quilts, second photos, my list was endless. I hadn’t been able to keep up with insurance. Working as a nurses assistant/caregiver barely paid the bills. My quilts were so precious to me, sentimental, oh, the memories, decor, not to mention how appreciated in the winter. Treasure and care for your quilts. Learn to care properly for them be thankful, appreciate them.Now I have none to enjoy or care for. Shatters my 💜.

    1. I treasure the quilts for sure and use them daily too. I’m sorry you lost yours, heartbreaking for sure! Thanks for dropping by!

  2. Cynthia Cross says:

    Thank you for this blog. I have many quilts and so many i can’t adequately display them all at once.
    I do have a beautiful little lap quilt we have hung above the window in our bedroom.
    I love the way the sun shines thru it making it look like stain glass. I dont want to take it down but I dont want it to fade either. I appreciate all of the useful information.
    Guess I have to make a decision about taking it down.

  3. Thanks for the wonderful tips, Ann! Lucky you that you have such a wonderful collection of your mom’s quilts. And so perfectly colored for your decor! Love the creative embroidery hoop idea, too; will have to give that a try somewhere.

  4. I had no idea I shouldn’t crease them forever. I’ll have to make sure and check them more often. Love your entire collection and how exciting to have so many of your moms! I wish I had more from family members but none of them quilted. I’m not even sure my mother even has a single quilt. Anyway, thanks for joining us and enjoy those lovely pieces that are so beautifully displayed in your home.

    1. Thanks so much Cindy, I’m sooo lucky to have this collection for sure. I treasure every one. Thanks for having me join you Cindy!

  5. You have the most beautiful quilts, Ann! And how special that they are treasured family heirlooms. I can never figure out how to fold mine. Can’t wait to go practice.Thanks for sharing your tips. Hi Ella!

  6. This is the first time I have seen your blog and truly enjoyed your video on how to properly fold a quilt. I do not have many and some were made by my mother who had limited vision. Even so, they are special! Thank you!

    1. I’m so happy to hear this Kathie💚❤️💙

  7. The quilts are pretty and love them displayed, I know they must be a heartfelt reminder of your mother when you see them. Well…Ella is just the sweetest girl. I am totally a sucker for photos that include the beautiful furry family members.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Jillian❤️❤️

  8. Lori houseonwren says:

    Very interesting blog post Ann! Loved the tik tok video with Ella. Your mother left you so many wonderful treasures. It is so nice to see you incorporating them into your home.

  9. I loved watching how to fold a quilt. There is nothing as beautiful as looking at a quilt and all the work that went into it. Such works of art and love.

    1. Wasn’t that so refreshing? I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

  10. So, I just refolded all of my family quilts and they look too nice folded the same size in my antique cabinet. Thanks for sharing all of your beautiful quilts!!

    1. I’m so happy to hear this Teresa. Have a great weekend!

  11. Love the display of your heirloom quilts, first let me say, your Mom was AMAZING! She sounds like a powerhouse, her energy, lives on in you! You have taken up where she left off, and are building your own legacy! Everything you do, is heartfelt, and you always go the extra mile to make your house, a cozy wonderful home! Your Mom & Dad would be proud❤️
    Always a fan,

    1. Oh Deb that’s just the nicest thing to say. Thank you my friend❤️💜💚💙

  12. Mary Beth says:

    Very interesting! I had no idea that quilts were folded this way. I’m looking forward to displaying mine.

    1. I didn’t either😂 It made all the difference. You’ll love folding yours up I’m sure of it❤️💚💜