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How to Take a Quilt on a Hike (and Care for It Afterwards)

How to Take a Quilt on a Hike (and Care for It Afterwards)

Combining hiking with quilt photography is a such a fun way to enjoy nature while showing off your beautiful quilts. Not to mention taking a quilt on a hike can provide some pretty unique photo opportunities. I understand the thought of taking a quilt into the wild can be a little anxiety-inducing. Don’t worry Scout. This guide will help you plan (and execute) a hike with your quilt, all while making sure it stays in great condition throughout the journey. If you haven’t already, be sure to read “How to Plan a Successful Hike”.

Prepare Your Quilt for the Hike

Choose the Right Quilt

When deciding which quilt to take on your hike, opt for a smaller quilt. Remember — you’ll be carrying this quilt, so a smaller quilt will be more manageable and easier to transport. I also wouldn’t suggest bringing a family heirloom or anything delicate. Pick a quilt that can stand up to a bit of dirt.

Pack the Quilt

To minimize wrinkles and save space, use proper folding and rolling techniques. I love this quick tutorial from Margaret Leuwen Quilting. I would also suggest you place the quilt in a protective cover or bag to keep it clean and dry during the hike. This extra layer of protection will be especially useful if the weather turns wet or muddy.

Essential Accessories

If you’re hiking by yourself, you may want to bring some hanging clips or other tools to assist in staging your quilt photo. You can also pack a small tripod for your phone to take a photo of yourself holding the quilt.

Transporting the Quilt

Use a Suitable Backpack

Choose a backpack with enough space and compartments to accommodate the quilt plus your other hiking essentials, like water, snacks and extra clothing layers.

Protect the Quilt from the Elements

For little added security, use a waterproof bag or dry sack to protect the quilt from moisture. You an also pack the quilt in the middle of the backpack to provide extra cushioning and protection from the elements.

Safety Considerations

This one can be easy to overlook, but take care to not pack any sharp objects in your backpack that could damage the quilt. Also, keep the quilt away from food and drinks by using separate compartments or bags to store your snacks.

Photographing the Quilt on the Hike

Pick the Perfect Spot

When on a hiking trail, it’s easy to find scenic locations for quilt photography. Look for areas with beautiful backdrops and good lighting. You can brush up on outdoor quilt photography basics with the article Quilt Photography with a Smartphone.

Set Up the Quilt

The quickest and easiest photo to take is one with a friend holding the quilt up. But, don’t be afraid to get creative! You can drape the quilt over a rock or bench, or hang it between two trees. Use the natural light to capture the details of your quilt, like the quilting or label.

Snap Some Photos

Remember, natural light is best. If you’re able, take advantage of the golden hours (shortly after sunrise and before sunset). These times are ideal for soft, warm lighting. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to capture the quilt in the best possible way.

Post-Hike Quilt Care

Repair Any Damage

After the hike, inspect the quilt for any damage. Hopefully your quilt is unscathed. But in case it experienced a little wear and tear on it’s journey, make any needed repairs before cleaning.

Wash and Dry the Quilt

If your quilt needs to be cleaned following your hike, decide between spot cleaning and full washing. When machine washing, I prefer to use gentle detergents and cold water on a gentle cycle. Suzy Quilts has a great blog post “How to Wash and Care for a Quilt”. Decide between air drying and machine drying based on your quilt’s material. If using a dryer, opt for a low heat setting. I like to dry mine on the delicate cycle until mostly dry and then hang to finish drying. Just make sure the quilt is completely dry before storing to prevent mildew.

Store

Properly fold and store the quilt to maintain its quality. Use breathable storage bags to prevent moisture buildup. Store the quilt in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and deterioration.

Shop Badges

Don’t forget to order your Hike for Quilt Photos badge! Badges are available as embroidered patches and vinyl stickers.

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