We'll talk about a few scenarios where your quilt can get lots of display time. Show it off.

So you want to show off your quilt – Part 1 EASY, display it by using it!

You love your quilt, and you want to use it all the time. You want to show it off. So I’m going to throw some ideas out there.

Here’s the but……you wish to keep it in pristine condition. To some degree, you have to decide, do you want to keep it in new condition or do you want to enjoy it. But you can have some cake and eat it too.

You’ll need to be more careful, but the quilt can have a long life, look great, and be loved and used regularly. And the bonus as you use it is you will be able to put it on parade, display it, that is.  So be thoughtful when you use it. Plan its use with intent. It’s always a tricky risk-reward scenario.

We’ll talk about a few scenarios where your quilt can get lots of display time. Show it off. For example, going to the beach with it is fantastic. All your friends and relatives get to see it, but sand, saltwater, and sunscreen can definitely wear on your quilt.

If you have kids, having the quilt in the living room is tricky because you don’t want to constantly watch that they don’t pull and tug at it. But, on the other hand, isn’t it nice to let them cuddle up with it while they watch cartoons on a Saturday morning?

A little extra care can help you achieve both; using it, showing it love, AND preserving your quilt. That’s how I look at most of my quilts. I will not go batty if my grown kids let the dog nap on it with them.

Be prepared to deal with the quilt getting damaged without going crazy about it. Sometimes these things happen. You mend it and keep going. You still love it, it’s still beautiful, it’s still so cozy, maybe even more.

I was gifted a large quilt by my grandmother, handmade by a friend of hers. I used it on cold evenings to snuggle and watch tv. I used it for picnics and more things than I care to remember. Everywhere we went, the quilt went with us.

One day, our German Shepard decided it tasted good. Honestly, I probably had a dried spill on it from some sort of food. There was a 5″ to 6″ hole in it. I patched it as best I could. This was before I started quilting, so the patch wasn’t pretty. But, I still loved and used it. I wouldn’t have done anything differently.

Living room throw

The most common use of a quilt is as a throw in the living room. Anyone who comes over has a chance to see it and admire it. The things to think about are sunlight, eating on it, and roughhousing. Place it where the sun doesn’t hit it directly when it’s just sitting, looking pretty on display.

Try not to eat on it. Not only will there be the risk of stains from spills, but you’ll need to wash it more frequently. Roughhousing is always a risk. Remember that fabrics are not that tough. You can easily break thread or tear the fabric.

When our kids were young, there were a few rules in the living room. No eating, no shoes, no pets on the couch. That was pretty much it. But, of course, if we had a quilt back then, no roughhousing with the quilt would have been added to the list.


Bedspread quiltMaybe this one is the most obvious use. Place it on the bed or fold lengthwise at the foot of the bed for those cold nights. It’s usually safe there. Do I need to say, “Don’t jump on the bed with the quilt on it?”

Depending on your quilt, it can really dress up your bed. It is not only on display but also puts your bed on display. Pretty beds make me feel good when I walk into the bedroom. Here’s a blog post I found that takes you through making your bed up beautifully, Stone Gable’s Layering Bedding Like a Designer Easy Tips and Tricks.


I use one of my quilts for a bedspread on our RV bed. I get to see it every time we are out camping. I love that. When I put things on top of it that could snag or heavy things, I place a towel on the quilt, then the item on top to not tear threads or fabric or stain. Otherwise, it’s good to go. I’ve washed it twice in the last 3-4 years.


Picnic on a quiltAnother everyday use, a picnic blanket. Talk about risk, food everywhere. Remember, risk-reward. Using a quilt for a picnic adds to the romantic feeling of a picnic. You should consider placing a ground cloth down first before you put your quilt down. Do you put a towel under the area you are eating? Decisions? Also, be careful what you lay the quilt on. Make sure there aren’t any rocks or branches under the quilt that can tear it.

I have a jean quilt that I use for picnics. You could make a quilt out of more durable fabrics for events like picnics or beach use. I won’t fret over stains on mine because the jean material came from our kids’ jeans, and I’m sure there were stains on them already.

I once looked at a duck cloth material for the back of a quilt explicitly designed for picnics. The shop attendant looked at me very strangely, and I laughed, telling her what it was for. She still wasn’t on board. I was ok with that because I know my theory works.

Tablecloth Display

I’ve seen quilts used as tablecloths at large gatherings. It makes a beautiful backdrop to all the food on display. Unfortunately, it also exposes the quilt to food stains. You could put a transparent plastic sheet over the quilt. Does that remind you of Grandma’s table, lol? It may detract a little from the quilt.


Quilt on a hammockTake the quilt on a hike in the late fall or early spring. Hang a hammock when you break near a river. How does that scene sound? It’s a great way to take a nap after some strenuous hiking. Take care to not let the quilt fall on the ground or in the water. You may sweat on it, though. If you air the quilt out when you get home, there shouldn’t be a smell to it, and you won’t need to wash it.

Or heck, hang the hammock in the backyard. What a wonderful nap or comfy nest you can make to curl up and read. That sounds kind of romantic too, a late afternoon spring day, a book, hammock, quilt, and you! But, hmm, wait, we’re losing the intent, showing off your quilt, back to other ideas.


Quilt on the beachTake a quilt to the beach. Ok, this is pretty risky if you are trying to preserve your quilt. Try to lay it on dry sand. Think about putting towels on top of it. Don’t put sunscreen on while sitting on the quilt. Try not to get it wet. And for multiple reasons, don’t lay it on rocks or any jagged objects.

Sports game

Take the quilt to a football or baseball game. As I think about what risks it is exposed to here, I think of food but mostly tearing. Also, it can get snagged on the stadium benching. If the benches are wood, be extra careful. Consider also checking the weather, if it’s going to rain, it may not be a good idea to take it with you.

I’ve taken a quilt to a college baseball game before. It was a lifesaver. And our team spirit was definitely on display because the quilt was themed after that university. It was fun to take it out, and we stayed warm while others looked very cold. The quilt was admired by nearby fans because it kept us warm and because we had team spirit.

Definitely Don’t

One thing I would definitely warn against is taking it to the pool. Definitely do not take it to layout on the pool deck. The chemicals will bleach the quilt and maybe eat at it.

All of this is common sense. You’ll be ok with some things and not with others, and everyone will think differently about situations. You’ll wash it more but believe it is worth it. I have a few other blog posts that may help you think about washing and getting stains out. Check out my blog post, “The worst thing you could do to a quit is wash it,” on washing to minimize the impact on the quilt. If you have stains to deal with, check out my blog post, “Hate stains on your quilts: check out these 6 solutions.”

The important thing is, enjoy your quilt. Let it keep you warm on the outside and on the inside. Share your memories in your quilt with your friends and family. And let it make new memories with you.

Snuggle Up!

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