WWQP Bulletin Board

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Washing an old Quilt

Hi, Laura, yes the back of your quilt is fun! I'm guessing the fabrics are from the 1950s and earlier. This is a lovely string quilt (strips of fabric sewn into a block) and has a wonderful array of fabrics. Very lovely. And very fun.

As for washing...in my first "real" quilt I used a vintage cotton batt that had been given to me my an elderly neighbor. This was in the 1960s and the batt was old THEN! This was not the nice glazed cotton batt we have today, nor even the ones I could have purchased in 1960. The batt was simply cotton layed out in a rather thick layer between sheets of paper which, of course, you removed when you sandwiched the loose cotton between top and bottom before quilting. The thickness reminds me of your quilt. The cotton was a "natural" color, meaning it was not WHITE. When the quilt was later very carefully washed, the dirty color of the cotton dirtied the yellow/white fabric of the quilt.

Therefore, I would suggest that you undo a seam somewhere and take a look at what is inside before you ever decide to wash.

I agree with Judy in Ohio, however. If the quilt is not "stinky" (some old quilts are!), you might consider not washing it.

If you must wash it, do so gently. The old bathtub method will work fine, although this is going to be a very heavy quilt when wet.

This is not a delicate quilt (no fancy stitching, no applique, no antique fabric falling to pieces, etc) so you could wash as I do, using the washing machine. Here's my method.

1. Fill the washing machine with cool water. Add some quilt detergent (or other suitable detergent) and make sure it is dissolved in the water. Turn machine OFF.
2. Add the quilt, press with your hands to agitate. Do not use the machine agitator. (I sometimes do use the machine to agitate for no more than a minute, standing there so I don't get involved in some other activity and forget!!) Swoosh the quilt up and down in the water with your hands. A short time is all that is necessary...you don't need to stand there for 20 minutes doing this. LOL.
3. Turn the machine to the spin cycle and spin out the wash water.
4. Refill with rinse water. Turn machine off. Again, hand agitate.
5. Turn the machine to spin and spin out the rinse water.
6. You may wish to repeat the rinse to insure all detergent is rinsed out.
7. Remove the quilt from the machine.

To dry the quilt I sometimes place it in the dryer for a minute or two...not long. Then I lay it over several clean towels laid on the floor. A fan helps create a drying breeze. Or you can do the same out in a shady spot on the lawn (over towels or clean sheets, etc). Or you can lay it over two or more clotheslines...this helps distribute the weight of the quilt. On small quilts I will hang from the clothesline by folding it and attaching the loose ends (not the folded edge) to the clothesline with multiple pins to distribute the weight. Three clothespins will not do it, believe me. LOL

On this quilt, be aware that washing/drying may cause the quilt to crinkle as quilts sometimes do...give it that more quilty look. This is a thick quilt...it may feel and look a bit thicker after washing.

The batting is thick.. this quilt will take a long time to dry. Remember that outdoors, in the shade, there may be birds nesting in the tree overhead. It is for this reason that I generally dry mine indoors. LOL.

If anyone else has ideas, please do add. Sorry this is long....


Quilt storage again

Thanks for the ideas. It is 101 x 101. I wish I could lay it out somewhere but our dog sheds constantly (little, tiny white hairs) LOL.

Laura, you'd have to figure out when the fabric was manufactured and generally (judging by most quilters) it may span a 25 year period. But someone who has studied all this to learn appraisals should be able to tell you. Also check the library or friends and see if anyone has the books with the fabrics/years in them.

Friday, February 22, 2008

dating and washing(?) a quilt

DH brought home this quilt when he helped his mom empty the home of a deceased aunt and uncle. No one has any clue who made it or how old it is. Does anyone out there have an idea how old it might be?

I'm guessing it might have been made in the 50's, or maybe earlier. I think I recognize some feed sacks.

The binding is not worn at all. The hand quilting consists of rather large stitches, but very even. The lines of quilting are about an inch to and inch and a half apart (along the strips).

If you hold the quilt up to the light, there are spots where there is obviously no batting. This aunt and uncle were rather well off when they died, but he was originally from a poor farm family in rural Alabama. I'm wondering if the batting was raw cotton.

There are some spots where it looks like something was spilled on it, either while it was being made or in one of the obviously rare uses.

Do I dare wash this quilt in a new front loading washing machine, on "handwash", or do you think I had better do the hand wash in the bath tub routine?

Laura in Alabama

PS I like the back better than the front!

quit storage

A friend of mine stores her quilts on the carpet roll tubes. She puts an old sheet over the outside of the roll and slides the whole thing under the bed. She told me recently that she has gone back and added a tag to the end of the roll so when she wants a certain quilt she gets the right one the first time. Has been doing this type of storage for years.

The sunshine is wonderful isn't it Mayme. After a few gloomy days and then to have blue skys for a while I feel like a cat must feel when it basks in the sun. Love it.

Take care

Pat in Flint

West Michigan checking in

Very nice Log Cabin Judy P. Lavina, I do roll my small wall
hangings. They will give you the empty cardboard rolls at
fabric stores. I've never tried to do a big quilt though.
It is another sunny day here in West MI. this makes three
in a row. Mind you, the whole day is not sunny but the better
part of it. It is getting light earlier in the morning and staying light
later at night. I love it. We still have a boat load of snow. I joined
the local quilt guild last night. I was one of the original members
25 years ago. I quilt several years ago due to all the crap that went
on at the meetings. We'll see if there has been any changes. One thing
I did notice was the president started the meeting with prayer. I think
maybe she keeps a tight reign on any nastiness. I quilted a baby quilt
yesterday. I hope to get the binding made today.

Storing Prize Quilts

Hi, Lavinia,
I don't know how to remove the folds. Perhaps washing the quilt might remove any wrinkles that are caused by the folding????

However, there is a method to storing quilts to Prevent folds. It is a cumbersome method but it does work. Use a (very) long cardboard tube, such as is used to roll rugs, etc, at the flooring store. Cover it with muslin or something to prevent any possible problem with acid paper. Wrap the quilt around the tube. Store, probably in a horizontal position in a dry location. I can't remember for certain, but it seems to me that Alex Anderson has mentioned this method.

As I said, this is very cumbersome and might not be realistic unless you have a place to store such a long roll. However, it would certainly be a useful method for small quilts such as prize baby quilts or wall hangings.

Come to think of it, that's how our grandmother (great grandmothers to some of you LOL) stored favorite doilies and linens. After washing, starching, pressing, she wrapped them around an old magazine rolled into a tube. Several doilies could be wrapped around one mag and it made for efficient storage. Thanks for bringing back a visual memory of Gramma's doilies in the drawer of the buffet.


Removing fold creases

Anyone have a scathingly brilliant idea on how to remove creases from folds in a quilt? (I tried the fold it on the diagonal method but that didn't keep the creases out either). Thanks. Lavinia-TN

My Latest -- Log Cabin Quilt in the Making

This past year has been a non-quilt year for me. Somehow I lost my enthusiasm. However, I've recently begun sewing again and here are a dozen blocks for a new log cabin quilt. The individual strips are 1 inch after sewn in place. The blocks are six inches square. I love that first photograph for it helps you see more clearly how the end product will look. The fabrics here are gleaned from shirts. You can see that sometimes I place a fabric on the diagonal. To keep it from stretching during the stitching process, I first spray with starch, then press, then cut.

These blocks are not yet stitched to each other, but are simply arranged for the photo.


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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Round pattern

Please help one more time. I have a quilting co-worker who is looking for a book containing a pattern for a round patchwork tablecloth. She has seen it in the past, but cannot recall the title of the book or magazine. If anyone can offer any information on such a pattern, please email me at: bgspain@hotmail.com
Thanks so much.
Ginny in FL

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Be careful what you wish for!

Thanks for the info Mayme. Still love it this morning.

Had to laugh about your cat. He/she would have been meowing piteously at my house this morning. I got up to go to jury duty downtown---came downstairs showered and dressed in good clothes, to backed up sewer water 2" deep in my pantry and spilling into kitchen. I called in for a plumbing emergency excuse!! Be careful of what you wish for. LOL The plumbers came out yesterday but wouldn't do anything because DH already had the toilet disconnected--he can fix those type of things. This obviously went deeper. They were to come back out this morning, but I had to put them on hold till after jury duty. Am back on the list now. Hope it is soon!

Heart wall hanging

Good Morning. Thank you for the nice compliments on
the heart wall hanging. The heart pattern was in a Thimleberries
book. Don't know which one as I was at my nieces in VA when I
made it. It was supposed to be a table cloth with a ring of appliqué
flowers. I made the hearts and set it together my way. The appliqué
hearts, I cut a folded paper pattern for. The squares are cut 31/2
inches. The border is 6 inches.
The sun is shinning this AM but is zero out. I took my Granddaughter
to school in the next town, about 6 miles. The Temp was -6.
I have laundry going. I pinned the boarders on two sides of a Christmas
couch size quilt last night. Will finish getting those and the other two
sides on today. Have covers made for 7 more corn bags.
My old cat looked at me this morning, meowed and promptly peed on
a pile of dirty laundry.
Hugs, Mayme

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

West Michigan checking in

We got 171/2 inches of snow last night. We have enough!LOL

Photo is of a heart wall hanging.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I'm sorry. I posted this to the wrong group. Another senior moment. Marilyn in MN

link to the exhibition

http://cyberfyberexhibition.blogspot.com/ If anybody wants to check out the exhibition, here is the link...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

AQS Expo in Knoxville

Wow! I hate to see us lose the Nashville Expo, but it will be very convenient for those who live near K'ville and western NC. Judy is right... it is a Very Different Show from the Paducah event.

I cannot imagine the 'big show' ever leaving Paducah; it brings in so much revenue for the city! I heard that's why they started the Expos... sort of a traffic control.

There will also be a new quilt show in Atlanta (Duluth) the week after the AQS show in Des Moines: