Quilter's World Newsletter
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Things to Do List
As the year begins, I have my list of things I would like to learn, finish and achieve. As a quilter, I know I will be sidetracked in many directions in between my goals, so I have kept my list realistic. With good intentions, I began the first project only to find that on day two of the new year, I've been detoured.
The first day back to work after a wonderful holiday at my home in Michigan, I was informed we needed to clean, organize and reduce our storage area for quilting. This meant sorting through many years of accumulated quilting stuff like books, notions, fabrics and quilts, making decisions as to what to keep and what to donate. You have to understand that many of these things predate me as editor, so it was not an easy task, but it was fun.
|The storage shelves where items are kept during the publishing process and obviously beyond.|
The best and easiest way to start with just such a project is to jump in head first. My managing editor, Barb Sprunger, and I sorted through notions, fabric samples, books and then the quilts. We were sorting out the quilts that we felt could be donated to a charity when, beneath a stack inside a box, I found a vintage Sunbonnet Sue baby quilt. At first glance, I realized it was made of feed-sack fabrics from the 1930s. It had a very nicely done scalloped edge and binding showing little wear. As I unfolded it, I noticed the terrible stains. Such a shame, someone had obviously stitched this treasure with love and skill.
|The treasure I found at the bottom of one box.|
I put the stained quilt off to one side thinking how sad, but the more I thought about it, I knew I had to try to save it. There's something about a quilt like this that speaks to me. I picked it up again and looked for any markings that would tell me who had made it or when. Nothing. I took it home that evening. I knew the first thing I needed to do was to find the best way to remove the stains. I have a weakness for anything lost or forgotten.
At the fall Quilt Market I received a sample of a product, Retro Clean. I try to test everything I review in Quilter's World as standard practice. If I say it's worth checking out, I want you to believe in what I'm saying. This was a chance to kill two birds with one stone -- clean a vintage quilt, and test and review a product.
|The yellowing and stains were severe.|
After reading the instructions on the package of Retro Clean, I -- a little nervously -- placed the quilt in the washing machine on the gentle cycle and prayed it would remain intact.
Unfortunately, I have deadlines to meet and this process is a timely one. After it is laundered, and assuming it survives the first process, I will soak it for two days and give you a full update in the next newsletter. Keep your fingers crossed.