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Thread: Cleaning Old Hand Embroidery Blocks

  1. #1
    Senior Member MoanaWahine's Avatar
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    I have 4 hand embroidery blocks that my mother started to do for me when I was born. She finished them up last year and now they are going to be for her GGD who is 1. I have been tasked with putting the quilt together (I do not mind) but I was wonder what is the best way to wash/clean them. There is one that is more stained/dirty then the others. No rust spots on any of them which we are happy about. Just am not sure the best way to go about cleaning them before I start the quilt. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    MTS
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    I soaked 30 year old hand embroidered blocks in a small tub using BIZ detergent. I left them in there for a few hours and was AMAZED at how clean they were - or, actually, how filthy they really were.

    Rinsed them thoroughly and laid them out on a towel to dry.

    All ready to use in a quilt. When I get around to it!

  3. #3
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    make the quilt first- then wash it.
    if you try to clean the blocks before the quilt the edges will fray- the blocks may shrink- they may become un-usable- make the quilt- when it is all done= quilted and bound- wash it- pre-treating the stains in necessary- if it is for a child you want it to hold up and be washable- so when it is done treat it as if it is to be used, washed and dried.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MoanaWahine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    make the quilt first- then wash it.
    if you try to clean the blocks before the quilt the edges will fray- the blocks may shrink- they may become un-usable- make the quilt- when it is all done= quilted and bound- wash it- pre-treating the stains in necessary- if it is for a child you want it to hold up and be washable- so when it is done treat it as if it is to be used, washed and dried.
    The one thing that my mom did before she started was to zig zag the edges. This will help in that it should not fray that much.

  5. #5
    Senior Member MoanaWahine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTS
    I soaked 30 year old hand embroidered blocks in a small tub using BIZ detergent. I left them in there for a few hours and was AMAZED at how clean they were - or, actually, how filthy they really were.

    Rinsed them thoroughly and laid them out on a towel to dry.

    All ready to use in a quilt. When I get around to it!
    Never heard of BIZ detergent. Where did you happen to pick it up?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTS
    I soaked 30 year old hand embroidered blocks in a small tub using BIZ detergent. I left them in there for a few hours and was AMAZED at how clean they were - or, actually, how filthy they really were.

    Rinsed them thoroughly and laid them out on a towel to dry.

    All ready to use in a quilt. When I get around to it!
    This is what I would suggest too. As for the biz it could be any soup, just make sure to wash it very well afterwards.

  7. #7
    MTS
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    I had never heard of it either but I asked at my LQS when I they were given to me.

    Actually, an old quilt was given to me that was really poorly constructed, not to mention being less than aesthetically pleasing. So I took it apart to salvage the blocks and make a new quilt. Fabrics/design/layout/setting. etc. are all set....except the time to do it. ;-)

    I found BIZ in the supermarket - it's a powder but stocked with the special detergents like Oxy etc. It's very inexpensive.

    I had NO problems cleaning the blocks first before sewing the quilt together.
    The blocks are perfectly stable and nothing happened to the embroidery.
    There was no agitation in the plastic tub.

    And, quite frankly, I'd want to know if they were going to disintegrate or something before I put all that time and money into making the quilt.

  8. #8
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    on old lace I used denture tablets and soaked it in 4-6 tablets and enough water (cold) to cover leave over night rinse

  9. #9
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    Glad to know about Biz. I have had good luck with oxyclean.

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