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Thread: My neighbor was given an OLD quilt top

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    My neighbor was given an OLD quilt top

    The quilt top is beautiful - all 2" squares, hand sewn together and is king-size. It is not finished, and since it was stored in an old trunk for 50 years or so, it needs to be washed before she completes the top and sends it out to be long-armed. The fabric appears to be in good shape, but we are worried that washing it would cause a lot of raveling. Is that true? She would hang it to dry. Any help would be SO appreciated!!!

  2. #2
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    you can soak it with special soaps and very gently move it back and forth with your hands - doesn't have to be washed in a machine...it's the agitation that makes it ravel, not the water....can't give you a brand name for the soap, but there are several out there for quilts/fabrics such as this.
    Kate

  3. #3
    Super Member quilt addict's Avatar
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    I would recommend that you not wash it even by hand before it is finished. Wash after it is quilted so it will be stabilized.
    Lisa

  4. #4
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    My preference also would be to wash it after it is quilted, even if it is stained. If it smells, I would just hang it outside for a few days.

    If it absolutely *must* be washed before quilting, I would machine baste it thoroughly to muslin, wash it by hand, and iron flat while still damp. Fabrics that are not stabilized to batting by means of quilting can shrink disproportionately to each other. This method should allow stretching of any shrinking-distorted fabrics back to where they need to be. It also reduces fraying of the seams.

    There is still the risk that some fabric will bleed. To minimize this, I would probably do the washing in a large top-loader with lots of water. Do not allow to agitate; turn off the machine after it fills with water and hand agitate by pushing down with your hands. With enough water, any bleed is likely to be diluted enough not to land in other fabrics. If you do get some bleeding, just leave it alone until the top is quilted. During the first washing of the quilt use a large-capacity washer (lots of water), hot water, and Synthrapol. That will be likely to remove any unset dye bleeds.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    There is a product on the market called "Soak" and that is what you do. No need to rinse.that is what I would do, if that tip absolutely has to be washed. And please do NOT hang that top. Lay it on a big sheet somewhere outside if possible out of direct sunlight, or inside so that it can dry flat. Hope this helps, good luck. Gina

  6. #6
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    My preference also would be to wash it after it is quilted, even if it is stained. If it smells, I would just hang it outside for a few days.

    If it absolutely *must* be washed before quilting, I would machine baste it thoroughly to muslin, wash it by hand, and iron flat while still damp. Fabrics that are not stabilized to batting by means of quilting can shrink disproportionately to each other. This method should allow stretching of any shrinking-distorted fabrics back to where they need to be. It also reduces fraying of the seams.

    There is still the risk that some fabric will bleed. To minimize this, I would probably do the washing in a large top-loader with lots of water. Do not allow to agitate; turn off the machine after it fills with water and hand agitate by pushing down with your hands. With enough water, any bleed is likely to be diluted enough not to land in other fabrics. If you do get some bleeding, just leave it alone until the top is quilted. During the first washing of the quilt use a large-capacity washer (lots of water), hot water, and Synthrapol. That will be likely to remove any unset dye bleeds.
    i love your idea, prism
    Nancy in western NY

  7. #7
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    I would not wash the top unless it has issues (mold is the worse one). baste it by machine to any left over fabric that has been pre washed from your stash. Then I would do what my dmil used to do. (she also did this to most of her clothes that were dry clean only. she had an allergy to the dry cleaning chemical. she lived to almost 95 years young. She was a feisy person, who was an outstanding dress designer/maker. As she aged, her dementia reflected in her colorful designs. she created right until the end.

    My dmil used a clean tb plunger to wash all her quilts/fine clothing. She filled up the washing machine, and agitated a dollop of Dawn dish detergent, then carfully placed her quilt/clothing into the water, and gently plunged a few times, if it was very dirty, she would let it sit for a few minutes only. she then spun the quilt on gentle. then filled up with water, gently plunged again, and spun dry.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    i love your idea, prism
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

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