I have always been awed by the garage and estate sale finds that are posted on this board. I figure I would never experience that since I rarely make it to garage sales, especially first thing in the morning before they are picked over. My cousin-in-law is a master garage saler and called me a couple of weeks ago to ask about a sewing machine she was looking at. I went over to give her some advice and when the man who was holding the sale heard that I was a quilter, he said "follow me" and led us into the garage where he had boxes and garbage bags stuffed with fabric, quilt tops, rulers, dozens of books, thread, etc that belonged to his late wife. He had tears in his eyes and said "I knew a quilter would come along today--just take it all please". Free!!!!!. His daughter picked out the finished tops to keep--that's all she wanted of the stash. I paid $20 for an oak quilt rack. His only request was that any fabric I didn't want to keep be donated in his wifes name, Sharmaine.
Sadly they were both smokers and the fabric reeks. I laided it out on my hammock and every other piece of furniture on the porch to air out for days. There are hundreds of yards (many 6-8 yard cuts) so it couldn't be completely unfolded as I didn't have the room. Because of our severe drought and the time it would take, I can't wash it all. So I have 5 bins packed with sorted and folded fabric. I placed 3-4 bars of deoderant soap in each bin. I will have to wash a load at a time when we get rain and our rainwater tank is full again. I don't feel that I can donate any with the smell and I don't want to use it that way either.
Any tips on what products to use and how to wash it to get the smoke smell out? I can hang the lighter-colored fabrics on the clothesline in the sun after washing but don't want to fade the brights. I did a test with one white piece and hung it up for a few days without washing. Don't know if the smell went away as a cow pulled it off, chewed it up and spit it out--yuck!!! :roll: :roll: