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Thread: Vintage blocks

  1. #1
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    I finally got around to cleaning out a box of "stuff" that hubby brought back from his mom's. He and the sibs were settling things after she was killed. He said nothing in there amounted to anything, so it was stashed away. Well, to my surprise, I found 16 Dresden Plate blocks that his grandma had made, with a note that they were done in the early 1940's. Not the very best handwork, and at least half the blocks are badly stained with rust spots, but I think I will set them anyway and surprise him. He loved his grandma so very much! The blocks are sort of smelly and dirty looking, do you think I dare try to wash and bleach them? They are set on unbleached muslin.

  2. #2
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    So sorry for your loss , but

    What a nice surprise to find the plates, and I am sure he would be thrilled if you could do something with them for him :lol:

  3. #3
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Blocks are hard to wash. They may fray. Maybe if you put them in a pillow case and tie it shut it would be OK. Try washing them by hand first.

  4. #4
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    I don't think fraying would be too much of a problem, the blocks, at least most of them, are already set in strips. I can do on a delicate wash cycle also. I'm more concerned about bleaching them. Would love to get the rust out, but not sure if that is possible. If I can't remove rust, I still have about 8 blocks that are in pretty good shape, and about 17 inch square. Should be able to do something????? with them.

  5. #5
    Super Member isnthatodd's Avatar
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    You can put them in a tub with some very gentle soap, like Dreft, and pat them and let them soak. Then drain them on a screen covered by a towel. Soak in clear water, again patting them gently several times. Rinse as often as necessary to make sure all the soap is out. Let dry and see how much of the stain came out. Good luck!!!

  6. #6
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I would try some of the Grama's stain remover on them, and gently hand wash them. Even if the rust stains aren't completely removed, I would still use them, maybe tea dye them and the stains may not be as noticeable then.

  7. #7
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    What is Gramas stain remover and where do you buy it?

  8. #8
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    A loooooong time ago I purchased from JoAnns a product called Mary Ellen's Stain Remover. They made all different ones. I picked one up for rust stains, because my treadle wheels made rust marks on my carpet and it totally dissolved the rust. I would try googling it to see who still carries it. It does work!!!

  9. #9
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    I'd avoid bleach. It might fade the colors and could damage the old fabric.

  10. #10
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    Do you have pictures?

    Are these "plates" already appliqued to the background fabric?

    If not, one could use parts of one or two blocks to replace the bad/damaged parts of the others.

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