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Thread: what to do with faded wall-hanging?

  1. #1
    Super Member sew cornie's Avatar
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    To discard or not to discard . . . that is the question. Years ago I made a wall-hanging (~44"x44"). It hung in our stairwell, and although not in direct sunlight, the navy blues and reds have become very faded. If it had the look of an antique, that would be one thing, but it has simply faded quite unattractively. Now what? I'm riddled with quilt-guilt at the thought of disposing of it. Is it possible to salvage through tea-staining or some other method? I'd like to use the stairwell wall for rotating seasonal quilts (once I get around to making them LOL), so I don't mind that it's not there. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Tiffany's Avatar
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    Bummer! I hate that, especially when it's a wall hanging or quilt that is much loved. Any chance you could post a picture?

    Without seeing it, if you want to salvage it, perhaps you could use the fabric paints to touch up the colors.

    Was this old fabric or fabric from some place like WalMart or is this fabric that you got at a LQS for $9+ a yard? I know the less expensive fabric can really fade fast.

    Do you wash it a lot? If so, what type of detergent do you use? I know a lot of the detergents we use for washing clothes have a chemical in them that fades fabrics over time. I can't remember the name of the ingredient at the moment. I'll have to see if I can find it.

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    You could try tea dyeing, it would be the least invasive...others have dyed them blue for instance, then all of the fabrics blend together in various hues of blue.

    Can you put a UV film on the window in the hallway to prevent this from happening again?

  4. #4
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I recently read an article about making book covers from antique quilts that were mostly very ratty but still had some good parts left. Maybe you could make it into smaller things like that? Cutting it up beats throwing it out, right?

  5. #5
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Or, can you applique over parts of it, or embroider on it?

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Use it as a bath rug in the bathroom. Most of my bathrugs are not wanted anymore wallhangings or lap quilts.

  7. #7
    Super Member sew cornie's Avatar
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    Here's a picture of the quilt. The second picture shows the backing fabric next to the front outer border. You can see the difference in color.

    Part of me is saying that it's okay to part with. It's lived a happy life with me and I can let it go. But to where?? Another part of me is saying I should always keep it because, well, it's a quilt (obvious reason #1) and it's one of only 3 in 20 years that I've kept, not given away as a gift. I really don't have much to show for my work over the years. Thoughts?
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  8. #8
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    I would not discard it! Even if I took it down and never hung it up again, I would not get rid of it. One day you may decide on just the perfect thing to do with it.....

    I made a bear with jointed arms and legs out of an old utility quilt that my grandmother made. The quilt was so old and ratty and threadbare that I had to work hard to find places to cut bear parts that did not have holes in it! I love that bear and every time I look at it, I think about all the time that went into that quilt and I am glad I still have a little piece of it.

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Oooo if you tea dyed this it would give it even more of a country charm look!!! I love it!!! :D:D:D

  10. #10
    Super Member sew cornie's Avatar
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    I appreciate all the suggestions so far. To address a few questions:

    The fabric was from Fabricland, a decent chain that went out of business a number of years ago. Definitely NOT $9+/yd. as I couldn't afford that back then. LOL.

    Because it's a wall hanging and handquilted, it was only washed maybe 3 or 4 times, but in regular laundry detergent.

    The only light source is a skylight about 15 feet up, which poses access difficulty when thinking about a UV film. It doesn't shine any direct light where the quilt has been, but obviously is still a problem.

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