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Thread: Garage Sale Find and need advice

  1. #1
    Senior Member quilter in the making's Avatar
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    I always read about the wonderful finds the QB members stumble across at garage sales, so last week I went to one myself and hit pay dirt. Attached are the pictures of the yardage I found and also some hand pieced blocks. I spent $16.30 and got 17+ yards, 108 of these blocks and still have a paper box and Rubbermaid container of various pieces of material, miscellaneous cut pieces, a cigar box of scraps, sheets and about 10 sets of pillow cases and about 2 dozen cookie cutters. There are a couple of crewel work pillow fronts (completed). My problem is it all smells horrible from cigarette smoke. I have washed the yardage and that washed up fine, but what do I do about the handpieced blocks and miscellaneous cut pieces? They smell so bad I don't want them in my sewing room until they smell better. Is there a way to wash them without them falling apart?

    17+ yards of fabric
    Name:  Attachment-199036.jpe
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Size:  59.3 KB

    Blocks stacked up
    Name:  Attachment-199038.jpe
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Size:  67.3 KB

    108 of these blocks
    Name:  Attachment-199061.jpe
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Size:  89.1 KB

  2. #2
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Great finds!

  3. #3
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Great find, as for washing the blocks .. I would soak in a sink or tub with water and vinegar , occasionally swishing . And lay flat to dry. You may want to roll the wet squares in a dry towel prior to laying flat ,to speed up the drying .
    Do just a few as a test first.

  4. #4
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    Hand wash and let dry in a shaded area outside. Do a search on this page for helpful hints. Everyone has their own best fix. I had some like that and just left them out to air and they are fine now to work with.

  5. #5
    Super Member valsma's Avatar
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    Maybe try putting them in a fine washables garmet bag on a delicate cycle.

  6. #6
    Super Member craftiladi's Avatar
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    Maybe alittle vinegar in the soaking water?

  7. #7
    Super Member KathyAire's Avatar
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    I would put the blocks in a lingerie bag and wash them. If they fall apart, so what? You can't use them the way they are. To me, it would be worth the gamble.

  8. #8
    Super Member roseOfsharon's Avatar
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    Yes you could soak them in a bath tub ... rinse and see how they smell then. You can also use a fine net bag for you fine sweaters and such .. and place that in the washer on gentle cycle and let them soak there. Do in several bags if you can or do so many each time. Good luck... it should work for you. :)

  9. #9
    Super Member roseOfsharon's Avatar
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    OH, and what a great find! Congratulations on your bargain seeking :)

  10. #10
    Super Member raedar63's Avatar
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    I have washed scraps that I have bought several times, It is quite a fluffy mess right out of the dryer but just sit with a good movie and press away !

  11. #11
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    Until you get them washed, you can put baking soda or an activated charcoal deodorizer in the container with the objects that have the offending fragrance. Any type of citrus fragrance oil or cleaner can also help.

  12. #12
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    One should also be careful of bedbugs when bringing used items, especially clothes, linens, and fabrics in. They can live without hosts/food for 1.5 years. Only extreme heat (not ordinary washing) and harsh chemicals can kills them and their eggs. They are very difficult and expensive to get rid of. Once your home is invaded, you'll end up spending thousands of dollars and throwing out thousands of dollars worth of household goods. The psychological stress is also considerable. I would only bring in used fabric items if I could first take then to a laundromat to wash and dry on high heat for two hours. Hardly worth it, IMO. For blocks, I guess I'd press each one well on high heat. They are all over the US, epidemic in some areas. Very upscale hotels have been affected. Treating a single hotel room costs thousands. Do some research. I hate to be a kill-joy, but they are a nightmare.

  13. #13
    Super Member icon17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilter in the making
    I always read about the wonderful finds the QB members stumble across at garage sales, so last week I went to one myself and hit pay dirt. Attached are the pictures of the yardage I found and also some hand pieced blocks. I spent $16.30 and got 17+ yards, 108 of these blocks and still have a paper box and Rubbermaid container of various pieces of material, miscellaneous cut pieces, a cigar box of scraps, sheets and about 10 sets of pillow cases and about 2 dozen cookie cutters. There are a couple of crewel work pillow fronts (completed). My problem is it all smells horrible from cigarette smoke. I have washed the yardage and that washed up fine, but what do I do about the handpieced blocks and miscellaneous cut pieces? They smell so bad I don't want them in my sewing room until they smell better. Is there a way to wash them without them falling apart?
    Try brass safety pinning them in the corners and then put them in a pillow case wash with white vinegar in the rince cycle, on a gentle setting 8-) you can add Borax too the wash cycle too.

  14. #14
    Senior Member RUSewing's Avatar
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    I've had good luck with good airing out. Maybe using a garage or some kind of out-building where you can spread them out for a few days.

  15. #15
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    Place items outside in the fresh air. Becareful about bring bug into your home, bedbugs, roachs or spiders.

  16. #16

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    CAn I go with you next timie? :thumbup: on your good buys.

    I have also gotten items that had cigarette smell in them. Could you possibly soak the block/s in something like an anti-bactrical soap, and rinse them gently until water is clearn. Then I would lay them on a towel to dry. Think it might work for you?
    Julie

  17. #17
    Super Member icon17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilter in the making
    I always read about the wonderful finds the QB members stumble across at garage sales, so last week I went to one myself and hit pay dirt. Attached are the pictures of the yardage I found and also some hand pieced blocks. I spent $16.30 and got 17+ yards, 108 of these blocks and still have a paper box and Rubbermaid container of various pieces of material, miscellaneous cut pieces, a cigar box of scraps, sheets and about 10 sets of pillow cases and about 2 dozen cookie cutters. There are a couple of crewel work pillow fronts (completed). My problem is it all smells horrible from cigarette smoke. I have washed the yardage and that washed up fine, but what do I do about the handpieced blocks and miscellaneous cut pieces? They smell so bad I don't want them in my sewing room until they smell better. Is there a way to wash them without them falling apart?
    AND I forgot!! most Important OF ALL!! Mail SOME my WAY!! :lol: I'll wash them! But can't Promise to get them back To you you! :lol: :roll:

  18. #18
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Wow, what a great find. Those are great fabrics. I would hand wash the blocks and see if that helps.

  19. #19
    Super Member needles3thread's Avatar
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    Oh, I absolutely love the quilt blocks. The pattern is great.
    I want to make one sometime. Anything with circles interests
    me.

  20. #20
    Super Member needles3thread's Avatar
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    It looks like some of the fabric in the blocks might be
    feed/flour sack. Is it?

  21. #21
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KathyAire
    I would put the blocks in a lingerie bag and wash them. If they fall apart, so what? You can't use them the way they are. To me, it would be worth the gamble.
    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

  22. #22
    Senior Member quilter in the making's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by needles3thread
    It looks like some of the fabric in the blocks might be
    feed/flour sack. Is it?
    I have no clue what feed/flour sack is. I am very much a beginner when it comes to knowing the different fabrics. I know these blocks are a mixture of different types of fabric - some almost feel like a duck cloth, some is seersucker, some cotton. I'm afraid when I wash them, the different fabrics will shrink at different percentages and the blocks are already kind of wonky. I figured it's worth a try just to see how they turn out. If they're ruined I'm not out anything and they just might create something usable.

    I also forgot to mention that there is a hand pieced quilt (rather small) that has a few holes in it. Very old. I'd love to try to figure out if there is anyway at all to salvage this. It's very interesting.

  23. #23
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KathyAire
    I would put the blocks in a lingerie bag and wash them. If they fall apart, so what? You can't use them the way they are. To me, it would be worth the gamble.
    I was thinking the same thing. If washed on gentle, I don't think they would fall apart. I know what you mean about the smoke smell. I love my aunt dearly, but if I take a quilt to show her I show her and put it back in the car... She gave me some awesome flat qtrs when I saw her last week. I just threw them in with a load of colored clothes, they came out fine. Good luck :thumbup:

  24. #24
    Senior Member quilter in the making's Avatar
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    Just wanted to say that we're here in Westminster for a conference this week and it's a beautiful city. Just disappointed that we haven't been able to see much of the mountain view from our hotel window as the weather has been pretty yucky!

  25. #25
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilter in the making
    Just wanted to say that we're here in Westminster for a conference this week and it's a beautiful city. Just disappointed that we haven't been able to see much of the mountain view from our hotel window as the weather has been pretty yucky!
    You are not at 88th and Yates are you??? That is within walking distance to my house... Hope you get a view of our beautiful Rocky Mountains..

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