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Thread: How to make this block look better?

  1. #1
    Super Member ginnie6's Avatar
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    This is one of the blocks my Grandmother made over 35 years ago. It was found in her attic when we cleaned her house. My Grandmother was a hoarder.....so this block was buried under lots of other stuff. Its stained and the material she made it on is flimsy to say the least. I think it is muslin....that's what the lady at the fabric store thought too. So far what I've done is to place these blocks on a new piece of muslin and sew them on that. This one though is so stained. I've tried everything I thought was safe to wash it in and this does not come out. I'm wondering if it would look ok to just cut Sue out and machine applique her on a new block? Or should I just leave it alone and deal with the stain? For some reason photobucket is not working for me so this is on flickr and it won't do a picture for me.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3887095814

  2. #2
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    You can probably snip the threads and replace her on new muslim

  3. #3
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    I have some old blocks made in the 30's by my MIL. I plan to lay them on muslin and frame them, not trying to clean them, but to make them into something her great-grandchildren can have as a remembrance of her.
    June

  4. #4
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I don't know anything about applique, but cutting her out and putting her on a new piece of fabric sounds good to me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member daisyboo9's Avatar
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    I know you said you have tried eveything to clean them, but I have great success using a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda. If that doesn't work maybe the next best thing would be to snip her out and use a new background.

  6. #6
    Super Member ginnie6's Avatar
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    this one will be going into a lap quilt. Everything else is done except fixing Sue. I was just going to leaver her be but seeing her in the middle of the new blocks makes her look even worse.

  7. #7
    Senior Member OdessaQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ginnie6
    .... I'm wondering if it would look ok to just cut Sue out and machine applique her on a new block? Or should I just leave it alone and deal with the stain? ....
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3887095814
    Ginnie,

    I would be concerned that "machine applique" would look odd if your Grandmother did her applique by hand. I think you've got some great advice already, but try the vinegar & baking soda thing first. If that fails, then I would carefully clip Sue off her background and re-stitch her to a new background, using the same technique Grandma used. If you think she calls too much attention to herself now, she's bound to call even more to herself if you use a "foreign" technique to re-apply her.

    I would also be worried that perhaps machine applique here might damage Sue herself even more. If the fabrics are fragile, all that piercing by a machine might damage her beyond salvation.

    Just my thoughts, but I'm confident that you will eventually come up with the right solution to your problem.

    Good Luck!

    Odessa

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninnie
    You can probably snip the threads and replace her on new muslim
    i was thinking the same thing :D

  9. #9
    Super Member ginnie6's Avatar
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    I haven't tried baking soda and vinegar! will do that today. Its only the muslin that is fragile. The other fabric seems to be in good shape.

  10. #10
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    I wouldn't clip sue off at all. I would be worried it wold never look right. I would trim the muslin around sue about 1/4 inch and turn that under and restitch right over her onto new background.

  11. #11
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    I would very carefully snip the threads holding her to the muslin, then hand stitch her to a new piece.. I had a sampler that got stored in a box that a mouse got into and he left a "calling card" on it that left a couple of stains that look similar to that.. I also tried everything and never could get it out.
    I hope the "home remedies" work better for you. Think I'll try the vinegar and baking soda myself.. and maybe some toothpaste with whiteners. it can't hurt mine..

  12. #12
    Super Member ginnie6's Avatar
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    Baking soda worked!!!!! I put the block in the sink and soaked it. Then I sprinkled the baking soda all over the stain and just let it sit for a bit. When i went back in I gently rubbed it in and added a bit more water and let it sit some more. Then i added the vinegar...the kids loved that part! Once I was done rinsing the stain was gone! I am SO glad I asked here first before trying anything else! I'm going to use some interfacing on this block since the edges are so frayed. The other one that was fragile like this one helf up pretty well to quilting but the edges had be be sewn over in several places.

  13. #13
    Super Member joeyoz's Avatar
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    There is this stuff called GooGone that works pretty good on getting out all kinds of stains. Even ones that have been there awhile. It is gentle on the fabric so no worries there either. Worth a try.

  14. #14
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    yay for non toxic household items that are also great cleaners!!! I'm glad you were able to get the stain out and preserve the work that your grandmother did!

    vinigar and a news paper will clean any glass to a streak free shine in no time!

  15. #15
    Super Member ginnie6's Avatar
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    I just feel kind of dumb for not thinking of it. I use baking soda to clean the stove top, the bath tub, unclog drains, and several other things.

  16. #16
    Senior Member daisyboo9's Avatar
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    I do a lot of cross stitch and always wash my finished projects in vinegar and baking soda! it sets the colour of the thread and gently removes the oils the were left from handling the fabric as well as any stain or dirt. I inherited a beautiful needlepoint that my grandmother did and it had a huge stain in one corner. So I pulled it all apart and soaked it in vinegar and baking soda for 24 hours. Not only did it remove the stain but it cleaned the whole piece.

  17. #17

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    I have never heard of useing vinagar & baking soda to clean stains on fabric, this is good to know. Thank you ladies.

  18. #18
    Super Member Sheila Elaine's Avatar
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    Ginnie6, those other surfaces are porcelain or painted. You didn't think about them in the same context as fabric, so don't worry about not thinking baking soda to begin with. I'm allergic to industrial cleaners, so have had to go to "green alternatives." It saves lots of money also. Good luck & post us a pic of Sue when she's all quilted. Thanks.

  19. #19
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    I was given old blocks last summer with discolored fabric. I soaked them in vinegar and water, changing it often, b/c my blocks were DIRTY! Most of the discoloration came out. I had 25 blocks, and the object, in my case was just to clean them up not make them look brand new. Some of the stains didn't come out but these were done by my girlfriends mother. I will eventually give the quilt back to her, once completed, and didn't want to make new blocks. I just needed them a little cleaner.

  20. #20
    Senior Member chickadee_42us's Avatar
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    Yeah - Congratulations on both finding the blocks and getting them cleaned. Win! Win! :D

  21. #21
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ginnie6
    I just feel kind of dumb for not thinking of it. I use baking soda to clean the stove top, the bath tub, unclog drains, and several other things.
    Don't be too hard on yourself for this. Live and learn. See how great minds work together for the good!! Good for you. Glad the "science experiment" worked. :thumbup:

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