Monday, April 27, 2015

Spot the spot

Thank you for all the get well wishes - they worked because I am now fully recovered and sewing once again!

I've been asked to do a trunk show at East Toronto Quilt Guild on May 7th so I'm pulling and sorting some of my quilts. I have one that I made about twenty years ago. It has been very well used over the years and there are some nice memories tied up in its making. When I opened it up to have a look there was a huge stain. YIKES! I've no idea what it is or how it got there. I'm pretty sure I have washed this quilt before but I'm not positive. Normally this wouldn't be an issue but the backing is a very vibrant red and I worried about it bleeding. I didn't want to end up with a pink quilt! Oh well, it had to be washed so here goes nothing.

I pretreated the stain for five minutes with diluted OxyClean Max Force. I threw the quilt in the washing machine with two Color Catchers (fingers crossed) and more OxyClean Max Force. I set the machine on the gentle cycle and used only cold water. When I took the quilt out of the machine the Color Catchers were pink but the quilt was not! Phew! Into the dryer went the quilt on a gentle cycle for twenty minutes and when it came out the stain was still there but much improved.

I think if I pretreat it and wash it one more time the stain will be gone.

So here's the story about my Flower Pot quilt. I saw a picture of an antique quilt in a magazine and decided I had to have one of my own; that's often the beginning of many of my quilts! There are all sorts of fabrics in this quilt including some polycotton (sometimes it is just the right fabric to use as I explained here). There is even old clothing that was cut up for flowers! When I made this quilt I was still trying to figure out quilt making on my own because there was no internet and I had yet to learn about quilt guilds and workshops. Most of my learning was from magazines. All of flowers, leafs and flower pots were buttonhole appliqued by hand. There are no raw edges - they were all turned under and thread basted before appliqueing which I did with DMC floss. To keep each shape in place for the applique work I also thread basted each piece to the background! Lots of handwork that all had to be removed - sure wish I knew about applique pins and/or Roxanne Glue Baste-It back then!

The quilt is hand quilted with Baptist fans. I liked this quilting design (and still do) but didn't know how it was done so I started with a large piece of cardboard. starting in a corner I drew a quarter circle line with a compass made of a pencil tied to a piece of string. After I drew the first line I drew a second about 2" distant and then a third and finally a fourth line. I cut out these shapes on the pencil line and used them as templates to mark my quilting lines. What you can't see the quilt was bound with a navy and white stripe that was cut on the bias so it spirals around the quilt (you can just see a bit of it in the upper left corner).This is the finished quilt.

There are so many fabrics wit so many memories. There is a flower made from a scrap of cotton I cut from the sashes of my fishing hat. I also found a flower pot of red flowers and realized it is the same fabric I used in one of my hexagon rosettes for Birds in the Loft.

The red print in the middle of the rosette is leftover from Flower Pots!

There is also a flower pot filled with turquoise polka dot flowers. That fabric was a mail ordered pound of scraps that I used to make my quilt Pound of Stars. It is a lovely bright colour - sorry about the shadow but I needed the bright light to get the true colour.

Here is the same fabric in Pound of Stars. You can see read about the story behind the quilt and closeups of more of the blocks here, here and here.

Enough of the old; it's time for a bit of the new! I've made three more pairs of hexagon rosettes for my Birds in the Loft hexagon quilt. Plus I have a pile of them stitched into rows. It is starting to come together so stay tuned!

That's it for today. Until I post again happy sewing!
Karen H


  1. 'Orvus Paste' is great for taking out stains and is gentle on your quilt as well. Farmers and their wives have used it is used for livestock, live persons....(as a body soap and shampoo) and in the wash instead of detergent. I got mine at a feed store, which might be difficult to find in Toronto, but googling it might give you some leads as to where to find it.
    Love, love, love your quilt...I too have a memory quilt with scraps of my childrens' clothes...and yes even polyester....

  2. I love this oldie but definitely a goodie! Nothing like good old scrap quilts!

  3. Love this about quilt making, how this fabric is here, and there, and the memories that go with it... I'm so pleased the red didn't run and that you have shared the story about this quilt :-)

  4. I so enjoy seeing your old quilts. Thankyou for sharing this one, Any more hiding away? I sure hope so!

  5. So pleased the stain faded, hope it fades to nothing in the next wash.

  6. OK good to hear you are recovered! :)
    I've got myself organized to get back to my previously started hexie project and realized that my original hexie's are a bigger hexie. My question is, can I combine what I have already done?

  7. Such a lovely quilt! I do hope the stain wafts away altogether. An interesting thought though, what do folks do when a quilt becomes stained, rather than worn out? Do we still keep it and use it since the stains there through natural use?
    Overdye it? Arghhhh ditch it?
    Your choice of fabrics remind me of the Brontes for some reason not sure why but I love almost all of them. And most I'd have overlooked not seeing their potential!

  8. I love the flowerpot quilt. I hope you can get the stain completely out. But of course you will keep it and love it even if you don't, right?!

  9. Karen it is lovely to read how a quilter starts out and what they learn. love your baskets of posies I am so suprised with all the labour you put into it that you continued to quilt...LOL. I am so glad that you did we learn so much from you

  10. What a beautiful quilt! I use this stuff although have never tried it on anything with a red backing...

  11. What a fun post. :) I also loved hearing about "some of your first stitches", and the memories behind the fabrics. What a pretty quilt!