Washing old, musty string blocks!
I received an email the other day from Anna who has acquired some really great string blocks…but there is a problem. They are still attached to the paper ((Dated 1955!!)) and some have stains…and they smell musty.
I just received two old string quilt tops that were sewn on the machine and pieced on newspaper. One of the papers was from 1955.
They have been stored in a basement and have a couple of small stains on them and are a little smelly. How do you suggest I clean them before are finished?
Thanks and Have a Great Day!
Anna S, Oakridge, TN
Wow! What GREAT blocks!! Can’t you imagine all the 1950’s dresses and skirts made out of these fabrics?
And just because these are 1950's blocks, I found this lovely 1950’s laundry ad just to put us in the mood! LOL!
I love old string blocks! These are so neat, and the fact that you can still read what's on the paper on the back makes it even more fun. The first thing you are going to have to do is remove the paper.
You can wash the blocks by hand, but edges can fray and seams may unravel.
If you think you can wait on the washing --- quilts wash BETTER after quilting and binding.
To minimize the musty smell, you can close them up in a plastic bag with a bar of strong smelling soap, like Irish Spring, for a week or so...that might be enough to make it so they are not so smelly, and you can stand to get the quilt pieced, quilted and bound before throwing it in the washer.
You can also, if you HAVE to wash them before completing and don't feel like doing a sink wash by hand...put them in a zippered laundry bag for delicate lingerie....wash them in the bag, in the washer, gentle cycle.
Vinegar in the wash water will also help remove smells.
I wouldn't dry them in the dryer, but lay them out on a towel to air dry when done washing. If you iron them while they are still a bit damp, you should be able to get all the seams pressed back into some order.
But I have to tell you, that my OWN preference is to quilt first, wash later!
Do you have any hints/helps experiences that can help Anna with her smelly dilemma? Leave comments below, I think this is info that we ALL need to learn from those of you who have been there, done that, and succeeded! ((Or failed!! Tell us about those too!))