Friday, March 20, 2015

Vintage and Feedsack Fabric Quilt

Work in Progress.
Vintage and Feedsack Fabric Quilt in Progress | Red Pepper Quilts 2015

Continuing on with last year's them of Use It or Lose It, this week I cut into my treasured collection of vintage fabrics and feedsack fabrics. I have accumulated these fabrics over a number of years, all were carefully washed and stored, some pieces were occasionally cut into for a project, but never a quilt using so many of these hoarded  precious and much loved fabrics.

Vintage and Feedsack Fabric Quilt in Progress | Red Pepper Quilts 2015

The fabrics used to make this quilt top include vintage fabrics (from the bolt), feedsack fabrics as well as designer quilting cottons (new fabric). The variation in the weave of the fabrics - some coarse and with an open weave, others more tightly woven and fine - as well as the variable quality of the fabrics made sewing with them slightly challenging, although overall I wasn't too concerned with how the quilt top was coming together.

Vintage and Feedsack Fabric Quilt in Progress | Red Pepper Quilts 2015
Vintage and Feedsack Fabric Quilt in Progress | Red Pepper Quilts 2015
Vintage and Feedsack Fabric Quilt in Progress | Red Pepper Quilts 2015

Although all of the vintage/feedsack fabrics had already been washed, I re-washed and tumble dried all of the fabrics prior to cutting. It surprised me to see how much red dye seeped from the large scale red gingham fabric (a vintage fabric), especially as I had previously washed it.

Vintage and Feedsack Fabric Quilt in Progress | Red Pepper Quilts 2015
Vintage and Feedsack Fabric Quilt in Progress | Red Pepper Quilts 2015

Once the quilt top was completed I spent some time pressing seams. I use a warm iron (on a cotton setting) with lots of steam to gently press my quilt tops. The task of pressing the seams and the quilt top itself wasn't a problem, but I was troubled by the slight musty smell coming from the quilt top and in the vapors from the iron; the smell of vintage fabric that wasn't at all obvious whilst I was working on the quilt top, still lingered in the fabric.

Vintage and Feedsack Fabric Quilt in Progress | Red Pepper Quilts 2015

My plan of action is to work on removing the  smell with a natural remedy, before basting and quilting. The internet suggest baking soda, sunshine, vinegar .... If you have remedy I would love to hear it, and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated, for I can't imagine a quilt that smells "not quite right". That's just wrong!

Vintage and Feedsack Fabric Quilt in Progress | Red Pepper Quilts 2015

I will be sure to keep you updated, what works and what doesn't. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Vintage and Feedsack Fabric Quilt in Progress | Red Pepper Quilts 2015

Thank you for stopping by,
Rita

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Feedsack and Vintage Fabrics and Projects

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31 comments:

  1. Love this one. :) so pretty.

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  2. I've used the sushine remedy on a vintage quilt that was passed down to me and it worked like a charm!

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  3. Once I left a vintage house dress to dry on the line - and I don't know if it was the dye in the fabric, or if it was a particularly bright day, but the sun bleached the fabric significantly. So be careful - not to much sun :)
    I loved that dress so much, even with the bleached out back, that I still wore it until it *almost* fell to pieces.

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  4. What about Soak? That is gentile enough and you can choose a scent too.

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  5. I'm a big fan of sun, too, but it can be a problem with old dyes. Another option is to Febreeze it (and then put it in the sun for a shorter time), with a final wash once quilted to remove the Febreeze.

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  6. What about soaking it in warm water with Dreft detergent? It's gentle and smells wonderful. A dilute white vinegar soak would probably work, but I'd try a scrap of fabric in the solution to make sure it won't fade it. I also like oxy-clean.

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  7. This quilt is a feast for the eyes.

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  8. I used oxy clean on my vintage sheets and when ironing they still have that funny smell. I'd love to learn of a solution!

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  9. Baking soda + lavender EO + sun! Works wonders each time.

    The quilt is sheer loveliness! I especially like the black gingham squares.

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  10. I've had good results with white vinegar and baking soda.

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  11. Oh, Rita, what a timely post! As I am well into the second half of my life, I have been creating projects around fabrics already in my stash. I had just decided to pull out my vintage feedsacks and cut(gasp!) into them. What is the point of saving them for a yard sale after I am gone! Like you, they have been stored cleaned and pressed. I look forward to your quilt creation's details of block size, method of construction, backing fabric, quilting plan, etc. Your post could not have come at a better time! I will also keep tuning in for "cleaning" ideas from your fans, as I suspect I will encounter the same issues. Thanks, again, Rita. You are the best! Liz

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  12. Another great quilt top.
    I'm another interested in which method you choose. I think I would try the softer options first like baking soda but I have no experience in this area. To avoid the sun bleaching can you dry under a verandah or in a garage? I dry things sometimes under the carport to hopefully prevent the sun bleaching.
    I really must try that use it or lose it approach - I seem to be in a collecting faze of paper, fabric and wool!

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  13. Your quilt looks lovely! You have a gift for putting fabric together.
    I'm looking forward to finding out how to get rid of the musty (& mothball-like) smell on one of my fabrics. I too didn't notice till I was ironing it. Will watch your blog on further info on this. Thanks.

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  14. Your top is like a feast for the eye!! I only know once I cleaned an old case of a Singer featherweight that nothing in combination with water helped get rid of the smell. Sun (and in my case also a bright lamp) helped to get rid of the mold. So not the wet method but only the drying methods helped. I know fabric is perhaps different but just wanted to share this story. Hope you will find a solution.
    Groetjes
    Annemieke

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  15. Grass helps. Something in the chlorophyll. I have had success using laying a quilt on a clean sheet on the grass with another on top. This combined with vinegar was the best method I found.

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    Replies
    1. Now THIS is an inspired solution. Fascinating!!!

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  16. Your quilt has so many wonderful little blocks to look at and enjoy. What fun to sit and look at how many different prints of fabric used. Hope you find a solution to your problem of the unpleasant smell.

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  17. Rosemary b here:
    Rita, this is another great quilt!
    I love the mix of fabrics

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  18. I've been a vintage seller for years, and the best method for gently cleaning vintage fabrics that I've found is oxyclean and a little mild detergent. It's remarkable what a difference it makes! I've cleaned very, very fragile fabrics with that method without issue.

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  19. Now THAT is my idea of a quilt.
    My remedy would be hanging it out in a stiff breeze, preferably when it is cold.

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  20. I use vinegar. I recently was doing laundry for a relative in a nursing home and a cup of vinegar to the wash cycle should do. Trust me, it works.

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  21. I read all the comments with great interest. I can't wait to hear what you try! Sunshine was going to be my first suggestion and then febreeze. I hope you are able to solve the problem!

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  22. This color line for this quilt is especially pretty to me this time. This looks different in a wonderful way. The Reds and purples, just all of it together makes me like this one especially. If I had the money I'd buy it!

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  23. Love this quilt and the whole idea of using our treasures rather than hoarding them, something I am very guilty of!

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  24. Love this quilt and the whole idea of using our treasures rather than hoarding them, something I am very guilty of!

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  25. Soak as you don't have to rinse it!

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  26. I've always heard white vinegar in the wash helps rid those smells. That quilt top is just awesome. Hope some of these tips help. Thanks for sharing Rita, have a great week-end!

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  27. I recommend trying airing/sunshine before anything else. It worked for me when I got a bag of remnants too small to wash easily. Also, be VERY careful if you decide to wash the flimsy; it might be better to get it quilted and finished before you wash as just a top has a tendency to fray badly or even pull apart.

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  28. I have a stash of fabric like this, but not vintage, and I need to use it NOW!

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  29. White vinegar and sunshine work wonderfully on musty textiles. My daughter lived in a mouldy flat foe a while and all her possessions smelt of mould. I washed everything I could with a cup of white vinegar in the machine and then line dried in the sun. Everything else was just put in the sun to air. Washing and then line drying in the sun produced the best results. I love the quilt and am sure you can get rid of the unwanted odours!

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