Monday, May 16, 2011

Laundry Lady

Well my hands are red and sore, but I am mastering the art of laundering antique and vintage quilts. The special recipe from one of my ladies in the USA is being used. There is a trick to it as the fabrics are old, some not colourfast and the old battings were usually unbleached cottons. You often have rust spots, age spots and just general old stains from use.  Lots of hurdles to be worked out before they can be done. But they come up a treat...and so are my muscles! A fully sodden quilt weighs a ton!
With so many arriving I have to stay on top of them all. I know that in some cases you shouldn't launder, but as I sell these I try to give them a gentle freshen up. Some, I know you just can't and the best you can do it line air them.
So now the slipped seams will be re-stitched, popped patches and shattered squares will be carefully replaced and a few other little repairs will be done. I do not like to change the character of the quilts, I like the ageing and the irregularities of them so I tend to only do what they need.
I let the new owner decide what they would like to do.
And its a great chance to get up close and have a good look at all the amazing patterns in them. I can look at them for hours and still find prints I didn't see before.

1920's turkey red Squares. To be made up.

1920 to early 1950s Strip Patch quilt with loads of Novelty Prints, Silks, Rayons and Cottons.

1930's Feed Sack String Patch Quilt

Close Up of a 1950's Block 16 Patch.

1950's Block 16 Patch. Novelties and Rare Mid Century Prints.

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