07 September 2011

Crisis averted

I finished up the ripple quilt the weekend before last. I had marked the circles for quilting using a compass and a soft graphite pencil. As I went along most of the marks came out (or smudged evenly), so I wasn't too worried about washing out the last bits after binding the quilt. But just to be sure I applied some diluted Tide detergent to the most obvious marks, then headed off to the laundromat to wash this and the two other quilts I finished in August (!) in a large front-load machine.

Well, I got distracted and ran an errand or two before the laundromat, letting the detergent sit on the fabric for a little over an hour. Didn't seem like a big deal. The blankets came out of the washer looking fine, with no trace of pencil. But when it came out of the dryer there were big discolored bloches -- like dingy age stains -- everywhere I had applied detergent. Ack! And a subsequent rewashing and air drying did nothing to get rid of the stains. Ack!


After a lot of interweb consulting and Twitter hand-holding, I've managed to make things right. I didn't try all the suggestions (I would have if I had to!), but the thing that worked was distilled white vinegar. I threw the blanket in the tub, doused the whole thing with a gallon of vinegar, and let it sit for an hour. Then I filled the tub with cold water, agitated a bit, and let it sit for another hour. Finally, I drained the tub, sent the quilt through another wash cycle, and voilĂ , the stains are gone.

Here's a photo of the damp quilt hanging to dry. The view is from the back. The khaki strip with the orange and white circle are on the back (the side facing us) and the front, visible through the backing and batting, is an arrangement of drunkard's path blocks pieced from a Kaufman Kona charm pack and various off-white solids. Hope to have more photos of the quilt in more presentable condition soon!

18 comments:

  1. Oh, how scary!!! I am glad that all ended well.

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  2. Phew! Glad it all turned out okay. That quilt must be deliciously super-soft by now, too.

    Now I know who to run to if/when I ever have a problem washing a quilt (which reminds me: I'm almost out of the Tide "free and gentle" detergent I use for quilts...)

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  3. I would have freaked out! glad to know the vinegar worked, I'll have to remember that. the quilting looks awesome!

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  4. Yikes!! I am glad you found a way to fix it...I am going to write down that vinegar trick!

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  5. Glad it worked out in the end!!!!

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  6. Vinegar really works wonders and the quilt looks great:)

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  7. The quilts looks fantastic. There is no stain you cannot get out or cover up. I love the fact you are not afraid of curves.

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  8. Your quilt looks amazing, so glad you were able to avert that crisis, I will store that little tip away for the time I need to get marks out of a quilt!! Love that you can see the front of the quilt through the back. Great quilting.

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  9. Whew! Thank god it all worked out. That quilt is far to fabulous to let a pencil ruin it! Good work!

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  10. oh gosh! i would have been weeping the whole time. i'm so glad it's all worked out. whew.

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  11. Wow, this seems to be the week for washing failures, I have read at least one other. I am so glad it worked out as that is a wonderful quilt.

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  12. Glad that it worked! This photo is amazing, by the way.

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  13. Ugh, I had my own laundry drama this week, it SUCKS! I had color bleeding on a quilt, and managed to get most of it out after a ton of work on it. Glad you had similar success. It is not fun.

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  14. Who would have thought detergent would stain a quilt? So glad you were able to fix it!

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  15. after all of the work that goes into a quilt, a laundry crisis is especially stressful. i'm glad you found a solution. i heart vinegar for all sorts of cleaning :)

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  16. Did you take any "before" pictures? Vinegar is a miracle cure for so many things--I always have a gallon on hand.

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  17. I've nominated you for the versatile blogger award on my blog. Check it out if you like...

    http://thelifeofmegananne.blogspot.com/2011/09/megan-anneie-get-your-gun.html

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