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help with incredibly old moldy fabric for a quilt???

Posted by rob333 (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 29, 10 at 15:30

You may remember, when my mom cleaned out her parents' home, there was a bag that sort of got thrown into a not so awfully protected corner. It was what we guess to be the last quilt my great grandmother was working on when she died. It is the squares all sewn together, but nothing more. I washed it in very mild cleanser in lukewarm water and then laid it on the covered patio table to dry in the early summer air. It wasn't too hot. I feel like I did that part pretty well. Now it is time to get down to the nitty-gritty. I'd like to remove what is savalageable and then clean it further. There are patches where there is absolutely no material left, completely disintegrated when it hit the water. I knew that would happen, and felt it was worth the risk. I do think we can save enough to make one side of one regular quilt. Had it all survived, there would've been enough for a two sided quilt for a king size bed. It was huge! Let me know your thoughts as I prepare to unfurl this beauty soon.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: help with incredibly old moldy fabric for a quilt???

Robin,you might go over to quilt forum and ask them there. They would really know what to tell you I'll bet. It's on the Homesite.


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RE: help with incredibly old moldy fabric for a quilt???

How about making a "great grandmother" inspired quilt? Take the most useful fabric from your great grandmother's stash, combine them with fabric that you and yours pick out for the rest of the quilt. It becomes a family quilt.


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RE: help with incredibly old moldy fabric for a quilt???

All the pieces are already sewn together :( so it'll have to be taken apart very carefully. I can do that. Ok. I hope to get the pieces off to a very very good family friend who thinks she can do something with it.


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RE: help with incredibly old moldy fabric for a quilt???

Soon, it'll be off to my friend who will make it into something somewhat usable.

It was so full of mold, I washed it via the washing machine. No point in having it if we couldn't enjoy it. It seemed to be in good enough shape. Boy, they don't make textiles like they used to, as it held up and looks like it did before washing, except cleaner.Further, you can tell this is a quilt that was made purely from necessity, that is, it's from leftover clothes made for a blanket.

My favorite squares

I can see this having been a small boy's pajamas

An obviously "50s" pattern

And just because

One half of the fabric. You can see there are still many squares that aren't usable, but some that are.


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RE: help with incredibly old moldy fabric for a quilt???

Luv the retro cloth. Glad to see that you took a chance and washed it in the machine. It took a "hope and prayer" to do that. And I agree" No point in having it if we couldn't enjoy it."
I made most of our DD clothes from birth until she was about 8 years old. That's when she wanted "store bought" clothes. I picked out every piece of material. I made a quilt out of her early outfits and we enjoy looking at it and remembering that time.
Now, fast forward, some 40 years, it seems that some of the material is holding up better than others. Same as you described, Rob. At some point, before I turn the quilt over to her, I may have to replace some blocks of fabric. That's going to be a bear.
A note, pick good thread and a sharp needle.


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RE: help with incredibly old moldy fabric for a quilt???

Oh gads, rob, after your post about your great grandmother's quilt, I decided to check on my daughter's quilt. The news is not good. I washed it in the machine and many of the seams have ripped. I don't know if I have it in me to fix it.


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RE: help with incredibly old moldy fabric for a quilt???

All you can do is try. I wish the best!


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RE: help with incredibly old moldy fabric for a quilt???

Rob, are you aware that quilt shopshave fabric made of retro patterns? I went in a shop with my friends who quilts and I was amazed. If you've not been in quilting shops you should check it out.


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