July 24, 2013

Washing My Second Quilt (Part 2)

My laundry room floor is now sparkling clean. After having the washer overflow, I drained the tub and re-started it using "high/medium" as the setting.  And I watched it - oh I watched it CAREFULLY.  The water level didn't get too high this time, and was sufficient for the amount of fabric in the washer.

What I didn't mention last week was that the water coming out of the machine when I was draining it had a slightly reddish tinge to it.  Oh.. no... was something in that quilt (gold and maroon fabrics) bleeding?  Shouldn't be - really shouldn't.  I pre-washed that fabric and saw no evidence of bleeding.

After pulling the quilt out of the washer, I draped it over the stair rail on the second floor and let it air dry.  Inspecting it closely, I was delighted to see that it came through the wash quite well!  There was a small problem with a segment of the binding (about 3 inches) which came loose, but that's easy enough to fix.

And yes, somewhere a bit of red fabric did bleed - but, oddly, there's no sign of a stain on the backing (which is natural unbleached muslin). Only the front shows a little smudging of red, but it's very faint, and if you aren't looking for it, you wouldn't notice it.

So it's back on the bed, keeping us warm in this cold Australian winter.

July 17, 2013

Today's The Day (Washing My 2nd Quilt)

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the fate of my second quilt: It was laying on the bed when we had our master bathroom rennovated.  The contractor (who promised he'd be taking precautions to avoid spreading the mess all over the house) laid various dusty bits and pieces RIGHT ON THE BED! - and just the dust from the work was enough to have me pulling my hair out (in fairness, I shouldn't have left the quilt there, should have covered all with sheets or something... )

Anyway - Stephen and I took the quilt outside and beat it - got a lot of grit and dust out of it, but the fact is, it's still not "clean enough" to suit me.

To complicate things, Miss Laka (my blue and gold macaw) nipped a smallish hole when the quilt was quite new - a thin slash as if done with a knife or scissors.  So laundering this quilt is something I have not been looking forward to.

But I've procrastinated on this since March, and it's time to get over it.

Looking at the tear, thought about patching it before washing, but then decided to just put it in "as-is" and I'll patch afterward. I think there might be a bit of fraying, but there probably would be under any patch I'd put on.  No - I'm going to wash it without the patch and then see how it comes out.

So here it goes -  in the machine and a little laundry soap thrown on top:

And, with my heart in my throat, I turn the washer on and watch as the water fills and the drum turns:

It's a big quilt - a generous queen-size spread, nearly king-size.

OK... here comes another "life lesson".  I put the quilt in the machine and set the water level for "automatic".  Big mistake there.  I just checked - could hear the slow aggitation in the machine - and found the water was too high - and there's a small puddle on the floor next to the washer - EEEEK!

So I paused the machine and pushed "spin" to get the tub to empty. Once the spinning is done and the water is out, I'll mop up and start over - this time set the water level to "medium" or maybe "medium-high".  And you can bet I'll be watching it like a hawk.

Oh... this is all way more interesting than it needs to be....

July 10, 2013

Best Little Quilt Shop - Part 3

Just a couple more The Quilt Place:

A fellow customer came by when I was admiring the samples hanging on the side wall - she set her bag down while she was selecting prints for her next project and I caught a glimpse of it - how CLEVER!  All 2 inch squares sown into a lovely over-the-shoulder sling bag. OOOOOO!  She didn't want to be in the photo (other than her right arm), but gave me the OK to have a photo for the blog.

This animal print (below) I'd seen last October - and laughed at it. I thought it was terribly silly - until I touched it. Super soft fur - and oh so luxurious.  One touch and I had to have one. Bought the fabric then and there, but neglected to take a photo at the time. Thankfully, they still have it displayed:

 Here's a closeup:
The sales clerk warned me to read the instructions on this one carefully - and to note that the seam allowance should be 1/2 inch (instead of the usual 1/4 you'd use on calico).  The backing is also fur - and it's all machine quilted.  I've got the kit in my UFO closet - and have to admit that every time I get it out and look at it... well.. I'm intimidated. One of these days I'll get brave, though, and have at it. I'll probably find it's easier to do than I think it will be.

July 3, 2013

Best Little Quilt Shop - Part 2

More photos from Florida - sample quilts hanging in "The Quilt Place:

The pastel one (center) below is terribly sweet - I like the way they've combined similar prints in 3 colours (purple, orange, yellow) into one harmonious design. Then I saw the name: "Elizabeth Anne" - Hey! That's MY name!  I also love the stained glass one on the right - and purchased a copy of the pattern for that one.

Here's "Elizabeth Anne" up a little closer:
And this one (below) has a great name: "White Chocolate".  An imaginative use of related neutral prints.

I spotted the stained-glass crazy quilt (below) and snapped a hoto - but then noticed the one hanging below it with the zig-zag border:
Here's that zig-zag again - I'm still studying that border, trying to figure out how they did it.
And now a closeup of that crazy quilt: 
You have to get up close to really appreciate it - each block has hand-stitching to embellish it - and the black lattice (which I think was velveteen... could be wrong, however) is embellished as well.
I don't know what to say about that one except "Wow!"