Friday, August 17, 2012

Poor Old Quilts

Yesterday I spoke with a man that I have known for many years and he has always admired my quilts, commenting about them every time I put a new one up in my office.    He told me that he was selling some of his mother's things and that she had some quilts he wanted to sell but he didn't know how much they were worth.   I told him that I would love to look at them so he dropped them off for me to view.   I knew that he was a smoker and wondered if I would be able to handle the smell, not being a smoker myself and always hating the smoke odor.   What I didn't know was that his mother and sister who lived with him for over 20 years are ALL chain smokers!  When he dropped the quilts off, they were all in plastic bags.  Plastic bags that were supposed to be CLEAR!   These were yellow/brown. Oh man......   

  I didn't know what to do with them.  They were stinking up the whole office and I couldn't put them outside because it was raining and I certainly didn't want to put them in my car.   I finally decided to put them all into a giant trash bag and tie it up.   That pretty much worked.    When I got them home, I just left them out in the garage and opened the bag up and took one out.   Now, I know you're not supposed to wash old quilts in the washing machine but I considered this quilt to be completely worthless the way it was and I even know people that would have just taken the whole lot straight to the dumpster, so I just stuck it in the washing machine and added soap and turned it on.   Ok... so I didn't really agitate it.   I smashed the quilt down with my hand (big mistake.... I couldn't get the smell out of my skin! *GAG*).   I soaked and rinsed and pushed, and soaked and rinsed and pushed for a couple of hours.   The water was BROWN over and over again.  Hubby wanted me to put some bleach in the water.. lol.     Finally, it seemed like it might be getting cleaner.   So I layed it out on the living room floor and let it dry overnight.   It still has an odor and the white parts are not white, but I think it now might be worth something.  

 It's a grandmother's flower garden and probably made in the 30s or 40s.   One of the fabrics is deteriorated and there are some brown spots on the front and back.   But here it is. 
Poor old thing....   It could still use another washing,  but overall, not a bad quilt.    I'll take it to my friend that collects old quilts.   I don't think she'll want it, but maybe can give me an idea of what it's worth. 

I think there are still 4 or 5 quilts in the bag and there are several crocheted items, including a huge bed covering and some embroidered doilies.    I'll just take care of them one at a time and see what's there and how much is worth saving, for the love of quilting......

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