Stinky donated fabric

Regular readers know that I do the Second Time Around for my quilt guild. We take in donations, and preparing it to be resold to guild members at our monthly meetings.  I’m in my 3rd year of this activity, and I have run into a BIG problem!

I want / need ADVICE  —  Backstory – I picked up a giant container of fabric donated to the guild.  A SMOKER donated it to the church, who donated to the guild. Thankfully, the secretary at the church warned me it was smelly.  The container was so big and heavy, it took two of us and a cart to get it to the car, and then we split it into 3 containers, so we could lift them. We got our first whiff while we were standing in the parking lot.  I made sure to close the containers tightly when we put them in the back of the SUV.

When I got home, I had to get it out of my car and out of the garage due to the stench.  I opened the containers outside and further split the piles of fabric to get some fresh air around the fabrics.   It made my eyes water, and started me sneezing and coughing. I let it sit outside my garage for 4 hours in the fresh air.  Those boxes are going outside again this morning for another round of fresh air.

I did a little google research and discovered that VINEGAR is the trick, if the item is washable.  The recommendation was 1 cup of vinegar to a load.  (My hubby has lots of vinegar in the garage because he makes weed spray with it..another Google research project).

I sorted out one color, GREEN, and brought it in the house to wash. I soaked it for 2 hours in the washer with hot water, and 4 cups of vinegar.  I increased the quantity of vinegar because the stench was terrible.  After it soaked, and rinsed, I washed it with hot water and laundry soap, and softener.  I also put in 4 color catchers during the 1st soak. (Good thing too!!).   After the 2nd wash it did not smell, so I put it in the dryer, on the anti-bacterial setting, and added about 4 dryer sheets.  That setting is very hot and runs for about 1 1/2 hours.

I have to report it no longer smells like anything at all!   No smoke smell, and no smell from the liquid fabric softener or the dryer sheets.  I had to do some “fluffing and folding” because some of the really big pieces got twisted up. There were some 3 & 4 yard pieces, and they got a little tangled and the expected strings, but really, not to bad considering I had the washer on heavy duty/deep water wash.   There must have been 25 yards of fabric in just this one load. I considered the method a success, and since there was so much fabric, I think it was worth saving.

Down side to my new washer (Maytag top loader with no agitator) is that it doesn’t “fill up” above the fabric. It “senses” how much water needs to go in.   I cheated the machine, and added 3 “buckets” of extra water, to make sure everything was covered. I’m sure I confused the brain of the washer, but I feel like it needed that extra depth.

Green fabric

I decided to finish this pile up by putting the pieces outside on the porch, in the shade to continue to air.

Airing of the greens

There really were some very pretty pieces!

Pretty greens

I know it doesn’t look like much now, but this is a lovely batik!

3 or more yards of batik

Several yards of that batik, so WORTH the effort I think!

I’ve started the next “SOAK” load.  The pile of reds is in the washer, with the 4 cups of vinegar and a little OXYCLEAN. (I put that it, because 3 or 4 pieces had a bit of “stain” at the fold line.) Not as large a volume of fabric, but some good piece, worth the effort to save from the “stinky smoke”..

Now the question —-  HOW do I get the stench of smoke out of the small pieces??  From what I could see, on the first dig through the bins, there are squares, and blocks and strips .  I’ve got lingerie bags, but I wonder if there is a way to get the stink out WITHOUT washing those small pieces, and without really “touching them”.   I’m afraid that doing the heavy soak and heavy wash that I am doing with the large pieces will just leave me with a bag of strings and fuzz.  I am highly allergic to the smell, and don’t want to over handle the pieces if possible until they are neutralized.  So, share your wisdom and experience, please!!  

My volunteers will be steam pressing, trimming, measuring and folding the first 25 yards or more and getting it ready to sell at the September guild meeting in the next few weeks.

My daughter & I chatted about the Pros & cons of washing all this fabric. It is worth it, IF the ends justify the means.  Well, I think it was worth the washing, in spite of the the wrinkles, the cost of the washing machine wear and tear, hot water, drying, and laundry products.  Our Second Time Around sales at the guild meetings average over $400 at each meeting, so the effort pays off.  The members LOVE to shop our tables, where we are selling fabric for $2/yard.

Looking forward to hearing any and all advice.

ps…I’m sure most smokers don’t even realise how the smoke in the air clings to their fabrics.  I was married to a smoker for nearly 30 years, and he had no idea how bad the smell was, and didn’t believe what it did to his body. His death from Kidney cancer was attributed to smoking at age 53.  If you need help stopping, talk to a medical professional.  For your sake first and foremost, and for the sake of those who love you.

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Little girls Sun Dress

In a previous post this month I mentioned making a sundress (https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2018/07/05/summer-sewing/ ) with fabric my 8 year old granddaughter chose.  That dress went off in the mail yesterday after I put a size tag in it.

When I finished her dress,  I pulled fabrics that I considered “suitable for sundresses” for young girls.  Look at these fun fabrics!  I’d forgotten I had an entire tote full of “tutti fruiti” fabrics.

Tutti Fruitti fabrics

This batch is that puckery Tutti Fruiti fabric. I have a couple of yards of each print. I think I used the green plaid (c) in a sundress a few years back.

Tutti fruiti choices

This group is my favorite of all the prints. Again, it is the puckery Tutti Fruiti fabric and I have at least a yard or more of each.

coordinating prints

These two are also Tutti Fruiti, and are coordinating prints. They would make a nice outfit together.

I also dug into my stash of “pink cottons” and came up with this –

fun cotton fabrics

They of course don’t play well together but each is fun on it’s own.  I must look for some lime green to go with that fabric I marked with a J.  These are quilters cotton.

Digging deep into the box of red & orange & pink fabric in my stash I pulled out these more “grown up” fabrics –

from the pink stash

They are soft, lovely cotton pieces that don’t scream “kid fabric”.  That box was overflowing, so I pulled out ALL the pinks and refolded them (ruler fold), and created a container of “just pink”.  Now both lids will close.

All of these fabrics were the choices I sent off to the  5 year old granddaughter to ponder!  You might remember she decided she wants to “feel the fabric” before she decides!  (Makes my heart sing with joy, because I am like that when I am in a quilt shop!!)

Meanwhile…..I decided to  start on a size 3 for the littlest granddaughter. She didn’t get a choice in fabric selection, I chose for her.  I chose a yard of fabric E, and after the pattern tracing got started with the sewing. I finished up today, attaching the bodice to the skirt, making the button holes and sewing the buttons on by machine.  The dress is in the wash and ready to deliver tomorrow.

front of size 3 dress

Size 3 sundress – front

Size 3 dress

Size 3 sundress – back – 11 buttons!

I can’t wait to try it on my youngest granddaughter and see if I guess right on the size.

I always find commercial garment patterns to run rather large, or maybe I just have small grands.  I’ve never recorded her measurements, but this grandma is taking the tape measure along tomorrow when I deliver !!

Middle granddaughter will make her fabric choices when she is visiting in August.  Her mommy said she is SO excited about all the fabrics and getting to chose!

That’s all for this StitchingGrandma this week!  What have you been up to lately?

 

Sewing at the Assisted Living facility etc

On Thursdays, I often go sew with the residents at Brandywine Assisted Living.  I started this project after my friend June moved into the facility.  June has been out of commission for over 2 months due to a fall, breaking her back, being in hospital and rehab and unable to get around very much.  I saw her last in early June, and found out recently she had gone back to the hospital.  Turns out what was really giving her pain were two broken ribs, besides the injury to her back.  Well, I like to report I saw her this week, up and walking, with a smile on her face!  She wasn’t up to sewing yet, but she is in much better state. I was so glad to see her!  Apparently she had been “out for a walk”, with an aide, while we were sewing.  We all got to visit for a few minutes, and even her hubby is in better spirits since she is doing so much better.  My hubby was very pleased to see both June and her hubby.  So, thanks to my readers who have kept dear June in thought and prayer!

I have 2 “regulars” , besides June, who like to work on projects,  Trish and Dee.  Trish is the “seamstress” at Brandywine.  Everybody brings Trish things to hem, fix etc.  She often gets asked to make things for people and is generous with her time.  She “travels” to the room where we sew with her machine in the box, on the seat of her rolling walker.  She is a very independent woman, who still drives, and goes to classes at the local quilt shop about 10 miles away. Trish brought a lovely bag she had just made for “show & tell”.  Trish is not a quilter, but since I am, that is the direction I am taking the sewing group. The other “regular” is Dee.  She IS a quilter, and enjoys working with the fabric and is a power sewer.  No instruction needed about 1/4 ” seam allowances or “right sides together” or “chain piecing”.

I was given a bankers box of 4.5″ squares several months ago, and thought they would be a perfect start for these ladies.  I never know how many people are coming, and this gave me a huge variety of fabric to have ready to sew.  Dee and Trish started their quilts in May, laying out blocks they liked, etc.  Dee wanted to make a lap quilt, and Trish a baby quilt.  This box of squares had a wide variety, and made a good jumping off point.  They enjoyed going through stacks of squares looking for fabrics that met their personal requirements!  Last month I suggested to Trish that she order 2 yards of white fabric for use as sashing.

Trish called me early in the week and let me know her fabric had arrived.  When I arrived this week, she had her fabric ready to cut. My quilter’s assistant (aka husband) helped Trish, handing her blocks and replacing them on the design “wall”.  (Our design wall is a plastic table cloth with flannel back!)  I cut sashing strips and posts, while Trish sewed.  With that extra pair of hands, we cut just the right amount of strips, and Trish was able to get them sewn on one side of the block, and all the posts sewn on the remaining strips.  She was so happy with how the scrappy blocks were setting with the sashing!  Trish was also very appreciative of my “Quilter’s helper”, keeping her pieces straight on the the design space!  I have several yards of a very pretty fabric (from June’s fabric stash) that will get used for the backing.

Quilting at Brandywine Assisted Living

Quilters assistant Bill with Trish!  They both were having a good time.  I think they will be disappointed if Bill doesn’t come “next time”!  

Next time I go to sew, I will get a picture of Dee hard at work.  This week wasn’t a good time for a photo of her.  She had taken a bad fall and her face is still severely bruised. She had an interesting story to share to accompany the bruises, and let’s just say, be careful when you are in a hurry!

While I was cutting fabric, and pressing parts for the ladies, my phone was buzzing and ringing.  I had 2 friends reaching out to check on “my” well being. While we were away from home, there was an accident on our busy road, right in front of our house. We came home to find the roadway covered in sand (to absorb the oil/fuel spills I suppose) and orange markings all over the road and in our lawn.

Lucky we have a fence!

We could not figure out what had happened, but were thankful our fence was still in place. (I know, time for power washing and painting again! It’s been 8 years…)

I posted the picture above on Facebook and asked if anyone knew what had happened.  Another friend sent me a link to the local fire company photo’s of the accident.  Now the orange paint makes sense. The marks in our grass were LR (Left Rear) and RR (Right rear).

I am guessing the red car crossed the center lane and hit the white car head on, pushing the white car back into our yard and narrowly missing our fence.  I just don’t understand how this can happen at 35 mph!  Big, wide shoulders on both sides of the road.  I’m still shaking my head.  (Not that everyone really drives the speed limit……) Neighbors who have to turn into the development across the street from us often talk about how risky making the turn is, with people passing on the right shoulder, rather than waiting for them to make the turn.  Completely illegal in Delaware to pass on the shoulder.  Getting out of our driveway during “commute times” is challenging, and we often have to wait 2 or 3 minutes for traffic.  The speed limit changes to 25 mph just north of our house, so everyone going south is “speeding up” to the 35 mph (or higher) and traffic going north into town is (should be) slowing from 45 to 35 to 25….but that doesn’t happen.  I guess we won’t know the “rest of the story” about this accident, but we were grateful to find the mailbox and fence intact when we arrived home a couple of hours after the incident. Both of these vehicles were seriously damaged, and I pray the occupants were not seriously injured. I could see in other photo’s that the “side curtain” air bags had deployed on the white Kia.

I am thankful to, for those friends who cared enough to check on our well being. And, I am even more thankful that my husband decided to ride along with me to Brandywine to visit with June and Walt, instead of staying home to cut grass in the summer heat and humidity. Cutting that “strip” in front of the fence is always risky with the road traffic, but today is Saturday, much cooler and less traffic too!  I should be out weeding, but I have a sundress to make!

Stay safe on the roads this long holiday week, and slow down, give others a break, leave early and put down your phones while you are driving.

Scrap Dance Square Dance Assembly Complete

Yes, I sometimes talk about my own quilts on this blog….  Yesterday I posted about a quilt show I visited.  Today, I am changing directions.

I’ve been playing along with the mystery quilt shared by Carole – http://frommycarolinahome.com// and earlier in June she published the finally pattern layout.  The pattern is currently free on her blog until the end of June, when she will pull it down for commercial publication.

I really enjoy Carole’s patterns, and I especially like her mysteries.  One of her rules is not to try to “guess the layout” before the final pattern setting is given.  Her other rule is to not share the specifics of the pattern, but to ask people to find it on her page. If you are following my blog using a computer, you should see a button off to the side for the Scrap Dance Square Dance Mystery quilt.  If you want the pattern for free you must hurry!

A quick recap -Each step of the dance had a fun name associated with the activity. I posted about each step as it was occuring, but I will share a photo from each month.  If you want more info, you can do a quick search for “Scrap Dance Square Dance” on my blog to read all the posts.

January the yardage requirements and cutting instructions came out. It was called “Bow to Your Partner, Bow to Your Corner” .  ALL my fabric except the background fabric came from my scrap baskets!  I decided that I could easily make a twin with all the scraps I have collected, so I got busy during my scrap clean up setting aside bigger pieces for the rectangles.  I knew I had enough squares of the required size in my scrap storage system, so I didn’t cut any squares.

February we made 9 patches – and the lesson was called “Do-Si-Do”.

9 patches

March had us working with our rectangle pieces of 2 different sizes and she called that “Come Down the Middle”.  In the photo below you can see ALL my pieces up on my design wall.

Scrap Dance Square Dance parts constructed

April was working with our rotary cutters and it was called “Allemande Left”.  You can see the result in the May photo where we made those nice triangular cuts of color and white.

May was again working with our rectangle pieces and she called that step “Promenade”.

Square Dance - Promenade

June was the final layout and it was called “Shoot the Star!”. The construction method had us “spinning our partner blocks” and the result was fantastic –

Scrap Dance Square Dance

             SCRAP DANCE SQUARE DANCE by Mary Deeter

In April, Carole gave us “unfinished sizes”.  The sizes she gave were “without borders”.  I must have glossed over those dimensions.  Once on my design wall, I thought it was too narrow and too short for MY typical twin.   I decided, I wanted to go larger…..of course!  I added an extra row of blocks all the way around to bump the size up to 61×85.  I didn’t want to add borders as much as I wanted the star to be complete all the way around. So, before I could finish the assembly I dug back in the scrap boxes and tried to find scraps that were similar in tone and color to what I had already included in the quilt so it wouldn’t be to obvious that I added those blocks “at the end” of the assembly.  I was pretty happy with the color placement and the final outcome.  I loved the spinning stars.

This has been a great project and as always, a lot of fun to follow along each month.  My method has been to “set aside the clue day” if possible and dedicate it to working just on the mystery project. It seems to work out well for me except when travel or other commitments get in the way.  Carole gives such good clear instructions her patterns are easy to follow.  If you like what you see you have a chance to download the pattern for free before the end of June.

On my blog, I have talked about many of the other projects I have made using Carole’s patterns. She has free patterns on her blog as well as some for sale.  Go take a look and enjoy the fun.

I will be linking up to “Oh Scrap” when the link up comes on line and I will post that link here. early next week.

Happy sewing!  (Go sew with some scraps!!)

 

Women’s Memorial (WIMSA) and Quilts

In early May I travelled to the Washington DC metro area to house hunt with my daughter.  I only live about 2 1/2 hours away, but haven’t been there since I went for the Cherry Blossoms about 6 years or more ago, with my other daughter.

There was a time when I could get nearly anywhere in the Capital with a quick glance at the map.  I had a job once, in the early 90’s, where I ran tours for military folks from our base in Delaware and I fancied myself as quite the expert.  I used to know a lot about the tourist sites.  My kids were in elementary school, and I often took them with me on the excursions. I think they grew up knowing the “layout”, just like I did, of the city.  We each had our favorite Smithsonian museum, and we could all navigate the metro system well, and knew where to find a cold drink and public restrooms, and all the best places to cool off on a hot day, and where to have lunch.  That area has sure changed.

This recent trip for house hunting availed a little time off, and we hopped on the metro with one specific destination.  I have never been to the Women in the Military Service for America Memorial (WIMSA).  Often called the Women’s Memorial, it stands at the gates of Arlington Cemetery and is accessible by the Metro. It was a great place to go with my daughter.  We are both US Air Force Veterans, and I am a registrant of the museum. (I have to dig out a photo to add to my original registration).

When this museum was just a dream, I supported it financially through the Combined Federal Campaign, and did so for more than 20 years while I was still working.  Now, that I am retired, I support them through the Amazon Smile charity app.  Anytime I shop on Amazon, they get a percentage of the sale.

I was excited to go, because even though the museum has been open since the mid 1990’s, I had never visited!  (I think back to when it opened, and the dates coincide with when I started working shift work) There was a huge gap of years between my visits to Washington DC.  Now that my one daughter is going to live in the Washington DC metro area, I can look forward to revisiting the city, and maybe find some new places too.

We spent several hours in the museum, reading all the placards near the items on display.

I was pleased to find quilts to share with you too. This “Trip Around the World” was one of the first things I saw as we came into the museum.  Be sure to check out the placard below the quilt photo.

Free Spirit of Massachusetts

Free Spirit of Massachusetts Quilt description

Near the desk where you enroll as a  WIMSA member I saw this stunning quilt.  It is called the “COMFORT QUILT”.

Operation Iraqi Freedom quilt at WIMSA

Too bad the museum curators blocked 1/3 of the quilt with the description boards.  I of course had my head leaning over the back of the boards to read and study the blocks.  I did shoot some detail shots, though they didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped.

Signature blocks on quilt at WIMSA

Blocks on quilt at WIMSA

Statistic block on the quilt at WIMSA

and now the story behind this great quilt –

Comfort Quilt story

Comfort quilt description

If you are ever in the Washington DC Metro area, and have a chance, a visit to the Women in Military Service for America Museum is worth the stop and the time. The museum is “hidden” behind those fantastic walls at the “gate” to Arlington National Cemetery. You have to really “look” for the signs once you have gone through security.  Ask a guard to point you in the proper direction.

Funny how I manage to make travel and quilting interweave.  What do you keep your eyes “open” for when traveling??

Disclaimer….there is MUCH to see in this museum….beyond these 2 quilts!!!

 

And now, back to the Sewing Machine

I’ve been hanging out off and on with some lovely ladies at a local assisted living facility. My friend June, who is a resident there, asked me if I would come and sew with the residents. It’s really been a treat.

One day I came with a basket full of fabric, and this lovely lady in the photo below arrived (via her walker) with a tattered old pillow and case and asked to make a new cover for it.  She picked out fabric from my basket, and together we came up with a plan for an “envelope” style pillow cover. I thought it would be handy to have something removable that could be washed.  She liked my plan and I cut out the fabric.  She came with her “own” box of pins, still in their SUCRETS box (for the 1960’s I am guessing! She did all the sewing, I just stood by to rethread needles and wind bobbins, and iron as necessary.  In no time at all she had the pillow “slip-cover” made.  Then I took a look at the existing pillow.  Gosh, it was one of those pillow forms you buy and the actual cover of it was shredding.  My fingers went right through the covering and I could see where she had patched it over the years.

I suggested that the following week, we make a muslin cover for it, and stitch it closed.  So, the following week, I supplied an adequate piece of muslin, and again we  planned it out, I did the cutting and pressing and pinning, but Elsa stitched it herself. We stuffed her tattered pillow into that muslin case Elsa made, and sewed it shut. Then we put it in the lovely floral case that she made the week before.  It should last Elsa for many years.

Sewing with Elsa

Oh, by the way….did I mention Elsa had her birthday in early June?   She just turned 101 !!  My goodness she was happy to have that pillowcase!  (Did you notice her container of pins??)

I admired this grand “walker-tote bag” she moves around the assisted living facility with.  It has a lot of flair!  It was made by her daughter, and certainly was well done.

Elsa's walker bag

Our church project for the graduating high school seniors concluded in May.  We got together in early May and did the final layering and tying, then I brought it home to bind. (Susie’s Magic Binding of course….google it if you want to know more) Picture below is the finished quilt.

Lida Gannon quilt 2018

The quilt was presented on Mother’s Day, and the student in the photo below has the quilt over her shoulders, and is praying for her parents.  I just love the presentation at church.

Praying for parents The Gannon family

This is the first time in the 10 years I have been involved with this  program at church where we ONLY had one graduate.

My month of May was busy with a house hunting trip in the Washington DC metro area with my daughter. We spent a lovely week together eating interesting foods and wandering through countless rental properties trying to narrow down one that would suit her family for the next couple of years. I was in sticker shock over the costs of rental properties.

I had some time at 2 quilt bees, the Material Girls and the Queen Bees to do a bit more work on my “Autumn Jubilee” project.  I take the project with me when ever I go to a bee.  I now have 4 more placemats complete (except for the binding)!  No pictures until I get them bound!!

May and June also kept me busy with the From My Carolina Home mystery quilt – Scrap Dance Square Dance.  The final clue of the mystery came out in June, and was able to close the door on another successful quilt along. I had planned for a twin size, but once I had it all on the design wall, I realised the dimensions were just too small for my taste, so I made more blocks and “supersized” the twin.  (It is really a full according to the pattern, but I am calling it a supersized twin).

Scrap Dance Square Dance

It is 61×85 without borders or binding.  I will probably just layer it and quilt “as is”, because it is a perfect size. I love the spinning stars.  It is 98% scrappy. Only the white stars were created from yardage in my stash.

This project has been fun to follow on Carole’s Facebook Group – From My Carolina Home Project Sharing

I like seeing all the color choices others have made.

The pattern is still up on Carole’s blog page until the end of the month. Get it for free now, before she pulls it down to publish commercially.  It is quick, easy, and fun!

That’s it for me for now.  I have a sun dress pattern for a granddaughter all cut out and waiting to be sewn.  I am going to try to work on it “between things” this week.  I am handling the snacks at church again, all week, for the Vacation Bible School kids.  Right now, there are 113 kids registered. The shopping and organizing is done, except for ice cream and strawberries for later in the week. (And I have a volunteer who is handling that area).   I am gather motivation to crush 4 boxes of cookies in the food processor for VBS snacks tomorrow…..turning them into “sand” to go on top of vanilla pudding cups along with swedish fish!  And then there is the popcorn to pop for Tuesday…..wish me luck and pray for a wonderful week with the children.

How’s your sewing and June fun?

PS, if you are a prayerful person, pray for my friend June who broke her back in early May and is slowly recovering.

Our Most Excellent Quilting Adventure, 2018 Version – SHARED

I know, I said I was wrapping up my travel post yesterday, but I needed to share this post with you first thing!

I’ve talked about the One Block Wonder Woman — well….she shared her story of my visit and her photos of the Queen Mary in Long Beach California on her post below!  

Go check it out  Our Most Excellent Quilting Adventure, 2018 Version (USE THAT LINK !) and be sure to follow for her excellent quilting and gardening posts!