Vintage Star Blocks:
Depression Fabric and Feedsack
I'm SO curious! Please tell me if there
is a special name for a Morning Star
block in a hexie setting!
This past weekend was Small Business Saturday, but I carried it over to my Sunday excursion. I wasn't shopping for quilt blocks, but one of my favorite little stores had a package of 69 blocks in a bin. I hemmed and hawed, but in the end decided I'd kick myself if I didn't get them. Little did I know at the time their full beauty. It took my breath away as I went through the blocks at home.
I spread a few out on the kitchen table to show you, then into a pail of cold water with Dawn Blue Dishwashing liquid and a little Oxiclean they went to wash out the years of dirt. Is this what the experts say to do? I'm not sure, but the process has worked well for me through many vintage finds, and all my new fabric, too. Dawn Blue has a neutral ph which is why they use it to clean oil from birds during a spill. It's neither an acid or a base so is considered a gentle cleaner. (Read HERE if you're into the this sort of thing.)
The trick with washing old fabric that might not be color fast is to keep it submerged, and don't let it just sit and soak. Try to keep it stirred every few minutes. You never know which colors might bleed, but brown, blue, and green have been more of a problem than others for me. And so you know, brown is made of red, blue, and yellow mixed. The red has a tendency to bleed out of the brown, but I don't find it so much when it's a pure red to start with.
The Oxiclean is a whitener or a bleach substitute. It much like mixing baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Read HERE. It won't remove old protein stains like blood, but helps to brighten light fabric, and seems safe for colors in my experience. I shake a bit into warm water to dissolve, then stir into the bucket of fabric.
If You Think It's Too Much Work...
As I soaked and stirred, I was tempted to let the next half of the batch go. I watched the surface of the water as a fair sized spider made his way out of the bucket. He went outside to live, and the rest went directly into another bucket. Does this convince you? Wash your fabric!
Another bag contained a stack of Nine Patch blocks. When I looked at the condition and the dating, they also found a new home with me. They had already been washed and starched, but they also smelled dirty. They were washed the same as the star blocks.
I also stumbled onto a scattering of Drunkard's Path blocks. I was ecstatic! They're being processed, and I'll show them soon.
This Story Will Continue...
Even with the care I took, I had 2 blocks of the nearly 100 here bleed and stain, though, minimally. This is the same block in the original picture at the top of the post center right. I don't consider that a tragedy, and will gladly have it happen at the beginning rather than when they've been assembled into quilts. I'm nearly done with all the pressing and blocking, and will show you more details soon.
Checking Off My List:
Four Patches Done and Crossed Off
Curious what 300 four patches look like? I only needed 220 for my 'En Provence' Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt, but got carried away. I think estimating the amount is easier when you're only using strips, but I added pieces of scrap strips for variety throughout, and wound up with some bonus extras for the next quilt. No worries. I'm ahead of the game the next time.
One Quilt Crossed Off the List
The first of the twin quilts was completed Sunday, and delivered until it needs a tag. Since it's a gift, the givers can enjoy it until the next is ready to deliver and wrap. I'll show you both of them when the other is finished, too.
Yesterday I devoted myself to catching up with email, and blogging. I didn't finish, but it can roll over to later today. It's on the list, and I'm accountable to it.
1. Bee Blocks head the list first off.
2. Four more rows to sew on the Twin quilt, and into the longarm.
3. I'm stuck on what kind of binding the Tiki Beads needs. It may have to wait until I can see it.
4. Catch up on Instagram.
5. Get out and enjoy the day with the dogs before the cold snap hits us.
6. Start thinking about any handmade Christmas items. Oh! That can be another list, I think.
Thank you all who added your comments to my post on list making. It's so interesting how some of us can be superproductive when we work from a list, and others just detest them. Whatever works for you--do it! The long term goal is to be happy with what you do, and who you are.
Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.
Linking up with~