Friday, March 11, 2011

If you get a stain on a really important quilt...a tutorial on what NOT to do.

I had a small spot on the McCall's quilt...this will be my first published quilt (well, hopefully will be at this point!). It appeared to be strawberry jam or something. It was a small spot in the top left side on a big section of white. The longarm quilter spotted it when I brought it in and though I had been working with this thing like a surgeon all scrubbed and ready for duty, my kids managed to sneak something on there. TYPICAL.

I immediately thought I would just dilute a bleach/water solution and dab it with a q tip and rinse but the longarmer recommended a paste of an enzymatic laundry cleaner. I did it her way. It did not get the stain out. Ok, I go to my last resort...the bleach. The bleach solution immediately removed the stain. I was happy until I noticed a hard water stain (I am guessing) that was a huge yellowy tan line from where the water I had used to rinse off the enzymatic cleaner had traveled. Oh man.

I go get bottled water and try to rinse out the hard water stain. No such luck. I decide to take my iron and try to get out the wrinkles and crinkles that are forming (but not around the stain). Poof. Rust pours out of my 3 month old Rowenta Iron. You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me.

I run to the sink to rinse out the fresh rust stain and as I pull the quilt up to inspect my work there is a giant red food stain...on the white area. Fo realz? Yes, fo realz. I just said "FORGET THIS" and took the quilt up and washed it in low agitation on cold and then laid it on towels to dry after shaking out as many wrinkles as I could.

I now have a clean, slightly crinkly quilt. I am hoping to steam out the wrinkles. I told my quilter friends and church and one of them said "of course this happened to you, it's YOUR life.". Yes, my lot in life is to have crazy things happen to me. Some of them are good, some not, but all are interesting at least, right???

As if that weren't enough, I ran out of binding fabric 20" from the end and had to order a whole yard of fabric extra to get enough of the print I needed to finish (it's a multi stripe fabric from American Jane).   This quilt is high maintenance!

Any suggestions on how to successfully decrinkle a quilt??? It has not been machine dried so I feel there is still hope.


  1. Yikes! It's like the universe is conspiring against this quilt! I'm so sorry to hear about your dilema... I hope it all turns out well in the end!

  2. I wish I had some answers for you. I've never tried to UNcrinkle a quilt. This sounds like a rough day. But of course it would happen to a very important quilt...isn't that Murphy's Law?

  3. Some days are just like that. Just makes you want to start over. Sorry, no help for decrinkling a quilt. Just sympathy.

  4. Oh no! What a day! Did you wake up with gum in your hair too? ;)

    I have never un-crinkled a quilt but I bet steaming/ironing would help since it has a shrinking effect.

    This will definitely be a memorable quilt!

    Jennifer :)

  5. I love crinkled quilts - I wash them just for that look!!

  6. Oy! You have some patience! I'm not sure what I would have done although that totally sounds like something that would happen to me. Hope it all ends up clean and wrinkle free.

  7. Oh Mylanta! Um, the only thing I can suggest for uncrinkling the quilt would be to use a wringle releaser of some sort. I think Downey makes one. That or simply (and patiently) ironing it out. Oy, I don't envy you today.

  8. Sorry, WRINKLE releaser. I just had to wrangle my dog into and out of the bath tub and flubbed my words, especially since I now want to wring her neck! Great Danes + Bathtime = Headache.

  9. All I can say is I am so sorry! This is one of those times when I would want to throw the whole thing away!!

  10. I know this is well past the time you needed the suggestion but could be helpful to others later. To "unwrinkle" a quilt, while it's still damp, you can block it. Here is a good tutorial to show how to do it:

    Hope this helps!


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