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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Heirloom Textiles

Last week was my Ag Extension meeting, with the lesson being on heirloom textiles and their care.  It was pretty much the basic info you see everywhere, with the exception of a few tips I hadn’t heard.

~ The safest way to clean delicate fabric is to vacuum it with a low suction vacuum.  You place a piece of the nylon screen over it and gently vacuum 2 or 3 times.  Turn it over and repeat.

~ If you are ‘wet cleaning’ fabric, support it by laying it across a nylon or fiberglass screen (from the hardware store).  Bind the edges of the screen with medical tape to prevent it from snagging.

~ The safest cleaner to use is “Orvus Paste”.  Surprisingly, it is a livestock shampoo!  It can be purchased at quilt stores in small tubs for big dollars OR at livestock stores in big tubs for small dollars.  Go figure… 

Now here was the best part of the meeting… the ladies brought some of their heirloom textiles for a “show and tell” of sorts!  There were some wonderful pieces!

This bed throw had a great story.  When the maker passed away, the family had an estate sale.  The lady had made many, many knit and crochet pieces, so the family all had what they wanted.  The rest were put in the sale.  Some were yellowed and tired.  A family friend bought this piece and took it home and washed it immediately. 

On the last day of the sale she returned with the throw.  She greeted her friends with the statement… “You do NOT want to sell this!”

And she opened it to reveal it had been stitched across the top “To Mack from Mother 1917”. 

She was right… they didn’t want to sell that piece!  And due to that lady’s kindness, it is back in the family.

Here is a bit of upcycling.  Bobbie T used a remnant of fabric and some old doilies to create a window valance.  What a great one-of-a-kind piece!

This unique pillow cover was made by a mother to commemorate her son going to war.

That is EIGHTEEN ninety eight folks!  The Spanish-American War.

The names of the young men from their area that traveled together to Camp Elger are stitched on, as is this patriotic motif. 

Another interesting military textile was this silk map from World War I. 

Himself found this piece fascinating.  (He had come along because he is friends with everyone in the group and doesn’t get to see them much).

Someone brought this sweet little bird bridge table cover.

I don’t know about you, but I love crochet doilies.  I have several my paternal grandmother made that will be passed on to Little Bird and Little Hoss.

Some net darning.

More tablecloths.

The stitching in the silk embroidered rose was beautiful. 

Elaine showed the comforter she crocheted and cross stitched.  It took her 3 years to do it.  The back is as beautiful as the front. 

It was such fun to see so many beautiful handworks and to hear the stories that went with them. 

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