Saturday 5 December 2015

Strawberry Whine

That is not a typo in the title of this post. I meant whine, indeed I did.

The binding is on the red and white quilt. And, having ignored this quilt for so long, I am in love with it again.

It is the border that makes this quilt for me. I think it would be kind of boring without it. But that's just my opinion. As it is I was happy to find that I still have a lot of photos saved on how I constructed the blocks so maybe I can get a pattern written for it after all.

But, what was the problem that made me walk away from it for so long. Well, if you look up at the top row of blocks you will see a mark between the second and third block. If you look more closely it looks like this.

Yeah, pretty huh?! And that was what made me bury this almost finished quilt for the best part of a year.

Last Christmas we did some entertaining, as you do. Included in this was a number of younger children and although I had the quilt folded and tucked away under and at the back of my sewing desk (which is in the dining room) somehow a strawberry made its way onto the quilt top and it was sod's law that it had to land on a white bit.

The problem really began not with the dropping of the strawberry but the fact that I didn't discover it for over a month, and by that time it was a dried up discoloured lump only identifiable by the fact that I could still discern strawberry seeds on the outside of it. The stain was well and truly set by then and I dealt with it in my usual manner - ignored it. Walked away, sulked, maybe stomped a bit, and pretended it didn't exist.

Until the past few days. Yesterday I applied three different stain removers (not at the same time), and did two washes of the whole quilt - with copious amounts of colour catchers and stain/colour magnets. (By the way, what did we do before these things were invented?)

And now I have a quilt I can live with.

By no means perfect, and I am not done trying to get the remains of the stain out, but I can happily put this quilt out for Christmas and use it now. I may fold it so that the faded stain is hidden but I am sure that's understandable.

It really is more of a smudge now. Sunlight, other stain removers and time will do the rest of the job. Meanwhile, on the absolutely bright side, I love, love, love how the quilting looks all crinkled up. The contrast of the white swirls to the red straight lines. The swirls stand out so much more now and the quilt is all soft and huggable.

What's not to like about that? Though strawberry eating will be forbidden anywhere in the vicinity of this quilt. Just saying.


PS: This is the only quilt I have ever made that I had quilted by someone else and that someone is my friend Trudi, Brit Bee original member and long arm quilter extrodinaire. She can be found here.


  1. That is the most beautiful quilt - you will get so much enjoyment out of it this holiday season and it has a story that makes it a part of your everyday life - it's lovely!

  2. I adore this quilt (and Trudi's quilting!) - so glad you've managed to reduce the impact of the stain. Mam used to swear by Stain Devils (to get the grass stains out of my brother's school trousers and shirts!) and I think you can still get them, they have different types for different stains. I hope the strawberry blood continues to disappear as the quilt is used and washed!

  3. Isn't that combination of stark red and white so compelling. And so sorry about that mishap, but I think you are on top of it now. It really is too beautiful not to use. Lovely work.

  4. I think your quilt is gorgeous! I'd love to see a pattern for it, I agree that the border just makes the design. Now that you've gotten the stain mostly out, I'd suggest sunning it outside. You'd be amazed with what the sun could get out of cloth diapers, I'd imagine it could help an organic food stain as well.

  5. My heart aches for you and we've all had those types of mishaps but it still doesn't make it any easier. Looks like you've made most of it "disappear" and can now enjoy it's beauty,enjoy.

  6. This is an absolutely stunning quilt, I am glad you have managed to get most of the stain out. I guess though, that where ever and when ever a quilt is in use and being loved by its user, there is the risk of stains and spillages. Part of what gives them that sense of history.
    Well done for pulling it out and finishing it though, so worth the result.

  7. Well, what we do when we find a boo boo, it applique a butterfly on the quilt.
    Glad that you're happy with it now and that it's no longer a UFO.

  8. What a shame about the stain! After all the hard work to have it marked like that. I really like the way you have carried the blocks out into the border. Lovely.

  9. Agreed....time and more washings will finish removing the stain but meanwhile, it's one beautiful quilt!

  10. Can you get rid of Strawberries with sun as well? I remember some stains bleach in sunlight (which might be hard to get these days but summer will be back one day). anyway it is a beautiful quilt and it is perfect to snuggle in now!

  11. I thought it was a burn at first! You could dilute a bit of bleach and apply it with a brush and watch it until it goes the right shade and then flush with water.... unless it's not white-white... It's so pretty!


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