Saturday, April 24, 2010


As an introduction to my first Helpful Hint Weekend post, a few years ago I borrowed decorating and sewing books & magazines from the library. I gleaned a lot of great helpful hints from them, though I did not write down the names of the sources. So, here's apologies for not being able to pass along reference material names, but I'm sure these ideas were not exclusives of the authors and can be passed along.

Please visit my blog every weekend for the latest hint. I will post one or two per blog. Some weeks the entry may be short, some weeks long. :)

If you have a terrific helpful hint you know about that is not commonly known, please send it to me (you should be able to connect to my email through this blog, but if not, post a comment asking where to send your hint with a way for me to contact you). If I particularly like it, I'll be sure to post it some week and give you credit for the hint, and post a link to your blog, website, selling site, whatever you have and provide in the way of web links as a thank you!

As a seamstress and crafter, I've come across old quilts & fabric at garage sales or auctions that I couldn't live without; however, it smelled musty and just AWFUL! I took a stab at buying some such pieces and washing them per usual methods, but the smell persisted, thus promising myself I will never buy something like that ever again. What a disappointment my bargains became. It was difficult to pass by those "gotta have it" items that shared that musty odor at times.
GOOD NEWS though!
Vinegar. Who would have thought this could have so many uses?
First, wash the fabric in the method appropriate for the fabric type then simply add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle. This should be enough to cut the odor and not cause your fabric to smell like vinegar when it's done (and if it does, simply rinse again without vinegar added). Remember to always launder your quilts by hand in the bathtub and hang on a drying rack. Never use automatic machines in order to keep your quilt in great condition for many, many years!
Do you have a quilt or vintage fabric you are concerned about washing with vinegar as it may be harsh? Handwash with Orvis quilt soap and hang up to dry. Here again, you will need a drying rack for larger pieces. There is a product called "QUILTFRESH" that claims to remove odors from fabric that you could try, also. Mountain Mist Ensure is designed for textile care & preservation. Remember to "test" a spot on your item with any product you before laundering to verify color fastness and always follow manufacturer's directions exactly.
I also found another possible remedy the natural way! Again, please spot check your piece before treating. Tea tree oil is known to kill fungus, baceria and germs. Dilute two teaspoons with two cups of water. You'll need a place to spread out your piece so that you can spritz it all over with the solution. This oil has a distinct odor of its own that won't be as strong with diluting, but you may not care to use this method for this very reason. I have never tried this and have no idea if you can or how to eliminate that scent. It makes me laugh because it may turn into trading one scent for another. Personally, I would test this on something old and intended to use for a rag afterwards and see how it smells when done. If undesireable, see how easy it is to get rid of that scent. Perhaps washing/rinsing one or two times would eliminate the problem. Of course, who wants to go through that much work if you are handwashing a quilt in your bathtub? (Makes my back hurt just thinking about it! hehehe!)

That's all for this week. Hope you've enjoyed this article & learned something today. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I've been struggling on what to call this kind of "look" for decor. I've been calling them contemporary cottage. Would you folks help me out? Either post your idea or voice your support for the one suggestion you think is just right! I'll enter your name in a drawing for a mini  strawberry embroidery pillow I've made just for you taking time to participate! Taking suggestions for the rest of April. Thanks for your help! (Will send the winner's mini pillow to USA or Canada only.)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Maybelle Welcomes You to Spring!

I've been trying to figure out just how old Maybelle is now. Not sure exactly, but I'm guessing about 12. She loves to be outside when it's warm. Who can blame her?

Maybelle is more fondly known as "Frank" around our house. The reason for this is in "The Rescuers Down Under" there is a lizard named Frank in a cage that wants his freedom so he cries, "Let me out! Let me out!" When he finally gets out, the door to the cage closes behind him, but he faces a pursuing enemy, so he turns back and grabs on the door and cries out, "Let me in! Let me in!" Our Frank goes in and out of the house so fast sometimes that it seems as if she cannot decide which side of the door is best!
One time, unbeknownst to me, she actually got trapped in the best of both worlds, even though she didn't see it that way. I thought I had let her into the house and walked away. About an hour later, I was heading outside, and there was Frank, trapped between the storm door and the main door! Poor Frank!
Here's some photos to enjoy from around our small farm. I couldn't resist since it's a record high temp day here in NE Ohio! Hope you find the evidence of spring invigorating!