My mother-in-law, Gail, recently gave me this quilt which she found while cleaning out her enormous linen closet. Although she was sure one of her relatives had made it, she couldn’t remember any of the details. The quilt was clean, had never been washed, and the fabrics were in wonderful condition. There was just one big problem — there were dark blue pen lines marking the quilting pattern. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get that ink out, and was afraid of damaging the quilt, but I had to try. Those blue lines seriously detracted from the lovely quilting pattern and the overall beauty of the quilt.
The fabrics appear to be rayon, not silk — mostly taffeta, but also some shinier satin rayon in the top and bottom borders with cable quilting. I soaked the quilt overnight in warm water and oxyclean, and by morning, most of the pen marks were gone, although there are still some faint blue lines. None of the fabrics faded during the treatment, and I think the quilting looks so nice all puffed up from the dryer.
I’m so glad Gail decided to keep this quilt all those years, and also pleased that it is finally being displayed. It’s sad I don’t know anything about the history of the quilt, but I’m guessing it was quilted no earlier than 1945, since that’s when the ballpoint pen was introduced in the states. That marking really looked like ballpoint pen to me. Of course, the top could have been constructed earlier.
I wish I had pressed those prairie points before I took photos — they are actually neatly done, but they are pretty wrinkly in these pictures.