I am getting ready to give DM's Double Wedding Ring quilt to my 3rd cousin as a wedding gift.
Her GM is my closest first cousin and her GGM was my favorite aunt.
I have no females to pass it on to and it was made by my DGM in about 1960.
I know Mama (DGM) washed all fabrics to check colorfastness, but I want to wash it to brighten it up. Any suggestions on the best soap and which way to dry is now recommended.
As for the folk lore I know Mama told me that the gold and purple squares at each 'corner' and a red piece in each arch meant different things.
Does anyone know what these are symbols for?
I don't know the symbolism however, there is nothing that will do a better safer job of brightening the fabric than Oxy-Clean and a bit of liquid laundry detergent. Use a container large enough to hold the quilt without crowding, fill with luke warm water, 1/2 to 1 cup of Oxy Clean and 1/4 cup detergent, swish to dissolve. Put in the quilt, agitate with your hands until thoroughly wet, Let soak at least an hour, agitate and check to see if it has brightened up. If you want it brighter, soak longer. If desired change out the water and start over with it warm again. This can be done in your washer if you have a gentle cycle. When it is bright again, rinse until all suds are completely gone. Wrap in a large thick town and squeeze excess water out until as dry as possible. Lay out to dry, turning as necessary. I know this process will be safe. I use it all the time and just cleaned some antique batiste baby dresses this way. They look like new. To put away safely, quilt should be wrapped in acid free tissue paper and stored away from light. It should be unfolded and re-wrapped a couple times a year and refolded a different way to keep creases from setting. If you can please print a photo so we can see it.
I would put in the Oxy-Clean and detergent and let agitate, add the quilt, agitate a short time, turn machine off and let sit. It wouldn't hurt to let it agitate a bit every few hours until quilt looks as you want it to. Good luck with it.
I think a color grabber wouldn't hurt.
Jean, Thanks for the color lore. I believe you are right about the purple being for fidelity. I am writing a label to go on the back of this quilt.
The Quilt actually looks very good for it's age. She used the best muslin made for the white.
I remember her being so fastidious with the stitches that she would mark with safety pins where certain ladies stitched so she could re-quilt those areas after a quilting bee.
Now when I look at her quilts I don't see all of her 'just perfect' stitches.
I will take pictures when I get back to Jax.