The Risk of Using Useful Things

I don’t really believe that many household items are precious, irreplaceable maybe, but not precious. My mom felt the same way. An avid third generation quilter, my mom believed that quilts were made to be used. In fact, I think she liked them being used because if one got worn out then there was reason to make another. I abide by that same theory, but for me there is a flaw: I can’t replace them, somehow the quilting gene just skipped a generation.

Spencer’s diaper leaked last night. I think I must have put it on poorly because the diaper was dry, but the bed and his jammies were soaked. In an effort to get the laundry started before we left for school, I scooped up his sheets, blanket and mattress pad and threw them in the washer before we left and then transferred them to the dryer later without a second glance. I grabbed them out of the dryer 5 minutes before I needed to leave to pick him up and ran upstairs to get just the sheets on the bed in case he fell asleep on the way home. Imagine my horror to see blackish grey markings all over the mattress pad and fitted sheet. I didn’t have time to investigate further, just threw the bedding on and left for school.

All through the drive over, teacher conference, drive home and an errand, I wondered what made the marks, if it would come out and how to get it out. When I was walking back into the house, lugging a sleeping Spencer over my shoulder, my heart stopped. I remembered that his quilt was in the wash too.

Just recently we put a quilt on Spencer’s bed. The weather turned cooler and he was waking up early in the morning and wanting to crawl in to bed with us. He was getting cold and finally ready for a bed outfitted with a top sheet and comforter. I knew if we went to pick out a blanket he would insist on a Toy Story one that he would outgrow in a few years, so I let him choose one from the many, many quilts and blankets we have around the house. He chose purple butterflies.

The purple butterflies quilt is an interesting one because my mom didn’t actually put it together. She made a few of the blocks and got the rest through a round robin she did with her quilt group (each member chose a block pattern every month or two and then all the other members made them a block), she never put it together before she died, but she had made the borders and binding and sewn some together a few years before. My sister and I found it in a ziploc bag when we cleaned out the sewing room. A friend of the family finished the quilt for me.

I never thought twice about Spencer using the quilt and the thought that I may have ruined it through careless laundering was devastating. I placed Spencer on his bed and went downstairs to asses the situation. I looked in the washer and noticed mysterious black marks on the washer drum. I sighed, opened the dryer and pulled out the quilt. The white back looks clean. The front of the quilt, the blocks, are clean. Perfectly clean.

I don’t even know. Every other item in the load got marked except the quilt. There is no possible explanation but magical laundry miracle.

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8 Responses to “The Risk of Using Useful Things”

  1. Leah says:

    I don’t know why but I want to hug this whole story.

    [Reply]

  2. Meghan says:

    I was holding my breath till the end, hoping your lovely quilt survived! Glad it came out unscathed. : )

    [Reply]

  3. Nerdmommathfun says:

    You know, some days I’ll take the small miracles!! What a beautiful quilt – and a great story :)

    [Reply]

  4. Audrey says:

    Sounds like someone didn’t wash the material before they made their blocks. Sewing rule #1. It’s funny, but when I have this problem I often find that bleeding happens to everything BUT the fabric the dye came from. I’m so so glad your quilt wasn’t ruined!!

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    Amy Reply:

    Oh, the quilt has been washed many times before this. It’s actually something tactile, not staining. No clue what it is. Didn’t find anything to indicate something went through the load with the wash.

    [Reply]

  5. The laundry fairy was watching over your precious quilt. Or maybe your mom. I like to think that my mom is still around watching over me.

    [Reply]

  6. OT and ET says:

    I’m so glad to hear the quilt made it. I know what you mean about wanting to use the useful things, but in this case, just so so glad your mom’s quilt survived the incident of the weird marks in the dryer. It’s a really pretty quilt. I hope it keeps Spencer warm for many falls/winters to come! xo

    [Reply]

  7. I was going to legit cry if your quilt was ruined, so I am REALLY GLAD this had a happy ending.

    [Reply]

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