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Thursday, January 24, 2013


Proper care of quilts is an important part of a quilt's history.  Some quilts are created as heirlooms, some just for fun.  Either way, a few simple steps can lengthen the life and beauty of your creations

If a quilt is more than 50 years old, it is considered an antique and should be handled with great care.  
Only the airing, vacuuming and storage instructions are recommended for antique quilts.  
It is not recommended laundering an antique!

Washing a quilt should be a last resort.  Often a quilt just needs a good airing and or maybe some quick spot cleaning rather than a full body wash.  Read the following information completely before washing a quilt.  There may be a gentler way to clean the quilt.

Often a quilt may just need a good airing with maybe a little spot cleaning here and there.
If you have a spare bed, lay the quilt out on the bed to air out.
No direct sunlight should be on a quilt when airing it outside.
Place a 100% cotton sheet on the ground.  Place the quilt on the sheet and allow to air out.  
Move the sheet and quilt as necessary to keep direct sunlight from hitting the quilt.
A clothesline can be used if the quilt is small and it is not a bright sunny day.

Vacuuming  is the most non-invasive form of cleaning the quilt.  Lay the quilt on a cotton sheet.
Place the quilt on top of the sheet.  Place a piece of nylon/fiberglass screening,
the edges covered with twill tape, on top of the quilt.
Using a hand attachment and lowest suction setting vacuum the quilt.
If you do not have access to screening, place an old piece of pantyhose over the 
vacuum attachment and vacuum the quilt.

If you did not make the quilt and are uncertain as to the quality of the fabrics,
it is recommended you test each fabric for colorfastness before wet cleaning.
Dip a cotton swab in water and rub on an inconspicuous area (if possible) of the quilt.
If any of the dye comes off onto the swab do not wet clean.  If the fabric passes the water test move on to testing for cleaning solvent stability.  Dip a swab in the solvent you will be using to spot clean.
Test a dry section of the fabric.  Again, if the dye comes off onto the swab do not wet clean.  
If the fabrics pass the test.  Spot clean away!

Test the fabric for color fastness before washing.  Never use a top loading washer.
The agitation produced can pull at the fibers in the quilt and damage it.
Front loading machines do not agitate so they are best for this purpose.
Be sure the machine you will be using can handle the quilt when wet.
If not, you may need to go to a laundromat.  Be sure to run a cycle through the
machine in case the person before you used bleach or harsh detergent.

Dry using the outdoor airing technique as described in the section on airing.
If placing small quilts on a clothesline,
be sure to cover the line with a cotton sheet first.

Store in dark areas with good air circulation.
Never store quilts in damp places.  If storing on shelves make sure they are
 painted/finished to avoid damage from the wood.

Good circulation is necessary.  Cloth bags made from 100% cotton work best.
This will also protect the quilt from any bare wood including cedar in chests.

Place acid-free tissue paper between quilt layers.
Scrunch tissue paper and place at the folds to avoid pancake creases.
Refold stored quilts approximately every 6 months
so any stress on fibers is relieved and redistributed.

Created by Debbie Beaves for Connecting Threads

Friday, January 18, 2013


1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups sugar
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
6 large eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup strawberry glaze

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese, beating until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

2. Gradually add flour to butter mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition, stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Stir in almond and vanilla extracts. Pour one-third of batter into a greased and floured 10-inch (14-cup) tube pan. Dollop 8 rounded teaspoonfuls strawberry glaze over batter, and swirl with a wooden skewer. Repeat procedure once, and top with remaining third of batter.

3. Bake at 350 for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wrie rack and cool completed.




 Gluten-Free Baked Oatmeal Casserole
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6

2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup raspberries {any berries work}
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
2 cups milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ripe banana, peeled, 1/2-inch slices


Preheat oven to 375°F and generously spray the inside of a 10-1/2 by 7 inch baking dish with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet. 
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, half the walnuts, half the strawberries and half the chocolate. (Save the other half of strawberries, walnuts and chocolate for the top of the oatmeal).

In another large bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, butter and vanilla extract.  Add the oat mixture to prepared baking dish. Arrange the remaining strawberries, walnuts and chocolate on top. Add the banana slices to the top then pour the milk mixture over everything. Gently shake the baking dish to help the milk mixture go throughout the oats.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is nicely golden brown and the milk mixture has set. For an extra tasty top, sprinkle a tablespoon or so of extra brown sugar.