Tuesday, February 24, 2015


In January, I spoke to the Lake County Quilt Guild in Florida. My talk consisted of a trunk show and lecture about my journey from traditional quilting to art quilting. I thought I should show one full-sized, hand-quilted quilt. My best example is a quilt I made for my daughter's wedding. She brought it over to me; and since I knew it had been hung on a quilt rack for quilt some time, I decided to wash it. When I took it out of the dryer, this is what I found.

I couldn't figure out what it was, but it was VERY sticky. Now, you must keep in mind I had already washed AND DRIED this quilt. I called my daughter to see if she had any idea what the offending stain could be. She consulted with her husband and found out he had used duct tape--YES, I SAID DUCT TAPE--to stabilize the quilt on the quilt stand. In my son-in-law's defense (if there is one), he is from the "duct-tape-can-fix-anything" school.

Now my dilemma was how to get this nasty, very sticky stain out (if possible). I finally worked up enough courage to attack the stain. Here is what I tried.

  • I started with my trusty Resolve Stain Stick. I use this for all my "regular" laundry stains. It didn't work.
  • I tried a baking soda/water paste and worked it into the stains with a toothbrush. This approach did not touch the stains.
  • I tried Kiss Off stain remover, which I had used before. It had worked VERY well on an art piece (that couldn't be washed). This stain remover didn't work.

At this point, I was getting pretty discouraged.

As a last resort, I decided to try Goo Gone. I read the directions on the back of the bottle, and it mentioned using Goo Gone on upholstery, carpeting, and clothing. (I have to admit, it was REALLY scary to put Goo Gone on my precious quilt.)

This is what happened.

As you can see, I used safety pins to mark the stains. IT WORKED; the stains were gone! I can't tell you how relieved I was. I must tell you, though, that getting these stains out with Goo Gone was not easy. I would say I spent a good 45 minutes scraping the adhesive from the surface of the fabric (after applying the Goo Gone) before putting the quilt back into the washer. The stains still smell a bit like the Goo Gone, but I think the smell will lessen as time wears on.

With instructions to use NO MORE DUCT TAPE on the quilt, I gave it back to my daughter. Hopefully, the quilt will survive many more years.


Lisa Greenbow said...

What a scare. The sticky adhesive they use for duct tape is awful. I used to leave a chap stick or lip stick in my pocket from time to time and wash it. That was a mess too all over everything. I found that using that old fashioned cleaner Lestoil works like a dream. It smells like kerosene but does get it all out. Glad your daughters quilt was saved and it is a good tip to never "tape" something up.

desertskyquilts said...

I have to admit that I'm sort of the duct tape or spackle fixes everything sort, but even I wouldn't put it on a quilt. LOL I'm so glad it came out! There used to be a marvelous petroleum product that smelled like oranges. It was called Dis-Solv-It, I think. I haven't seen it in the grocery forever, but it took chewing gum out of kids clothes (or hair!) crayons melted in a dryer onto a velour shirt, and all kinds of other disasters my children thought up. It was completely safe for fabrics and for humans. I miss it! Goo Gone was my husband's cure all for many things. =)

Kathleen Loomis said...

at least Goo Gone smells relatively nice! so glad you were able to get the gunk out.