Thursday, June 16, 2016

Ask Vonna....Washing your project....

Ladybeans writes, "Dear Vonna, love your blog! You are so helpful to us stitchers. I do have a question that comes up frequently with my stitching friends..'Do you wash all of your pieces after you finish stitching them?' Thank you!"

Hello Ladybeans, thank you for your kind words and question! Here is my personal answer to your question: I do not typically wash my projects after I get done stitching them. Here is the reasons why:

*I don't stitch in hand. I stitch always with a Q-snap (or my smalls on stretcher bars) and typically on my floor stand. (You can read all about my floor stand at this link: Needlework System 4 )

*I don't wear (when I am stitching) hand lotions 

*I don't eat when stitching

*If I take my projects out and about, they are always carried in my project envelopes (link to making your own project envelope on my YouChannel: HERE ) They are also stored in my project envelopes in between stitching sessions (or if loaded on my floor stand covered with a light, old bed sheet that I've cut down and sewn to cover my stitching work and stand in between working sessions. 

*I stitch two handed and my hands rarely touch my linen and if I do it is my fingertips only

*I typically use hand-dyed fabrics on most of my projects and a large number of my projects are stitched using over-dye cottons/silks, both of these products do not lend well to washing/soaking.

*If I do see visible dirt or smudge on my piece, I spot clean. My personal solution of choice that I use is: Dawn liquid detergent diluted with water in a small squirt bottle. My ratio is roughly: 1-2 drop of Dawn to 1 oz. of water. Dawn dissolves grease and it is safe/gentle. (they use it on wildlife exposed to oil spills!)  I don't squirt it all over, AND definitely not on red/dark threads...but I merely lightly blot using the end of a soft cloth damp or cotton q-tip with the Dawn solution on the spot of dirt/grime. OR I take a Q-tip soaked in the solution and "pretreat" the area for about 5-10 minutes and then begin to gently blot with a cloth damp with the solution. Once the grime is gone, I then hold a cloth under the piece and I use a new cloth soaked in water only and blot, blot, blot to remove any of the solution left on the piece. I do this likely 3 times with different areas of the water soaked cloth until it is free of the Dawn solution. One time recently my hands must have been dirty and I was stitching SNOW and my snow looked like a garbage truck had driven through it. I gently used this process of blotting the stitched area and it came out perfect- sparkling white like fresh fallen snow!  Just take time/care and go SLOW. 

*BLOOD...sometimes I do prick my finger and won't know it and blood will end up on my stitching. Being I work in the healthcare field, I am familiar with blood ending up on clothing at some point or another. Don't freak out! You can get it out (even if it is dried) Take a small container (like a small medicine cup from cough medicine) fill half with lukewarm tap water and the other half with hydrogen peroxide and dip a q-tip in the solution and blot, blot, blot the area with this. The blood will begin to fizz and foam (and that's good!) Once done, blot, blot, blot with damp cloth and the blood will disappear. 

Now then...if you feel the need to wash your stitching things as I know not everyone has a floor stand and washing is a fine thing to do. So, if you need to wash, there is no harm in it. Probably better to wash in these circumstances than not. . . I have links here to some of the most trusted stitching sites personally known by me and share them with you to make your own decisions. 

There you go! I leave you with your research and your own decision making about washing your own projects. (Or buying a floor stand like mine! HA HA HA!)

Hugs in stitches, 
Vonna xxxx


  1. Great info! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you for the tip on blood removal Vonna!

  3. Thank you for the how to on spot cleaning your needlework, Vonna! Since you were talking about cleaning, do you clean your Q-snaps periodically? Enjoy your day!

  4. I did buy the frame after your review! It has gone on a road trip all ready but usually sits in my living room ready to use. Thanks for sharing your information ... Complete and graciously!

  5. Definitely good information. I don't wash my finished pieces either, but sometimes there are stains that seem to come out of nowhere and need attention.

  6. This post came at just the right time. I don't normally wash my pieces either, but a small project that I am working on has a grey smudge on it that I will have to clean. I think I will try your spot cleaning idea with Dawn. Thank you so much.

  7. Thanks for the info on spot cleaning. Even though I stitch in hand I don't wash my projects either. When I was new to using hand dyed threads I had the horrible experience of dye running and ended up with a ruined project.

  8. Hi Vonna,
    very interesting information - thank you! The tipp for how to deal with blood is great!!!!

    I normally do not wash my smaller stitchings either (especially not the ones that I stitched with hand-dyed floss).
    But bigger projects that I do work longer on (well sometimes for years), I normally do wash (in the washing machine - exception again: projects stitched with hand-dyeds). I have the feeling that these longtime project look much fresher and more colorful after washing (but maybe that's just my imagination ;-)

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  9. For years I washed all my projects done with DMC and aida or linen (not overdyed) in Dawn and water. Rinsed really well and ironed. They never had any run problem at all. I was a pretty messy stitcher and the projects were carried all over. Ana Indiana

  10. I enjoyed your post! I am the exception to most of the comments so far. I do wash my finished projects - almost all of them. The only ones I don't wash are Christmas Stockings because I sew right along the edge of the design to attach the back of the stocking. Fortunately I have never had an issue with colors running. I hang them by IKEA pant hangers to dry. (I prefer them because they have a piece of felt on each side of the hanger so I don't end up with ridges or marks in my fabric).

  11. You're always so informative, Vonna. I didn't know about the hydrogen peroxide for blood stains. Thanks for your tips!

  12. Thank you so much for answering my question. It's been such a topic of conversation with my EGA ladies and stitchery friends!

  13. Great post, the tip on removing blood is perfect never heard that one before.

  14. Vonna: Great post thank-you for the information, very useful.


  15. When I do wash my cross stitch projects (I am a hands on stitcher most of the time) I use Orvis far with great success.

    Peace for all,

  16. Hi Vonna,

    CLear, concise instructions and great info to have on hand
    just in case of emergencies. Thanks for taking the time to
    write this. Enjoying your vlog posts by the way.


  17. Hi Vonna,

    I really appreciate all your tutorials and tips! I have about 50 Prairie Schooler ornaments of my own that I want to finish. I am so glad that I procrastinated long enough to be able to follow your instructions---LOL! Another little tip about getting little spots of blood out---the stitcher's own saliva will blot out a fresh stain of the stitcher's blood.

  18. Some great advice, thanks! My wife is ultra careful keeping her hands clean when cross stitching, it's so easy to dirty the patterns though!

  19. Thanks Vonna! I use Q snaps and I don't wash mine either!!!


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