9 Square Lap Quilt Problem

This week I began working on the small 9 square lap quilt I am making for my neighbor Velma. It started with a multiple of pre hand quilted log cabin squares done by her mother. (still no date on when they were actually made)


The squares had been kept in chest laced with moth balls.

After many washings with vinegar and baking soda I felt confident the smell had been removed as well as the quilted squares holding up beautifully to the machine washings.

This week I began piecing the 9 chosen squares together and I have the 3 rows now in place ~ a good feeling



if it wasn’t for one small problem

Not all of the moth ball ‘fumes’ are actually gone, in fact they may be getting stronger. As I work, my eyes start burning and yes lips seem to be tingling as well. While the smell is not actually evident there seems to be residue lingering on the fabric.


It may be back to the washing for this beauty or full steam head – damn the torpedo’s and then the washing once all is in place.

Any one have any ideas that I could try ?



6 thoughts on “9 Square Lap Quilt Problem

  1. KerryCan December 16, 2018 / 11:57 am

    I just googled this and it said that the fumes can be toxic so proceed with great care! It also said that dry cleaning would remove the odor. Maybe you could talk to a professional dry cleaner and get a sense of whether that might work?

    Liked by 1 person

    • nwpaintedlady December 16, 2018 / 12:57 pm

      well, I never thought to google the fumes – Thank you – I’ll be googling and hitting the cleaners about this before moving forward.


  2. Deb December 16, 2018 / 11:49 pm

    Did you hang them outside? I can’t remember if you said if you did or not in the last post. I would try washing them again then hang them out. If it was summer I’d say put them right on the grass.mothball smell is hard to get out. I use it to keep armadillos from digging under our house foundation,they don’t like the smell either. I would guess the fabric around 70’s era.. now that’s a guess not gospel truth.😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • nwpaintedlady December 17, 2018 / 1:51 am

      Hi Deb ~ I washed the fabric and the squares multiple times in vinegar and baking soda, a recipe off the net for moth ball smell. It seemed to work but not entirely it seems. Armadillo’s and moth balls ~ genius deterrent! No armadillos in our neck of the woods. 70’s era on the material is a great guess.


  3. Isabella December 17, 2018 / 2:23 pm

    Hi Sharon, this is the recipe that I used to de-skunk my dogs a few months ago. It worked for them, so it may work for your quilt squares: 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, 2 tsp dish detergent. I would test a small area first before you wash a whole block with it. You need to leave it on for at least 5 minutes, more if you can, then rinse it really well. Remember that scent does get stronger when something is wet, so you need to completely dry them before you know if it has worked. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • nwpaintedlady December 17, 2018 / 3:00 pm

      I do remember this post now that you have reminded me. I am going to try it. I used baking soda and white vinegar and while it did seem to work with some fabric it did not do the job entirely. Thank you for the suggestion and reminder (also scents get stronger when wet – I always forget that)


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