I was right - a little time attending to getting the studio back into shape is getting me back into the swing of things. While fabric ran through the wash cycles, the printer was busy churning out photos for my documentation files, and I was remembering how to order my time when not actually working on a piece. Valuable prep for transitioning toward the next set of goals, the next deadlines.
It's the recent addition of batiks (both gifts & purchases) that I processed today. Most batiks are notorious for having extra dye that will bleed if not dealt with before putting them in a quilt. Sometimes I soak each piece individually in a basin of warm water to see how bad it will be, then rinse rinse rinse until I feel I have most of the dye out. Since I had so many pieces, some of them quite large cuts, I opted for my other favored method: treating the fabric with Retayne which is a product that sets the dye rather than washing it out. Works like a charm and I can do it in my machine.
Regardless of which method I use, I always run the fabric one more time through the washer using Orvus Paste. Orvus is a neutral ph shampoo originally developed for horses. I don't know who got the bright idea that it would thus be an excellent and safe product to clean quilts, but I first learned about that from an antique quilt dealer. Wash your dog, wash your quilts, wash your own hair, he said, it's good for all. And so I did, once I found a feed & farm store that carried it, selling it in a big gallon jug that has lasted me for years.
Of course, eventually someone realized it could be marketed to quilters in smaller bottles at higher prices so I started seeing it in quilt stores and then on the internet. But the best deal is to buy it in the big jug - even if you end up divvying it up with friends and splitting the cost. It won't be long until I'll need to get a new jug and wondered where I could find it out here in Idaho. We recently had a Big R store open nearby and I was happy to see my Orvus in an ad (and yes, the price has gone up in 8 or so years but it's still a good deal). And especially happy to find out it will take care of those stubborn manure stains I keep getting on my quilts!