Tag Archives: Retro Clean

Honey Bee Quilt

Isn’t this quilt beautiful?  I wish I could say that I made it, but truth is, it’s an old quilt that was bought years ago by my mother-in-law.  The quilt block design is called “Honey Bee”.

Honeybee design

Can’t you see why it is called Honey Bee?  Especially done is this yellow color!  There is a pieced nine patch in the middle of the block and then the body and wings of the bees were appliquéd on.  I am not an expert but the nine patch fabric looks 1930s to me.  Quilter’s Cache notes that the block design is from the 1920s-30s era so I’m guessing this may be how old this quilt is.  Unfortunately, as with many old quilts, there is no label or clue as to who made it.  I always put labels on my quilts, do you? Here is a link to directions for making this block.

This quilt is in beautiful shape.  There are no holes or frays.  However, when I first received it there were many stains and the whole thing was very dingy.  It was a beautiful quilt that looked terrible.  I wrote this post a few weeks ago about a product called Retro Clean.

Retro Clean

Before and after treatment with Retro Clean

It is a product that revives old textiles.  I couldn’t wait to try it on my Honey Bee quilt.  I followed the directions on the package. I washed the quilt, soaked it in warm water mixed with Retro Clean and then washed it again.  The quilt was kept completely submerged for 30 hours (directions say 24 to 48 hours) in a tub which I kept outside in the sun during the day.  It was almost 100 degrees the day I did this and evidently keeping the water warm helps with the cleaning process.  On the second day (which was cool and rainy), I couldn’t see any stains, so I took it out of the “bath”.

Stained quilt before Retro Clean

After Retro Clean – no stains!











After such a success with this quilt, I’m wanting to try it on the first quilt I ever made which was for my oldest daughter probably 25 years ago.  She still has and uses it and she doesn’t live near me (boo hoo), so I’m going to ask her to send it to me.  Fingers crossed!  It has a lot of white fabric in it and every time I see it, I think I’ll never make another quilt with white fabric.  It’s the dinginess factor again!  If I can revive that quilt, I will definitely not be afraid to sew with white. That is an exciting thought.


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Retro Clean: seeing is believing!

I think that a lot of quilters and non-quilters would be interested in knowing about a product called Retro Clean. If you have any old fabric items (quilts, handkerchieves, tablecloths, etc..) that are yellow or stained with age, this product can make them look like new.

Quilt top – before and after

I took these pictures today with my phone while at a friend’s house.  She is the president of the DC area quilt guild I belong to called the Needlechasers of Chevy Chase.  She had this old quilt top that was badly stained.  She removed the worst looking block to see what this product would do to it.

Retro Clean is a powder that is mixed with water.  The directions are to mix 3 or 4 tablespoons in a gallon of water and then submerge the item you are cleaning for 24 to 48 hours.  My friend soaked her quilt block for 24 hours.  She also put the tub she was using out in the sun as the directions say that this helps (their literature says it’s the heat).

One more picture of the results!

I was completely amazed to see the difference and had to take these pictures and share!  Honestly, even the colored fabric looked brighter.  I can not wait to try it on some items that I have.  Luckily my friend sent me home with some, so I don’t have to wait to mail order it.  I have this old quilt on a bed at my house that I may try to soak.


Don’t you know how much nicer this would look without those stains? I’ll let you know how it turns out!


Filed under NeedleChasers of Chevy Chase, Uncategorized