I have a long, narrow space where I needed some art, so I bought this with an eye toward that, thinking I'd just back it, pillow case method, to preserve the newspaper it was pieced on and allow it's patina to just be. The primitive condition of the quilt would add a certain je ne sais qua.
My first clue that it had just a little too much patina was my dogs ecstatically sniffing, and trying to roll on, the unopened envelope it came in. Opening the envelope unleashed a holy terror of patina, olfactory version. The kind of smell that makes your eyes water and your nose drip. I took it out to the porch, optimistically thinking that a little time in the open air would take care of things. After a few days, it seemed better, so I brought it into the house and gingerly pinned it to the place on the wall I was thinking of hanging it.
I had to pin it outside, on the grass, and quilt with the window WIDE open. I used a walking foot to make big, all over fans. It was a race against the obnoxious smell the whole way. I got it done in two days, and I think that is some kind of a record for me. With a bit of fear, I washed the whole darn thing in a bunch of Oxyclean and Orvus paste today, wondering if I would open the washer to find a lumpy batt, the backing, and shreds of former fabric. However, my, and the old quilt tops's luck held. It smells just fine now, and I think it is happy. I know I am!
If anyone has any educated guesses on the age of the fabrics, I'd be happy to hear. None of the plaids are yarn dyed- they are all printed. All of it is cotton, except one piece that might be linen.