Monday, October 6, 2014

Guest Laundry Blogger

As promised -- this week,we have a GUEST blogger for the Monday-Is-Wash-Day blog post....
SURPRISE!! It's my friend Mary Mulari...AND TODAY IS HER BIRTHDAY!!

When she isn't traveling, or writing a new book, or taping a Sewing With Nancy show -- she is home in Aurora, Minnesota HANGING HER CLOTHES OUT ON THE LINE, REGARDLESS OF THE WEATHER...
YEP.  Mary is definitely my kind of girl...
Mary and I have been friends for a long time. We met when I had a sewing machine store, and she came in as a special event. We once bought an entire estate, chock full of vintage linens in perfect unused condition. Wow. WHAT A GREAT TIME. That auction still goes down in history as one of the best days of my life.

We have traveled together all over the world. In Norway, we bought vintage linens in a little antique store on a side street.

As the Midwest Ya Ya Sisters, we've presented seminars all over the country. No matter what we're working on -- sooner or later -- the topic of LAUNDRY comes up.

So -- WELCOME, MARY -- and thanks for your Monday Morning Laundry Inspiration!!  ON YOUR BIRTHDAY, TOO!!!


Mary: I'd say Rita and I are on the same interest level regarding laundry!

In the ongoing quest to keep white things white, I saw a solution while visiting George and Martha Washington's home at Mount Vernon.

The tour covered the mansion, the tomb, and several of the outbuildings, many of which were designated for one particular household tasks, such as spinning, the kitchen, or the blacksmith shop.

I was interested in the washhouse, and the lawn area that was fenced in around the washhouse. The fence would have kept out small and large animals so white garments and linens could be laid out flat to dry on the grass. The reason this works has to do with the chlorophyll in the grass and the sun's's all very scientific and not my expertise, but I do know it works!

As Rita pointed out in last week's blog, covering up laundry drying either on the clothesline or on the grass is a very good idea to avoid those random bird deposits. However, with drying garments and textiles on the grass for the whitening effect, adding a white sheet over the top doesn't work. You just have to take your chances and hope the birds have other places to visit while your laundry is drying and whitening on the lawn.

A few years ago when her son was a baby and ready for his baptism, my niece Sarah came to my home to visit. She brought along a family baptismal gown from Norway, a family heirloom that was probably almost 100 years old. It had been worn by many generations of babies in her husband's family and the last time it was worn, it hadn't been washed. There were baby spit up stains on the dress front.

We carefully washed the dress by soaking and hand washing and then laid it out on the grass to dry on a sunny day. It worked!

At a lecture on Victorian times, I learned that baptismal gowns were made much longer than a baby would need. With so much infant mortality at that time, the gown was made long as a wish that the baby would grow up to be able to wear a gown of that length.

Warren in the christening gown that his Grandfather wore 65 years earlier...I did exactly what Mary recommended to bring it back to snowy white...
Here's an interesting video on weaving at Mt. Vernon: 

This might be the washhouse: 

There was also a dung repository...early composting, I think.

THANKS, MARY..!!   Next week I'm going to share the Midwest Ya Ya Sister's best recipe for a pre-soak solution that can bring even the most aged, yellowed linens back to life.
Go to Facebook to wish Mary a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

1 comment:

  1. Y'all, hey! Lawn bleaching is my favorite method of stain removal. In mentioning this on my blog, a reader write that stains will also bleach from clothes laid out on the snow! In that I live in the desert SW, and snow is a hardly ever here, I'm looking to y'all to let us all know if this is truth or just a blogger in Norway having a joke.