Keep calm, move fast…

I set off my oh-shit-o-meter last night. Steve brought me a glass of red wine, setting it down next to my computer, as he does almost every evening. (He is really very good to me.) I knew it was there, the fault was entirely mine when I reached past the computer (exuberantly) and knocked over the glass, splashing/spraying wine everywhere. Well, not everywhere, but there were big drops on the floor as far as 4′ away.

The wine also spilled onto the stool next to the computer. The stool where I stack stuff. In this case, a basted quilt, folded backing side out. This photo is staged—I didn’t stop to take a picture last night. The papers on top of the quilt had been white. They are now seriously wine-stained, along with several other papers that I threw away last night. Luckily nothing much else was damaged.


Steve dealt with everything else while I grabbed the quilt and ran to the kitchen. First I tried drying the backing fabric with paper towels, which sort of worked. But, oh no, the batting was damp!!!

I grabbed a knife (because who has time to hunt for scissors in a crisis) and quickly cut the basting stitches.


I peeled the top back before the wine soaked through to the mostly white quilt top. I found some scissors and whacked out the stained batting.

After I caught my breath, I hand washed the stained backing fabric with Orvus. I was careful not to get it too wet. I didn’t want the wine stain to migrate farther. I can still see a little purple, but no one but me (and you) will ever notice it.


This morning I pulled back both the backing and the quilt top, placing the batting on a cutting mat. I cut a bigger piece of replacement batting and laid it behind the hole.


I used a ruler to cut straight edges through both layers, discarding the excess batting.


Then I basted the edges of the batting together.


I carefully placed the 3 layers together and re-basted that corner of the quilt.


That’s when I noticed a very light stain on some of the turquoise fabric in the quilt top. It wasn’t where the wine hit the quilt and then I remembered that that fabric was stained before I cut it up. I had washed it with something red which had bled, even though I had used a Color Catcher. I didn’t realize until this morning that I had sewn the stain into the quilt.


This stain is almost invisible and I don’t mind it. I suspect it will remind of how lucky I was, this time.

14 thoughts on “Keep calm, move fast…

  1. Here is what I take away from this as I would not have thought of it…”careful not to get it too wet. I didn’t want the wine stain to migrate farther.” Oh and of course the gin and tonic suggestion. TFS


  2. For me, it is coffee….I always have a tall travel mug with lid…but it has been known to spill on more than one occasion. I am all about the “jelly jar” glasses for my wine these days with cats who roam around the house. Challenging to hand sew anything with them around. Thankfully my studio is in a Cat Free Zone. Your save is awesome, and very instructional!


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