Feeling Topsy Turvy and Whistler’s Mother takes a bath

This is what things looked like from my taxi window on Wednesday on the way back from Costco.


It was cold but you had the feeling that spring was right around the corner.


After all, we had just had a couple of really warm days,.

This is what is going on outside my window today.


I come from Boston. I have lived through lots of March snowstorms. I have even lived through one May snowstorm.  I know that just because the calendar says that it is spring  it does not mean that the weather will be spring-like…but still…..

I also wanted to report on process of bathing Mrs. Whistler. I took the frame apart and pulled the crochet piece off of the satin covered cardboard. the handwork had been affixed with glue and was easy to peel off.


I soaked the piece in a bucket filled with hot water and dish soap. The piece  was really dirty. The water in the bucket turned dark brown. After many rinses the piece was still stained.


I then filled the bucket with clean hot water and added Oxy-Clean. I let Mrs. Whistler soak over night and then rinsed well and rolled her up in a series of terry cloth towels and then hung her up to dry.

Here she is now, clean and most of the way blocked. (Blocking is using steam and heat to gently re size a piece after washing


You can see that the nasty stains are now gone.


I have to get a sheet of foam core and re assemble Mrs. Whistler in her frame.

I still don’t get why anyone would take the time to make something like this. But then again, why am I taking the time to restore this piece?


  1. So, what color will you make the background?

  2. I love 'Whistler's mother takes a bath'!

  3. Looks wonderful after her bath ... oxy-clean is my go to cleaner. I guess you are spending the time because you admire all of the hard work and creativity that went into this piece. At least, that is how I feel. You did an excellent job of restoration, Sarah. Blessings!!!

  4. I think that what both my husband and i responded to was the contrast of the really excellent needlework with the really crude rendering of the image. The mix is kind of fascinating...it is hard to look away once to start to look at the piece.

  5. A lot of hard work went into the piece. It does kind of grow on you!


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