push the quilt up and down


Senior Member
Chinese - Mandarin

In this book(Fine Hand Quilting By Diana Leone, Cindy Walte):
Let it soak for 20 minutes (for a dirty quilt, you may have to repeat this process). Drain the bathtub and refill with clean water. Gently push the quilt up and down to rinse. Drain the bathtub and slightly squeeze the excess water from the quilt.

Is it idomatic to say "push the quilt up and down" here? I think it should be said "pull the quilt up and push the quilt down"

Thank you.
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  • Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Hi ridgemao: you make a good point, but in this particular context, it's much of a muchness (= not much difference between the two). "Push" means to move something away from you, "pull" means to move something towards you.

    If you are washing a quilt in a bath tub, you are standing or bending over it. While it's still dry, the quilt will float, so you have to push it (up and) down. Once the quilt is wet, it will sink, so you have to pull it up (and down). Either verb is ok here really. They could also have said "move it up and down".

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Pull it up" sounds as if the quilt should be pulled out of the water. I don't know how it could be pulled down into the water because the person is above it. The better word to use would be push.

    The idea would be better expressed by saying "keep pushing" the quilt down into the water. They do indeed rise of their own accord at first because of the air in them. "Press it up and down" might be best because the book's about 'fine quilting' which needs to be gently handled. Also a quilt that's at all large becomes very heavy when wet. "Pulling" my large quilts when wet would be impossible for me.

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