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Thread: marking quilts

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Help!
    I marked a quilt top for quilting, thankfully just a small wallhanging (16x16). Now I don't like the quilting pattern that I chose. I marked it with a mechanical pencil. What can I do to change it? Can I just go over it with a washable marker (in different color)? I started quilting the center of the piece and I like that part, but the other markings are too much for the design. It's a simple Amish style wallhanging using only 3 colors and I think if I go ahead and quilt the way it's already marked it will be too much. I feel like I want something simple. Can anyone help me? Julie

  2. #2
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    you'll probably get a better answer before the day is out but here's one idea ...

    finish quilting the part you like. baste the rest. zigzag around the edges, then toss it into the wash. pencil usually comes out. re-block it while it's damp, then re-mark when it's dry. (May i ever-so-gently suggest a trip to the store for an air or water soluble marker first? :wink: )

  3. #3
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    Thank you Patrice. I was hoping someone would tell me the pencil markings would wash out. I had not used a pencil before, only water soluble markers, so I just wasn't sure. I have seen quilts at quilt shows which still have the pencil markings so I didn't know if they didn't wash out or the quilter left them. Thanks so much for your help. Now I can get back to work on the wallhanging. I was afraid to do anymore until I know how to correct the problem.

  4. #4
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    If you Google on "removing pencil marks from fabric" you'll get many different recommendations. Some of them sound pretty complicated. If for some reason your marks don't come out the first time you wash it, do the search and try one of the many methods out there. Here's one I found fascinating ... and you could try it before washing ...

    "If you need to remove a pencil mark from embroidery (or indeed from any fabric), take a small piece of dough from a loaf of white bread, knead with fingers and then rub gently over the pencil mark, which should disappear."

    Just remember to NOT put it in the dryer, and DON'T apply and iron until you're sure it's all out.

  5. #5

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    Julie
    Sorry, but I have bad news: Regular pencil does not come off fabric! I think almost every quilter learned it the “hard way”. :( You can use a graphite pencil (art supply store) but, just in case, I always try in a small piece to make sure it comes off.
    Other things you can try to mark quilts are: soap stone pencil, color pencils, pencils sold as markers in quilting stores, ball point pens :shock: , crayolla washable markers :shock: and my favorites, chalk markers (if you mark as you quilt) and hera marker :) . I had a bad result with blue chalk! I know some of these sound crazy, but it is much easier to wash a ball point pen mark than pencil. The bottom line, as I mentioned above, always try in a small piece of the fabric you will use on and wash it before using it in the quilt top!
    I used pieces of muslin and made samples of all the things that I can use; I mark 2 pieces and wash one. Then I file both of them and that way I have an idea of what I can use in the future.
    Hope this helps.
    Lucia

  6. #6
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    Patrice, while your post is now an old one, I do have a suggestion. A friend gave me a gallon of Simple Green. It is wonderful stuff. It cleans up white socks and takes stains out of everything. A friend told me that after Thanksgiving, she had crayon marks on her carpet (ala grandchildren) and wine stains on her linen. She had heard me tell about Simple Green, so she bought some. She was amazed that it was such a fabulous product. It should easily remove pencil markings.

    SAM's is one good source. Otherwise, buy it in the automotive dept. Don't ask why.....people use it to get the road grease off their cars. So why not in the laundry. I have not found it to harm any fabrics.

    We goota get rid of those marks.

    June

  7. #7
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    they have a hand cleaner called Dap.....It says safe for laundry...It takes paint, tar and grease from your hands........should work. It's available all over especially in hardware stores. I like lestoil but I guess it has to be color run safe.
    Did you ever get the pencil out? :?:

  8. #8
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Considering all the methods I found on the net, plus all the products now on the market, plus I can't remember pencil ever not coming out of anything I washed ...

    It's a 50/50 roll of the dice. It either will come out or it won't. We'll never know unless Julie tries it and fills us in on the results.

    :?:


  9. #9
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    If the marks don't come out, no matter what you try, you have a few options ...

    1. go ahead and quilt it as marked. for every one person that doesn't like a quilt, another 50 will line up who do. give it away or hang it up and let everybody else convince you that it actually does look better than you think it does. :wink:

    2. get some paint pens and turn the "mistake" into artistic embellishments. then refer to #1 above

    I guess you could use it to decorate a landfill (many of my mistakes are doing that. LOL) but I'll bet picking #1 or #2 would feel better. :mrgreen:

  10. #10
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    Oh Patrice, you are just so smart.

    And creative as well.

    We all hope that project got saved.


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