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Thread: Pencil on Muslin

  1. #1
    pal
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    Pencil on Muslin

    A dear friend found a muslin quilt top, marked with pencil, all ready to be quilted that her Mom made about 10 years ago. She'd like to send it out to be machine quilted.

    Does anyone know how to get the pencil marks out? She tried the fabric eraser, but that didn't work.
    PACE - Positive Attitude Changes Everything

    "All things are literally better, lovlier, and more beloved for the imperfections that reflect the human effort that went into their making."

  2. #2
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Pencil can be a fickle tool. I have had it wash out beautifully but starched my top well so the pencil marks were really "floating" on the starch. I have heard of antique quilts that still have visible pencil markings. The graphite tends to imbed down into the cotton fibers and that is why it doesn't always wash out. I'm not sure there is anything you could use to get the marks out prior to quilting. The washing machine may be your saviour once it is quilted though.

  3. #3
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    after it is quilted & bound- tossing it into the washing machine will probably remove the pencil marks- it would be difficult to wash it before it is quilted & bound- some oxyclean or a spritz with shout-spray & wash will help remove old pencil. i guess i've been lucky my pencil marks have always (knock on wood) come out with washing.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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    Just a quick reminder before you wash it - look at it very closely after washing to make sure the marks came out. If you put it in the dryer and they aren't all out, the dryer will probably heat set it in.
    I use a product called AWESOME to get most any stain out, but haven't tried it on pencil. You can buy it at Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and I think I even saw it at Wal-Mart. I use it on everything - clothes, general cleaning, furnace air filter, grease hood on stove, in my water for carpet cleaning, etc etc etc.....it really is awesome. lol. I think that is what I would try first if I had your problem right now.

  5. #5
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    the only thing I have any degree of success with removing pencil marks on a muslin type fabric is a "Pink Pearl" eraser. They are a soft rubber eraser. You might try that first to get as much of the graphite off before washing.
    But my experience has not too successful if the marks have been on the quilt as long as you say. I have been told the formula of rubbing acohol, water and a drop or two of dishwashing liquid (not Dawn). I don't remember the exact
    formula. You gently rub with soft tooth brush dipped in the solution and then blot.

  6. #6
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    Several years ago I saw a formula in a quilt magazine for removing pencil markings. I don't remember it exactly, but I know it was regular dish soap, water, and rubbing alcohol. I used it several times and it worked. I used a Q-tip. You might make pencil markings on some scraps and experiment with it. Sorry I can't be of more help.

  7. #7
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    just Google "pencil mark remover" and you get lots of info including the site for discussion here on the Board.

  8. #8
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    My husband used to work at a resort where they had antique quilts hanging on the walls. One of them was 140 years old and you could still see the pencil marks. But I'm sure some of the ideas suggested will work for you.
    "The business of life is making memories. In the end, it is all we have." Butler Charlie Carson, Downton Abbey, season 4, episode 3, PBS.

  9. #9
    Member PAMAR's Avatar
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    I have had a lot of luck using "Magic Eraser" to remove pencil from fabric.

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