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Thread: marking quilts

  1. #1
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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.


  11. #11

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    PatriceJ
    A comment on your suggestion #2: There are no “mistakes” :( … only “creative accidents”! :mrgreen:
    Lucia

  12. #12
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    I stand creatively unaccidentified

    :mrgreen:

  13. #13
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    Patrice, I saw that! Lurking there and Baring your teeth!
    Didn't your Mother teach you that was not nice?
    Am I going to have to become a "nother" here, too???

  14. #14
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    innocent li'l me?

    i've been accused of a lot of things in my life but never lurking.

    oh, the horror ... the humanity

    :shock:

    besides ... i paid good money for these teeth. need to show them off once in a while

    :wink:

  15. #15
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    I've used mechanical pencils to mark my quilts for years (many different brands) and I've never had trouble, washed out the first time :?: . Don't know what I'm doing right, but I'll keep on doing it :D .

  16. #16
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    GeeGee
    Got a new picture of that cute little g-baby?

  17. #17

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    Lots of good products mentioned here and all are worthy.

    I find that different materials make a difference, as does the quality of material. You'll usually find me at the $1/$2 bins at Wal-Mart, where the composition of the fabric is up for grabs. (The bolt's label often is not what is on the bolt.) Try as I might to come home with 100% cotton, sure as shootin' there'll be a poly/cotton blend in the bunch. I will use it because my "discretionary income" is gone and the nearest fabric store is 20 miles away.

    Back to the point. Crayola Washable Markers for kids have washed out of everything, even after being lightly pressed. When the quilt is finished, and before it is washed, it looks like a mess but the marks have always washed out no matter what the composition of the yardage.

    The only shortcoming with Crayola Washable Markers is inability to mark dark fabrics. Here I use a white marking pencil.


  18. #18

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    An economical cleaner that seems to work on everything is called "Awesome".. You can find it for 1.00 at the Dollar Tree and other such places. I find little that spraying that and a little Dawn dish detergent won't get out..even greese stains that have been washed and thru the dryer... Good luck!!..

    Susan

  19. #19
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    Susan, you are so right about AWESOME !! I have used it to clean my carpets and upholstery as well. I use it for a lot of things, but I do especially like the Simple Green because I have a friend who gives me a gallon jog every once in na while. Quite a friend, huh?


  20. #20
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    Hi Everyone,
    Thanks for all your helpful hints. Thought you all might like to know what is going on.I washed the quilt in cold water, and while the marks faded, they didn't disappear. So I went out on the net as Patrice suggested, and discovered many different ways to remove pencil markings. One that I tried was simply baby wipes. They seemed to help a little, but not enough. There was another mixture using rubbing alcohol, water, and clear dish soap. Because of illness, I haven't had a chance to try that one yet, and I'm not sure I'm going to. I've decided to put a positive spin on this. I will finish the quilting, then hang it on my sewing room wall. It will serve as a reminder to me to test fabric and markers first before jumping in needle first. I should tell you, this was a kit that was sold at a well-known bookstore a few years ago. As a non-quilter, I thought this would be a good way to learn, so I bought it. Silly me. The directions were practically incomprehensible for a newbie, thank goodness for other books and classes. Neither the fabric or the thread that came with it are of the highest quality. Even though I washed the quilt in cold water, the red thread color ran. So now on the backing I have this interesting design around the thread! Lesson learned, from now on no marking til I am absolutely sure what I want. Anyway, thanks again for everyone's help and advice.

  21. #21
    Super Member Yvonne's Avatar
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    Julie,
    About your bleeding thread, when you finish your quilt wash it again with a 'dye magnet'. There are several different brands out there. I am using the one by Shout. I was told a story about a woman who made her quilt without pre-washing the fabrics and ... you guessed it, the red ran. The woman re-washed the quilt a few times with the dye magnet and managed to get most of the 'pink' out, not all but most. It's certainly worth a try.

    Remember also what Elenor Burns says, "Hang it high and keep it moving!" :lol:

    Most importantly, DO NOT tell anyone or point out to anyone the lines on your quilt. Most people will never see them! Trust me! Just smile and say thank you when everyone raves about your beautiful work.

    Oh, the hard way we learn our lessons! :wink:

  22. #22
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    I'm still betting you'll be the only one who doesn't just love the way it turns out. :-)

    Just stand back, relax, and bask in the glow of their praise. Before you know it, you'll be glad you couldn't get the marks to go away.
    :wink:

  23. #23
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    I'll add my 5 cents worth. I have never had a problem with any kind of pencil markings. They always washed out but I tried to make them as light as I could get away with.

    Good luck.
    Emma

  24. #24

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    Wal-mart sells a stain remover brand "carbona" they are formulated esp. for a variety of stains sold in small bottles for $2.50-$3.00 I've used the oil and grease formula and it works great. :D

  25. #25

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    Please what ever you do don't touch where the markings are with a iron even water soluble blue markers have been known to reappear Quilt like you have marked and you will [probbly like it when you are finished I quilt with a church group and have yet quilted one we didn't like when finished doning this for 15 years Good Luck

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