Thursday, September 13, 2012

Forewarned is Fore-Armed

Not all chalk that says it is ideal for quilting is, well, ideal for quilting.

(If only I had read the fine print!!)

                                "Ideal for quilting - sewing and crafts. 
Collection of nine chalk colors suitable 
for marking light and dark fabrics. 
Test the chalk on a scrap of the fabric 
you will be using to be sure 
the marks come off to your satisfaction.
 Do not make heavy marks. 
Use the very lightest marks possible 
to be sure marks remove easily. 
Do not iron over marks."

Yes, it SAYS to 
"Test the chalk on a scrap of the fabric 
you will be using to be sure 
the marks come off to your satisfaction."

I did not.

Yes, it SAYS
"Do not make heavy marks. 
Use the very lightest marks possible 
to be sure marks remove easily."  

I might have had made heavy marks.


So, in addition to 
1) not quite having the tension right on my first attempt at free motion quilting
2) using red thread in the bobbin and white in the top as I stitch on white fabric
I also
3) chalked in my design with lime green chalk and stitched over it.

The lime green will not come out.

 I tried these things:
1.  Washing the quilt
2. Oxi Clean sprayed right on the chalk
3. Dry Magic Eraser
4. a "Fabric Eraser" I found in my stash of sewing things.


So, Be Fore Warned. 

You really should test any marking tool on the fabric you are using to see if it will wash off.
I used the chalk on this rainbow quilt, also.  
The orange chalk does not come off.
The blue chalk does not come off.
The green chalk does not come off.

But the white chalk does come off.  (my husband suggested just using the white chalk.  He knew, of course, that that would not work when marking white fabric like in the red and white quilt) (everyone is a comic!!)

Chalk on the colored squares are not so much trouble as lime green on white.But I am getting used to slight imperfections in my red and white quilt.

One thing I did correctly and am now telling you so you can
Be Fore-Armed
Color Catchers are AMAZING.

The red and white blocks given to me contained various red fabrics in various states of pre-washed-ness.  I washed this red and white quilt twice - see the pile of Color Catchers on the left from the first wash and the pile on the right from the second wash.  These Color Catchers saved me from having a pink and red quilt.

So now you are

If we could be FOUR armed - would we be able to get more work done?


  1. Oh to have four arms. My family would be shocked at the number of quilts I too could finish.

    So very sorry about your quilts. Honestly, a quilt company such as Dritz should know better than to put something out there that they know will cause heartache. Warnings or not. I know it does not help you now, but I have always used a regular old #2 pencil to mark my quilts. Never have I had problems getting the pencil marks out, even on light color fabric. One of my first quilts I marked with blue ball point pen. Yes I did. Fels Naphtha took that right out, with a little help from my nail brush. Try Fels Naphtha. You may want to gently use a brush. If that does not work try this, Oxy Clean Max Force heavy duty super duper strength stuff. As per Stephanie at Loft Creations. She has a horror story here that she was told to use the above.

    I really hope you can get those marks out in time.

    blessings, jill

  2. Hey Cathy, I hesitate making this suggestion, but it might work... I DO RECOMMEND A TRIAL RUN ON A SAMPLE!!!! I had this friend who was very anal about her launrdry. Whenever she had a spot on a white background in a printed fabric she used this trick. Mix a small amount of bleach with water and take a q-tip and apply it to the offending spot. Rince thoroughly. If that did not get the spot sometimes she would reapply and put out in the sun or increase the concentration of bleach. I know it sounds a bit radical but it does work in many cases. I'm not that fanatical about spots but I have tried it sometimes. good luck, cheers, Claire W.


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