Author Topic: Washing out pencil marks on quiltI  (Read 8151 times)

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Offline BCBonita

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Washing out pencil marks on quiltI
« on: June 24, 2011, 11:48:29 PM »
Hi everyone!  I have just finished hand quilting my first quilt (all cotton, poly batting, crib size) with a white background.  Some of the pencil marks show.   How do you remove these marks?  Unfortunately, my sample sandwich is long gone.  I usually wash quilts in cold water with a gentle laundry soap, but this quilt is a fair bit more delicate.  Thanks for the help.  Bonita

Offline Pipsy

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Re: Washing out pencil marks on quiltI
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 11:51:27 PM »
I had that problem a few years ago and I used Tide spot cleaner sticks, after I had used a marker supposedly water soluble that bled into the wadding.  The stick took out the marks almost instantly. I suspect they will work on pencil as well. Let us know what works.
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Offline lydia

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Re: Washing out pencil marks on quiltI
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 11:56:53 PM »
I purchased a pencil washout solution from the Clothilde catalog.  This was eons ago, but you might try your local quilt or chain fabric stores for a cleaner.  I do know that this solution did remove the pencil marks and left no residue.  That being said, have you tried liquid laundry detergent on a sample?  I know you said that your sample is gone, but do you have anything you can use just to try different cleaning methods?
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Offline fzxdoc

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Re: Washing out pencil marks on quiltI
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2011, 02:42:15 AM »
Here's a recommendation from www.quilthistory.com:

Try a soft eraser (Art Gum) for unwashable garments. Use a quality laundry powder or liquid on lead pencil marks, but never for indelible pencil. Soft pencil marks may be removed with a mixture of equal parts Dove liquid and Clorox 2 powder in warm or hot water. Soak thoroughly. Do not rub. Rinse completely.  Formula 409 sprayed on, gently rubbed in with a soft cloth or toothbrush, then rinsed will also work. 

For fresh pencil marks, try this:

1/4 cup water
3/4 cup rubbing alcohol
7-8 drops of Palmolive liquid detergent
Mix and apply with a toothbrush
Another suggestion:  To remove pencil marks there is a recipe of 1 cup water, 2 tbs alcohol and 1 drop clear dishwashing liquid. I have had students tell me that the new clear Windex also works.

General Cleaning solution, also good for household cleaning: 3 tablespoons of household ammonia to a squirter bottle (1 quart) full of water
.

HTH,
Kathryn


Online Bunny

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Re: Washing out pencil marks on quiltI
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2011, 11:48:56 AM »
I use mechanical pencils a lot for marking. Spray starching the item first with a couple of coats of starch helps prevent the graphite from getting embedded in the fabric and makes removal easier. If it is stubborn to remove I make a mix of Biz, about 2 tablespoons to a half cup of warm water. Dissolve it by stirring, then use a toothbrush and this solution to gently remove. It may take a couple of tries but will get it out.

Offline Liana

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Re: Washing out pencil marks on quiltI
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2011, 02:35:38 PM »
Hope you've gotten the marks out with the good advice you've received, but I have to come out and say what no one else has yet.   :-*

Don't mark your quilt (or anything else) with a pencil, or anything not meant to come off fabric easily, that you have also tested first to see if it will really come off YOUR fabric.   :)

My DGM who was a very particular quilter/needleworker used to scoff at those who marked their quilting lines with a pencil (which almost everyone did then).  She used the blunt end of a large darning needle to make a crease where she wanted to stitch (similar to marking with a hera) and of course there was nothing to remove later.  Not as easy to see as a pencil line, but there are many methods now that might serve you equally well. 

I hope you're not offended, and I certainly don't mean to be mean.  It's just so much easier if you don't have to wash out marks from a delicate project after you're done. 

Online Bunny

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Re: Washing out pencil marks on quiltI
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2011, 01:17:19 AM »
Quote
Don't mark your quilt (or anything else) with a pencil, or anything not meant to come off fabric easily, that you have also tested first to see if it will really come off YOUR fabric.
Liana is so right. You need to use what is best for your fabric. I use a lot of heirloom fabrics and markers I have tried have had a way of shadowing back later on, not quite what one would want to find years later on an heirloom. I have tried the various techniques for marking with them but I am still not totally satisfied.  Heirloom sewing often needs the fabric to be starched  with several coats of  starch so it makes a fairly decent barrier between the pencil mark and the fabric. I also find I can get an extremely light and fine line with a quality mechanical pencil with the super fine lead. It usually rubs off as I hand stitch. It's a given that heirloom garments are usually washed when the work is complete and before the final press.  For  heirloom fabrics this has worked the best for me. Other fabrics will get the traditional chalk treatment for the most part, but that can sometimes have issues as well.  I realize my pencil marking is not for everyone but it works for me. I wish my camera were working so I could give a better idea of how I do this.  I should have it back at work this week!

The "scratch" technique sounds wonderful for quilting, Liana. I will remember that trick. Thanks.

Gotta try that Windex trick, too! Thanks, Kathryn.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 01:21:37 AM by Bunny »

Offline Liana

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Re: Washing out pencil marks on quiltI
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2011, 02:02:47 AM »
Bunny,

I think your starch and then mark technique sounds like a very smart idea.  I don't generally starch before sewing, but on the kind of sewing I do, that wouldn't be what I'd think of either.  I'll put that in the 'toolbox' for future use.  I do have starch, so I'm ready.  ;) 

I've had the same experience you have with various markers.  They'll come out just great many times, and then the next time, there's something different about the fabric or who knows what, and it won't come out, or will reappear later.  :o  That's really annoying.  I've completely given up on a lot of marking methods unless it's in a spot where it won't show at all.  Luckily, I can often use a pin, and keep my eye on the hole it made until I get my needle in it.  Low tech, but no-show, although not too helpful for quilting, etc.

I think that's why there are so many markers and ideas; you just never know which one is going to be perfect for the next project.   :)

Offline DragonLady

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Re: Washing out pencil marks on quiltI
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2011, 05:34:50 AM »
You may want to try using bread.  Just a small bit kneaded into a ball will often remove pencil marks.
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Offline Pipsy

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Re: Washing out pencil marks on quiltI
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2011, 09:29:07 AM »
Like most of you, I probably own every type of marker made!  I prefer chalk marking but it is not always the best choice, especially when having to handle fabric a lot.  I had a blue water removable marker bleed into batting when I was marking on white on a quilt.  The thing that took it out of both the fabric and the batting was a Tide pen mark remover.  I purchase it and a bleach pen on a whim one day just to see how they work.  I didn't want to try the bleach for fear it whitened the white and affected the fabric. Good luck.
If I stitch fast enough does it count as an aerobic exercise?
My soul is fed by my needle and thread.

Offline Pina

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Re: Washing out pencil marks on quiltI
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2011, 07:20:39 PM »
Quite often I mark fabric lightly with an old fashioned commonly used # 2 HB pencil.I try the pencil out first on a small piece or edge of the fabric I want to use then erase it with a non-smudge fabric eraser.Sometimes I use a Dixon vinyl pearl 701 eraser,it erases marks without smudging on most fabrics too.Sometimes that eraser works even better on some fabrics than my non-smudge fabric eraser,which usually works very well.Kiss-Off stain remover removes pencil markings too.It can be found at arts & crafts stores.

« Last Edit: August 03, 2011, 07:39:02 PM by Pina »

 

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