Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Horror Story

Have you enjoyed seeing my last quilt? Good! That quilt nearly ended up in the garbage.

Now, for the horror part. I used Crayola Washable Markers as I had in the past, many, many times. For the first time I dreaded the washing part once my quilt was finished. Why? The markers are supposed to be washable…. are they not?

My first problem with the markers started with this quilt (see June 7 post). I started to mark just one corner of the border and quickly decided not to. Instead there were just straight rows of machine stitching all around the border. After the quilt was washed, I was taking it off the line to fold up when suddenly I saw the lines … they were still there. Impossible! The markers have always washed out before. So, the marks were washed again and again and again using all different types of spot removers, nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol, etc. You name it, I tried it! I even checked Crayola website for tips.

With dread, I looked at my scrappy quilt still in the quilting hoop and knew that it was doomed. I took it out of the hoop and washed a corner section that had been quilted. Nope, the marks were not coming out of the light fabrics. They came out of the dark fabrics OK, but not the light. Did I do a test before? No. Why not? Because the markers came out on all the other quilts and they weren’t tested either. I was that confident in the product.

Panic, what to do? Well, with dread, the quilt got finished anyway. I was determined to find a solution to my problem. And I did ….. with a bleach pen!

In hindsight, my backing was white for this quilt. Whew! What a rescue. So, taking a small section at a time, I lightly used the bleach pen on top of the markings and then rinsed the bleach out right away under running water. If any bleach leaked out into the batting and backing, it was rinsed away. It was tedious work but the lines came out. Today, I have a quilt that I can be proud of.

So, that was my success with this quilt, but I didn’t have the same with A Summer Bouquet quilt. You guessed it, the bleach pen took out the markings but it also took out the fabric colour (which was a light mint green) on both the front and backing. Looked terrible, you bet! But where there is a problem, there is a solution. Crayola Wax Crayons. I found a couple of colours that blended in quite well with the fabric and coloured in the offending areas. Heat sealed and the problem disappeared. My niece told me that her quilt has been washed about half a dozen times now and it is in good shape. Plan B will be to add appliqué if the coloured-in areas wash out.

I still use the markers today, but I now test my light fabrics to make sure the markers will wash out. Also, every September, I toss out my old markers and buy new ones so that I am not using old stuff.

So, that is my tale and I’m sticking to it.

Have a good day!


Anonymous said...

Oh my, what a scary story. I'm so glad you managed to get the marks out. I can't imagine having that happen, I'd be a mess.

Wendy said...

I agree with Linda, scary thing to have happen. But I'm glad to hear you found a way to get out those marks.

MARCIE said...

Wow, you are brave with all your experimenting! I hope all is well now. Your scrappy quilt turned out beautiful!

Elsie Montgomery said...

Glad your horror story had a happy ending! Thanks for sharing this creative (and brave) solution too. Who knows when someone might need it. I like the quilt too... very nice!

Andrea said...

What a nightmare ! Glad your story had a happy ending.. Certainly will make me think twice and test my markers.

~Bren~ said...

UGH!! What a terrible sight..those marks that you thought had come out. I had a friend who marked an entire hand applique quilt, hand quilted it and washed it to find out the markings were permanent! The horror of it all!!!

Paula, the quilter said...

I hope you neutralized the bleach too. Don't neutralize bleach with vinegar -- they DO NOT play well together. Go to a pet supply place (or Wal-mart) and buy the dechlorination product that is used for fish tanks. I used to use Anti-Chlor. This is a positive way to neutralize bleach: fill your washing machine or bath tub with water and add the anti-chlor per amount needed for the water used. No soap. Add the quilt, wet thoroughly, gently wring it out, rinse, wring and dry. HTH.

And thanks for the info on the markers.

Anne Ida said...

Ooh! I feel a chill down my spine reading your story! Thank goodness you were able to fix it! And this really goes to show that you really should test markers before you start. Thank you for sharing! -and for the warning!