Saturday, April 03, 2010
Quilt block drama....
Each year my guild makes a donation quilt to raise money for a local camp for children with cancer. Usually the quilt involves a lot of applique and usually there is a bit of quilt block drama involved...
Last year it was a missing block - which only reappeared after it had been remade! Most often it is a block that gets stained, fabric bleeds, or the stitch-er uses a new pen, pencil, or other marker that ends up showing on the quilt block.
Most of us have been there. We get a new "toy" and want to try it out right away so we skip over the "try this on a scrap of fabric before using on your project" step. This year it was a green sureline marking pen (or is it a pencil?) On the backside of the block she traced the entire pattern then used the basting from the back applique method. All good until....When she was done the green marker was still visible in several spots from the front. She tried dabbing a bit of gentle detergent on the spots...no luck.
Now I have used the same sureline markers and not had any problems so we tried to brainstorm what had happened. It may have been the heat-setting before wiping any marking off. She had left the block in the Augusta heat (we have already been in the high 80's!) and had ironed the block several times while appliqueing. The good news is a paste made from a little Borax mixed with Woolite was applied to the spots with the marks (front and back of the fabric) and left to set for about 10 minutes then rinsed in warm water took the marks out. Looks good now, no?!
What she didn't do that made possible to save the block:
- Do not use harsh abrasive materials (like a toothbrush!) on the fabric. Even if the mark comes out the fabric gets a worn out look and the area jumps out at you.
- Do not use bleach unless you are willing to bleach the entire block...what a risky business since this block had some rich colored fabrics.
- Do not repeatedly wash and allow the fabric to dry...keeping the spots damp while you work on them seems to work best.
- Do not iron blocks with stains on them...it only makes the process more difficult.
Speaking of stains...everything around my house is covered in a fine yellow haze. The pine pollen this year is unbelievable! My poor car is a mess...not that I can see it very well as my eyes fill up with tears...where is the rain when we need it!