Remove Quilting Lines Left By Chalk Markers
by Sharon Harrington
I tested the pink chalk on my border sample before beginning. I have now marked and quilted a king sized quilt. The border is a natural color and I am having trouble removing the pink lines between the stitches.
Do I need to wash the complete quilt? I cannot bleach it off because the backing is a dark color.
Ideally chalk will disappear during the machine quilting process. However, sometimes it does not. These are possible remedies for its removal.
As always, be sure to test on an inconspicuous area of your quilt before trying any of our suggestions on your whole quilt.NOTE:
In your question, there was no mention of prewashing your quilt fabric. If you did not, I would check to be sure that the fabrics in the quilt are colorfast. Most of the removal methods suggested take some form of liquid and you wouldn't want to have any fabrics run.
To remove chalk marks, try:
- Dabbing with a clean sponge and cold water
- Fabric eraser - though these are generally marked for use to erase light pencil marks, some are suggest use for the removal of all marks
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser - rub gently
- To remove chalk from it's Chaco Liner, Clover recommends washing in a water/vinegar mixture. (5 parts water to 2 parts white vinegar) and then letting it air dry. That would take a lot of vinegar to wash a quilt.
- Pepper Cory, in her book 'Mastering Quilt Marking' also recommends the use of white vinegar to remove heavy chalk marks. She suggests applying the vinegar to a soft cloth (I'd use white to avoid transferring any color TO your quilt) and gently rubbing the chalk marks. You don't want to saturate the quilt with vinegar. Let it air dry and then wash the quilt in cool water.
If you still have the sample you tested on,
I'd use that to test the remedies first. Then test the most promising on an inconspicuous place on your quilt. If it works there, then move to the rest of your quilt.
I would try one of these remedies before washing the quilt. I would not want to inadvertently transfer the color from the chalk markings to another area of the quilt and create a bigger problem. I'm not saying that would happen, just that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".
Quilts markings that refuse to leave once a quilt is finished are the most unwelcome of guests.
We, as quilters, depend on the accurate labeling of quilt marking tools to let us know which is best for our quilt. If you have one that won't come out as the instructions suggested, please write to the manufacturer and let them know. It's the only way we can get better products.
Readers, if you have any other suggestions, please let us know by using the 'Comment' link below.
Sharon, I hope this information has been of help to you.
P.S. Your question has led me down an interesting research path.
I came across an article where the quilter found that very few of the quilt marking tools she used came out as promised. That's disheartening since we rely on the package information to help us choose which marking tool to use.
Over the next couple of months, I will test a variety of products, stitch over the markings and let them sit for a month or two to replicate how a quilt gets quilted. Then I'll remove the marks as per the manufacturers' instructions. I'll report my findings on the website and then announce them in STASH Talk
, our monthly newsletter.
While this doesn't help you with your present problem, I hope it will aid quilters in the future.