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Problem Removing Quilt Markings

I marked the white parts of my quilt with blue chalk to use as quilting markings. The chalk will not come out. I have tried to rub it out, dry and with water and with liquid soap.

Is there a way to get these chalk marks out? Please help!!


I've had several pleas just like yours throughout the year. They are heart-breaking. To get a quilt finished AND quilted no less, and then not to be able to remove markings applied with products made to specifically mark quilts is unbelievably frustrating.

I've researched several methods and have come up with the following ideas. But I can't stress this part enough.

Don't make the problem worse.

Test the removal technique in an inconspicuous part of your quilt before committing it to the whole quilt.

If you haven't tested for bleeding fabric, please do so before using any product that is a liquid so that you don't make the problem worse.

For removal of chalk markings, try the following:

  • Dab with a white wash cloth and cold water

  • Use a fabric eraser. These are generally indicated for the removal of pencil marks but some have reported good results with one.

  • Art gum eraser, use a soft touch and rub lightly.

  • Mr. Clean Magic eraser, quilters have reported using it both dry and slightly damp.

  • If the blue chalk is from a Clover Chaco Liner, Clover suggests washing the marks in a vinegar and water mixture using 5 parts water to 2 parts of white vinegar. Then let the quilt air dry.

  • Pepper Cory, author of 'Mastering Quilt Marking' recommends the use of white vinegar on heavy chalk markings. She advises to apply the vinegar with a soft white cloth, gently rubbing the marking. Don't use so much vinegar that you saturate it. Let the quilt air dry, then wash in cool water to remove the vinegar.
If you have leftovers of the fabrics in your quilt, perhaps you could make a small quilt sandwich to test these removal options on first.

The machine quilting patterns we create under the 'Generations Quilt Patterns' name all need to be marked onto the quilt top before quilting. The marks need to stand up to both machine quilting and the smushing and scrunching that happens as the quilt is manipulated under the needle of our domestic sewing machine.

Easy removal of quilt markings and knowing which ones NOT TO USE, is important to our business. We will follow up on the topic.

Readers, if you have any suggestions, please use the 'Post Comments' link below.

Thank you for your question. I do so hope the marks come out!


Julie Baird

Comments for Problem Removing Quilt Markings

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Ironing sets some chalk in permanently
by: Anonymous

I have some chalk that will rub or wash out just fine as long as you DO NOT IRON over it. It is written on the box in the teensiest text possible. I will be checking all chalk now, as I never would have given ironing it a thought.

From the Editor:It's so important to keep the directions from all the different kinds of markers, including chalk. You're right there are several that the manufacturer says not to iron...

...and then the newer Miracle Chalk—the kind you use with the Pounce Pad—stays put until you iron it away on purpose.

It can get pretty confusing, pretty fast.

Great share and reminder. Thank you!



What NOT to do!
by: Anonymous

I transferred my quilting pattern onto mesh fabric with permanent marker, then traced over the lines with water soluble marker. The soluble marker went through the holes in the mesh to mark my pattern on the quilt top. Sounds brilliant, right? NOT!

The soluble marker fluid caused the "permanent" ink to transfer onto my quilt. I had to remove and redo that part of my quilt. I'm now trying the same method, using pencil. I'll wash and iron the mesh first to set the ink. I'm also testing first on scraps to make sure the marks come out completely.

We'll see...

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