Quilts for Sale

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saving a Quilt

"Ray of Life" top - unquilted

Very visible pencil lines!

Marking Pencil Remover

When I finished the top of the large New York Beauty made for my son and daughter-in-law's wedding, I knew I could not quilt it myself.  It was huge and I was having problems with trigger finger and carpal tunnel.  So off to Pennsylvania it went.  Of course I worried about my "baby" the whole time it was gone.  When it came home, I was heartsick.  The quilter had marked it with lead PENCIL!   Everywhere!

I tried various erasers to no avail.  I tried removing the marks with a dampened  cloth.  Nothing. I was frantic, to say the least.  Since every fabric used in the quilt had been prewashed, I felt fairly safe in taking it to a laundromat.  I put it in their largest drum washing machine (which does not agitate in the traditional manner) with a little bit of Orvus paste and a little bit of Synthrapol, said a little prayer, crossed my fingers and waited.  Although most of the marks came out, the pencil remained in some areas - mostly on the lighter oranges.

Marking Pencil Remover from Quilter's Rule (thanks, Patty) worked very well in removing telltale pencil lines.  But one block needed serious repair.  It was an area where the deep indigo blue bled/crept into the orange from the seam allowance underneath. 

What to do............what to do?  I finally decided on paint, a tip learned from a friend years ago when hand-dyed teal silk bled all over a yellow fabric.  The trick is to not just paint the small area where the bleed is, but to paint several areas so that it appears "planned."

I tightly taped off the area around where I needed to paint.  Using a dry-brush technique and a very small amount of diluted acrylic paint, I dabbed the fabric lightly and let it dry.  There was still a bit of shadow-thru from the indigo seam allowance.  I used an orange Caran d'Ache neocolor watercolor crayon over the dried paint to correct this.  That was the magic fix!

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