Fixing Accidental White Markings on Quilts

Fixing heat set marking pen marks

Fixing heat set marking pen marks

This post falls into the “oops” category, which is a new class I will be teaching at the AU Machine Quilting Festival in October, 2014.  The oops was a white marking pen, which had been accidentally heat set by a newer quilter.  First, I tried water and other products to remove the marks, however, nothing was working, so I knew then the marks had been heat set.

The fix was actually pretty simple to do.  I pulled out my Inktense pigment pencil set in 3 colors since I was coloring on batik cotton fabric.  I colored right on the fabric, and then blended using fabric medium.  Worked like a charm!  Here is the after photo for comparison:

markingoopsfixWhat looked like a fatal flaw to this quilt became a creative opportunity to fix it.  What would I have done if the marking had been in blue or black pen?  I would have probably made them all equal, then softened the look by judicial use of ribbon, fiber or crystals to make it look intentional.  Having white permanent lines just made the process easier.  Of course, another option is to send back to be redone, too.

One more close-up photo.

markingopps2Now you know what to do if you see this oops on one of your quilts or a customer quilt.  Happy quilting!  Carla

26 thoughts on “Fixing Accidental White Markings on Quilts

  1. Yep…that was my oops! Sure glad you were able to fix it, Carla. :o) I’ve certainly learned from my boo boo and yes, it was heat set. Love what you did and how you fixed it!

  2. I use marker regularly to hide little oops of different kinds. In Round Robins sometimes other people’s white or nearly white threads show and can’t be picked. Marker to the rescue! Or maybe there is a little spot of fabric that didn’t accept color for some reason. Marker fixes it! Or if I’ve basted badly along the edge before machine quilting, I might mark it out rather than pick stitches after binding. Works like a charm! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Such gorgeous colors, cool flower, great fix and fantastic quilting!! WOW! Can we see the entire quilt or is that a secret until the workshop?

    • Hi Mary Helen, No secret. 🙂 I took some pictures before sending the quilt home, but only a few. I plan to post the front pics, and the back of the quilt is in the post located below. just click on the home button and scroll down. Thanks for writing!

    • Hi Joan, I promised to tell you how I was able to fix it. It was white pen, which made it a lot easier to fix than a dark pen mark. I am happy with how it came out! Hugs, Carla

  4. brilliant solution Carla. Lucky Teddie.
    i see some stitching needed to be undone also… there is no sign of the stitching in the batik… how did you overcome the marks from the previous stitching?/

    • Good eye, Sheila! Yes, I removed metallic thread, too. The needle “holes” were closed by adding water. The needle parts the woven cotton, pushing the fibers off to the side and making the appearance of a hole. Water, with some gentle rubbing of the fabric was all it took to return the fibers to their natural state.

      The space was re-stitched with Superior Rainbow thread. Excellent question! Thanks for asking! Carla

      • Thanks, Carla. That’s good to know – I’m thinking of making aprons but using maybe a cotton duck or something heavier than quilting cotton. I want to paint on them so I’ll look into the pigment powder. As far as the medium which sets the color, are they all about the same or is there a better one that can be used with pencils, powder, etc? Sorry for all the questions – I’m getting very interested in this and I doubt you’ll be coming to Sioux Falls, SD any time soon 😉

  5. Hey Carla,

    Have you used very many fabric mediums? If so, which one do you feel works best with the “Inktense” pencils? I’ve used some in the past but not with these pencils so not sure if I need to try several different brands or not. Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Roberta, cotton works well with the pigment pencils. Used on canvas, too. I would use something else for silk. Actually, my favorite coloring method is not Inktense pencils, but pigment powder, which I mix into a fabric paint medium, then apply to the stitched area.

      Because I was coloring on a batik, the pigment pencils were chosen to provide lots of control for matching the color. A paint might have given the space a different look and feel. Great question! 🙂 Carla

      • Thanks, Carla. That’s good to know – I’m thinking of making aprons but using maybe a cotton duck or something heavier than quilting cotton. I want to paint on them so I’ll look into the pigment powder. As far as the medium which sets the color, are they all about the same or is there a better one that can be used with pencils, powder, etc? Sorry for all the questions – I’m getting very interested in this and I doubt you’ll be coming to Sioux Falls, SD any time soon.

        (oops, posted this in the wrong place – 😦

    • Hi Roberta, I like the Liquidtex and the Jo Sonja brands, Golden also makes a fabric medium, too. I like my fabric medium thicker for use with the Inktense pencils. You can control where you place it when it is thicker and there is no bleed. Be sure to set your stitches as small as possible, then the thread acts like a resist to limit bleed.

      For the pigment powder, I use the same textile/fabric mediums listed to mix. I only mix up enough pigment powder to paint in a sitting as you need an airtight container to store it. Pigment powders are also heat set just to be safe. It gives a really nice, rich look. Click here to see a visual: https://featheredfibers.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/quilt-with-color/

  6. Pingback: Around the World Blog Hop- My Turn! | Carla Barrett

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