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

To Ditch or Not?


My recent cartoon on this subject led me to consider the issue of  to “ditch” a quilt or not. Whether you are a die-hard “SIDer” or “SID adverse,” I hope you will read my post below and share your opinion.  Thanks, Carla

Stitch in the Ditch: to stitch carefully in the seam on the top side of a quilt.  In the quilting world, there are many machine quilter’s who strongly believe in  Stitch-in-the-Ditch (SID).  However, there are also just as many non-SID quilters, too.  This has been an age old debate among stand-up machine quilters, but I would like to take a closer look at both sides of this issue:

Pro-SID: Many machine quilters are- and were taught that you SID to stabilize your quilt sandwich.  It is how they learned, it looks very crisp and clean, and every quilt needs this.  To not SID a quilt on a custom quilt is something they would never do.  Period.

Con-SID: For machine quilters with stand up systems, SID takes time, is laborious, and takes practice to acheive a crisp, clean look.  If you are a fraction out of the seam, it shows, and not in a nice way.  If you are in business, SID adds time, and your profit margin is bound to be affected.

Pro-Non SID:  Many modern stand-up machine quilters were taught that SID is actually not needed to control your quilt sandwich, and that a good machine quilter can control a quilt sandwich without SID.  SID is a holdover from hand and sit down quilting, and frankly, not needed.  To not SID is better for your bottom line if you are in business.

Con-Non SID: If the quilt is being shown, will it be marked down for not SID?  Questions over conforming to a historical belief.


I actually see both sides of the debate, and so, several years I ago taught myself how to SID on my longarm machine. In case anyone is curious, I use Madiera’s monofiliment (light or dark grey) for most of my SID.   My decision to ditch or not ditch is made quilt by quilt.  Thus said, many quilts I have shown were not ditched.  My quilts hang perfectly straight on quilts that came to me square- all achieved with no SID work.  This holds true for King plus sized quilts.  I have never had a comment from a judge saying one of my quilted quilts needed SID.

Let’s hear from you!

Do you feel strongly one way or another?  I would love to hear your opinion on the subject.  Do you SID or not?  If so, why or why not?  Have you ever had a judge write that your quilt needed SID if placed in a show without it?  Judges, do you have an opinion on this- or does it depend on the individual show rules?

Take care, Carla