After searching the website of the company that makes the product, Birch, for information on removing the chalk with no luck, I sent them an e-mail requesting help. I have to say, their customer service is excellent. They are the only company that I have contacted using their online e-mail form who has ever actually called me back. And not just 1 staff member but 2! Thank you Birch.
This is what they told me:
- Sometimes the sizing in the fabric can retain colour from the chalk. It may wash out with the first wash when the sizing washes out.
- If the quilt has been in the heat (eg been ironed, been in a hot car or near a window in a hot room) the colour from the chalk may set.
- Try the following ways to remove the chalk - make sure to test on a scrap piece of the fabric first...
- Use a soft toothbrush to gently brush the chalk marks off the fabric. You could also try a paintbrush but it may be too soft.
- Wash the quilt in lukewarm or cold water with a mild detergent (eg wool wash)
They also recommended that any marker should be tried on a scrap piece of the fabric to make sure it can be removed, before being applied to the quilt top.
Unfortunately neither of these suggestions worked for me. Using a toothbrush softened and blurred, but did not remove, the chalk lines.
I then tried washing it in cold water with a small amount of fabric softener (suggested by a friend's mum who is an avid quilter). After washing it twice, the chalk had completely gone from the darkest blue fabrics, been reduced by about 50% on the mid-blue fabrics and barely shifted from the lightest fabrics. I was devastated to the point of tears. My wonderful family comforted me the best they could.
Our friend's birthday party was on Saturday night but I was in Melbourne for the weekend so couldn't go. The rest of my family all went and gave Miss J her present then texted me photos.
|Miss A and Miss J holding up the completed quilt.|
She loved it. From all accounts she didn't even notice the yellow chalk marks. I'm so pleased she liked it & that I managed to get it finished in time for her party.
I need to get the quilt back soon so I can attach a label as I ran out of time to do that before leaving town. I'm thinking I'll run it through the wash another couple of times while I have it. Hopefully each wash will reduce the amount of chalk left. Although they haven't really noticed, I know it's not supposed to be there and I think it looks terrible!
Anyway, I hope this info helps some of you. I certainly will be testing any marking tools on a sample of the fabric I'm actually using before marking my quilt tops in future. Having a deadline is not enough of a reason to miss out this step!
Have a great week everyone.