Wednesday, 26 November 2014

More Info From Birch

Hi Everyone,

After I posted yesterday, I received an e-mail from Birch with further information on removing yellow quilters chalk.

Here is the e-mail they sent me ...

Dear Tracy,

It is always suggested to test a fabric mark on the same fabric you are using.  Fabrics change from supplier to supplier.

Also if the fabric is not pre washed the sizing used in the manufacturing process can sometimes retain some of the colour.

To try and remove markings on your current project first test on a scrap of the same fabric or on an inconspicuous place as it is important that it does not ruin

Some ways to remove chalk from fabric:

1.       Brush it with a soft brush – like a soft toothbrush. 

2.       Gently blot the marks with a soft white cloth and a solution made from ½ white vinegar and ½ water. ( Some quilters use 2/3 white vinegar to 1/3 water). Some people report that that marks don’t seem to disappear until the quilt is dried.

3.    Cool water with a drop of dishwashing liquid. Use a soft toothbrush to gently rub the solution by dabbing with a clean sponge and cold water.

4.    Use a fabric eraser.

      Birch Haberdashery & Craft

I hope this can help someone else out.


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Story of the Yellow Chalk Continues

Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions about removing the yellow chalk from my jelly roll quilt, and those who made such kind comments about the quilting.

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.


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Jelly Roll Quilt Update & Seeking Advice

Well, I'm on track to (hopefully) finish the quilt in time for the birthday party on Saturday. I finished the hibiscus quilting today and am pretty happy with it.

Now that I'm getting close to finishing the quilting I have started researching how to remove the residual yellow chalk from my hibiscus pattern. From what I have seen on the internet I am quite concerned that I may have significant trouble doing this.

Does anyone have any advice on the best and most effective way to remove yellow quilters chalk from fabric? Also, is there anything I should definitely not try for fear of ruining the quilt?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.


Friday, 7 November 2014

Happy With My Quilting Progress

I had a very productive FNWF today. After another 3.5 hours of quilting ...

Head down, bum up

Hibiscus pattern traced in yellow quilters chalk
... this is how far I got.

I'm pleased to say that the free motion quilting is not as difficult as I thought it would be. However, my shoulders are quite sore (even though I kept telling myself to relax them) so I think I will take a break tomorrow.

I also finished stitching my rainbow stitchery tonight over a couple of glasses of champers.

Maybe tomorrow will be a fabric cutting day as I need to cut the border fabrics for the stitchery, and the binding strips for the jelly roll quilt.

A very big thanks to Cheryll at Gone Stitchin' for being such a wonderful hostess for us again this month. You can check out what everyone else got up to for FNWF by visiting her blog here.

Enjoy your weekend.


Thursday, 6 November 2014

A Proud Day

For the record, I am about to brag big time!

I am so proud of our eldest daughter, Miss A. She is studying photography and creative advertising at Uni and has just designed and printed a fashion book for one of her assignments. It is a coffee table book and it looks amazing! She did all the photography, styling and text and I am so, so proud of her.

She used Discus on Demand in West Leederville to print the book. They did a very professional job on very short notice, for which she is extremely grateful.

I also wanted to show you the beautiful stitched postcard that I received from Lin last week. She was the winner of my Gail Pan Christmas book giveaway and she sent me this to say thank you.

This is the first time I have received a stitched postcard, or seen one up close. I'm amazed at how well it survived the journey from France. Thank you Lin for such a lovely gift. Lin has already completed one of the stitcheries from Gail's book, which you can see on her blog post from 30 October. It looks lovely.

I started quilting my jelly roll quilt today. It took me an hour and a half to stitch one full motif and I had quite sore shoulders afterwards. Luckily monofilament thread is quite forgiving and I think the motif actually looks quite reasonable from the back of the quilt. My DH is going to spend some time with Miss M tomorrow and give me a chance to do more on it. So, I will be starting Friday Night With Friends early :)

Can you believe there are only 2 more FNWF nights to join in with this year? If you would like to take some time out and stitch with us before the Christmas rush sets in you can sign up at the lovely Cheryll's blog, Gone Stitchin'.

See you there!


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Catching Up

Wow. After a couple of weeks of illness (Miss M - tonsillitis, Me - pharyngitis), an 18th, an exhibition and the occasional quilt session it's all of a sudden November! Where on earth has this year gone to? And the hectic period is only just about to start with Christmas just around the corner.

The Embroiderers' Guild of WA opened its exhibition on Friday last week at the Wanneroo Library and Cultural Centre. It is the first time I've had a piece in an exhibition, albeit part of a group project, and it was very exciting. This was how the final piece looked...

...and this was my contribution to it.

The members of the group who prepared and mounted the embroideries did an amazing job. It looked fantastic. And, it was an actual working clock.

There were so many fantastic, inspirational pieces of embroidery on display that we were disappointed to only have an hour to look around. If I get to be even half as good as those other embroiderers one day I will be a very, very happy lady! The exhibition is on until the end of this week & only costs $5 to get in. If you get a chance I highly recommend a visit.

Although I haven't had time to do a lot of stitching recently, I have managed to progress my jelly roll race quilt.

Preparing the quilting pattern
All pinned and ready to start quilting

I'm a bit nervous as I haven't done any real free motion quilting before and, as you can see, I tend not to start small or simple. I have just over 2 weeks to finish it as it is a gift for a family friend who is turning 18 in late November. Wish me luck.

My other creative outlet during this past 3 weeks was making a cake for my son, Master R's, 18th birthday. Thank you Super Foods magazine for a wonderful cake, although I'm not really sold on the chocolate peanut butter icing.

The centre of the cake was filled with a mixture of chocolates - M&Ms, Maltesers, Jaffas, Freckles, Clinkers, Chocolate sultanas and Skittles.

Yum, yum, yum - not so good for the waistline *grin*.
I hope you've all had a productive few weeks. I'll try not to leave it so long between posts next time.