Saturday, August 8, 2015

August Bouquet Quilt for My Brother

Thursday evening, I finished the quilting on the Cross-Stitched-Block quilt.  My brother came for supper that night; fortunately, he didn’t ask to see the quilt I’ve been working on.  He does that sometimes.

By 11:30 p.m., I had sewn the binding together and was attaching it to the front of the quilt.  It’s a loooong way around this quilt! -- it measures 105" x 131".

I finished the binding Friday evening, after working on it since early afternoon, folding it around to the back, pinning (vewy, vewy ca’fully), and then stitching in the ditch from the front.

Then the quilt went into the washing machine with OxyClean.  That was a bit hair-raising.  Would Janice’s cross-stitched blocks still be in one piece when it came out?  I set the washer on the Hand-Wash Gentle cycle on cold in an attempt to get the old blood spots out. 

In the meanwhile, I began machine-embroidering a label for the quilt.  Too bad I don’t know when Janice made the blocks, or how long it took her.  I decided to call the quilt August Bouquet.

At 1:00 a.m. I put the quilt back into the washing machine – for the fourth go-around.  The old blood spots came out better than expected – most were entirely gone.  The FriXion pen did not come out well, but the purple Crayola marker came out fine.  I rubbed the pen marks thoroughly with OxyClean gel, and gave it another try on the Warm/Warm setting.  The last setting had been Hot/Cold – maybe the cold temp brought the marks back? 

I used the FriXion pens on a scrap of fabric, ironed it, and presto, the marks all vanished.  So I would touch up the marks with an iron, if they were still there when the quilt dried.

The original small blue marks for quilting lines on the cross-stitched blocks had not come out.  They didn’t look too terrible, and weren’t too noticeable.  I decided to treat them like I do garden spiders:  live and let live.

It was 3:30 a.m. when I spread the wet quilt out on my frame to dry.  And my final newscast of the night was as follows:

After the fourth washing, the little blue marks put on the cross-stitched blocks by the manufacturer are gone.  The bloodspots are gone.  The FriXion pen marks, however, were still there.  Fainter, but there. 

I would try heat next, when the quilt was dry. 

The Crayola markers that made such dark lines they made my hair stand up on end washed out perfectly.  I will use them instead of the FriXion pens, along with the purple vanishing pen.

Janice’s embroidery came through the washings looking vibrant and lovely, and not a single stitch came loose.

And now it is Saturday afternoon, and I have the following news:  all the marks except the largest and darkest bloodspot (which is now so light as to be nearly unseen) are out, including the blue marks originally stamped on the cross-stitched blocks.

I simply ironed the marks from the FriXion pens, and they did indeed vanish as advertised.  They will, however, reappear when cold.  They can leave ‘ghost marks’ on some fabrics.  The chemicals that make up the ink, according to many articles I’ve read, also need to be washed out, so as not to leave residual amounts in the fabric, and to better preclude them from showing up again, though they might anyway.  Here are a few of the many articles I read – interesting, and well worth reading:

Actually, I didn’t really iron the quilt, I steamed it.  I didn’t want to press, because the wool batting has given the quilt a lovely loft, and I didn’t want to squish it.  The marks are gone; the quilt looks pristine and new.  No, that’s not correct.  It looks heirloom crinkly.  And it smells terrific, and is soooo soft and cuddly...  mmmmm.  I love crisp and flat and new quilts... and I love soft and crinkly and cuddly quilts. 

Quilt back

I know that if the quilt gets down to, oh, say, freezing, those FriXion marks might very well show up again.  Another steaming will get rid of them – to a point.  After either numerous reheating and/or a number of years, the marks seem to become permanent. 

The pens are fairly new, so no one can say what will happen in 10-20-30 years. 

Fact:  There are many and good uses for these pens, but I will not be using them again on a quilt, unless it will be in an area that will never see the light of day again.  This seems to be the general consensus of a good many people who have experience with the pens.

I suddenly noticed – it wasn’t raining, it was bright enough for pictures, and the sun was periodically behind cloud cover:  perfect for quilt photos.  So I took the quilt out on the back deck and conducted a photo session.

Loren came to pick up some supper at 5:30 p.m., and I gave him the quilt.  He oohed and ahhed over it... read the label a couple of times... and thanked me many times.

He’ll be 77 tomorrow – he’s a little more than 22 years older than me.  He’s always been a special big brother to me.

Now to make the matching pillow!


  1. That is wonderful that you pieced and quilted Janice's blocks. That has to be a wonderful memorial quilt for your brother. It is gorgeous and all that intricate quilting is stunning. Thanks for the FriXion Pen information. I'll have to check out the Crayola markers for any such projects.

    1. Thank you so much, Cat. :-) I sure am glad all those marks came out!

  2. It is "sew" very, very beautiful, Sarah Lynn. Your sister-in-law did a beautiful job with her cross stitch and your piecing and QUILTING are phenomenal, as always!!

    1. Thank you, Dottie! My brother remarked to me today, "This is really a keepsake." I'm glad I could make him something featuring so much of Janice's work! -- most of what she made, she gave away, so he doesn't really have a whole lot of things she made. :-)

  3. Beautiful job. Fabulous quilting. I'm sure your brother overjoyed.

  4. What a wonderful work of love!