You know that awful feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when something goes horribly wrong? What if that horribly wrong thing was a permanent ink marker leaving its imprint on one of your precious quilts?
Several years ago, I was heartbroken to find pencil markings could not be removed from a quilt I had spent weeks appliqueing. I tried everything to get those marks out. The fabric faded with each attempt, but the pencil marks never completely disappeared. I’ve become pretty diligent about checking marking tools on fabrics before I mark my quilts.
I also keep a couple of permanent markers in my sewing studio. They’re great for marking on plastic templates. What would I do if a permanent marker was to accidentally leave its mark on a quilt? Recently, I heard that rubbing alcohol could remove permanent ink. Could this be true? I had to put it to the test.
I marked a piece of 100% cotton with this red permanent marker and layered it over a piece of batting and another piece of cotton to simulate a quilt sandwich.
First, I dribbled a little alcohol on the marked heart; then I immediately used a cotton round to blot it back up again. I continued this procedure until the stain had absolutely disappeared. As you can see below, it only took about 9 cotton rounds. I also checked the batting and the fabric on the bottom. No sign of the red marker. All gone! On an actual quilt, I think I would follow the procedure with a complete, gentle wash.
Keep those permanent markers secured away–but know that if one gets out of hand, you have a “permanent” solution.