Friday, April 2, 2010

Cross stitch quilts

This is a pre-printed cross stitch quilt that was cross-stitched by Bonnie and quilted by Heather. My job was to wash out the blue lines and bind the quilt. We had worked together on a quilt like this one before and the ink washed out easily; however, this time the ink set and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to remove the ink, or at least lighten it.

The ink was mainly visible in the center of the quilt where curled designs were quilted instead of the pre-printed x-stitch designs and some dotted lines.

My attempt to remove them resulted in only lightening the x's and dots. I did this by mixing a solution of baking soda, a few drops of Synthrapol (which contains Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol) so I added a couple more drops of rubbing alcohol to the solution and gently scrubbed it in with a toothbrush. Then I let the quilt soak in lukewarm water for 1-2 hrs., spun out the water and rinsed. I avoided heavy agitation of the wash cycle. I also read the suggestion to use Oxo Brite non-chlorine bleach. I tested this on a small area of the quilt and it didn't seem to lighten the dye. However, if left to soak for a time, it might be effective.

After a 20-minute dry cycle on warm, the slight shrinkage from the washing/drying process made the background recede and the quilting to be more visible. At first glance the remaining blue dye was not noticeable. Bonnie was very satisfied with the results and appreciated the care taken to wash out the unwanted dye. It definitely looked better than it did after the intial wash that removed none of the dye.

My suggestion with these pre-printed cross stitch kits is to stick to the quilting design given so you can go over the lines. There is no guarantee that the dye will be removed. Test first if you want to use an alternate quilting design.

Copyright ©2010, Sharon Baggs

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