Thursday, November 5, 2015

Costa Maya Longarming & Marker Staining

Costa Maya

One of my friends asked me to quilt her Costa Maya a few weeks ago. I like to turn quilts over within two weeks, but this one had me a little stumped as to how to quilt it. I admit I had a few ideas in mind before I started, and had even doodled some markings in the center with a curvy ruler. More about that in a minute. But sometimes the quilting just comes to you as you go, and this one was exactly that way.

The first couple of days I had time to work on it were entirely spent stitching in the ditch with my Aurifil Invisible thread. Never underestimate the amount of time ditch stitching requires. This was all ruler work, and there were many hours involved. I think the time spent looking at the fabrics was well worth it, though, because I started imagining a picture of a jungle that had swallowed an ancient pyramid. The gorgeous red floral, the metallic silver, and strong graphic lines seemed to suck me into the quilt.

I was paging through an Angela Walter's book one evening, and the fern motif had stuck with me. I switched out my Aurifil for Omni from Superior Threads in Natural. The thread and motif both worked well here.

Next I did the two upper corners. Because the entire quilt was already stabilized by ditch stitching, I was more or less free to move around and quilt in sections.

I moved to the center medallion, and worked with a curved ruler. No matter what I did, I couldn't get it to work. This was actually my third attempt, and I still wound up with something that looked more like lobster claws than scrolling! I ripped it out yet again, and moved elsewhere waiting for inspiration.

Back to the edge, and I used a motif based on feathers. Okay, it reminded me of a head dress really, and that's when the whole jungle idea stuck.

I jumped back to the medallion again, and added 4 ferns.

The grey triangles off the center medallion got a heavier quilting...

...while all the other grey areas got a more simplified version. I kept all the floral triangles in ferns. It felt unified. 

Marker Staining and Solution

Time to discuss the problem I mentioned earlier about not being able to remove my marker lines. I like the blue water soluble markers for marking quilts, and I've always had 100% success with the marks disappearing. I have had staining issues in the past from a yellow chalk wheel pen that had no solution to remove it, and Frixion pen marks have come back when the quilt got cold. There have been a multitude of conversations with fellow quilters to find out what worked for them. In general, most feel the blue markers are the safest, but many of us will use a light baking soda solution to make sure the marker is completely neutralized after quilting. 

Imagine my surprise when the marker failed to disappear, and actually turned a dark color on the fabric!

This is a mugshot picture of the culprit. You can see the staining in several areas of the picture. Water would not remove it.

The one below is the marker I've always bought, and even when I tested it on this fabric it came right out. The one above looks pretty close to it, but is marked slightly differently, and is a little darker shade.

There is a slight difference in wording on them.  There is no way to tell for sure, but I believe at least on is made by Dritz. Perhaps both are. I don't know. My point here is if you are shopping for a new marker, be aware which you are buying. I will be looking for more of the lower markers myself.

The good news, especially since this is not my own quilt, is that the marker did come out with a session of Kiss-off Stain Remover. 

Check out Amazon if you're looking. (If you click through this link, I will get a small amount, and it costs you nothing additionally.) I haven't found it locally, but I love this stuff for all my laundry stains. There is no odor, and it has saved me many times.

Ta-dah! Amazing stuff!

And remember, I'm available to do longarming for you, too. Information is in the top bar, or contact me directly so we can discuss your quilting needs.

Come on, Doxie girls.
 Let's get back to sewing.


Gina said...

Love how you've quilted this quilt. It's strange how they always let you know how they want to be quilted. I use a combination of water soluable and frixion pens. If I know I'm going to completely cover the line, such as cross hatching, I use a frixion as my stitching should cover any ghosting. Anything where I might stray off the sewing line, such as motifs, I use the water soluable. I rarely use chalk as I've always struggled to completely remove it xxx

Unknown said...

Julie always does a wonderful job of long arm quilting!! This is my second quilt she has done. I have a 3rd quilt that I will be having done when we get around to it. Wonderful job Julie!!! Can't wait to show it to the ladies at quilt retreat this weekend!

Jayne said...

This will be gorgeous when its finished! I have never used either of those pens. I've never been comfortable using markers or pens on my quilts as I'm afraid they will bleed or never disappear! I can imagine you were pretty relieved when the stains went away!

Jenny K. Lyon said...

Your quilting is gorgeous! Thank you for the information about the markers-I have reposted on FaceBook-I never knew the difference. Great post.

Lynette said...

Oh, my gosh!! I am SO happy to hear that it came out with the Kiss off!! I'm probably going to have to order some of that. . . ::sigh:: But back to this quilt - what a beauty! It's very striking in design, her fabric choices are vibrant, and your quilting really brings it up a notch. :D

quiltedfabricart said...

Very interesting how you come up with what design to quilt. Stitching in the ditch first with invisible makes a lot of sense.

SuperMomNoCape said...

Glad to hear that this had a happy ending! Your quilting is beautiful as is the quilt!

Angie in SoCal said...

Thanks for the process of getting this lovely quilt quilted. Phew - glad you were able to get the marks out. I tried the link but it said there was an error. Hmmmm.

Unknown said...

Great job truly are an 'instructor'......we all learn from your attempts, corrections and product sampling!

Unknown said...

Great job truly are an 'instructor'......we all learn from your attempts, corrections and product sampling!

Kate said...

Beautiful quilting! It's a gorgeous quilt. I would have panicked about the marks. Glad you were able to get them out!

Muv said...

Hello Julie,

Another gorgeous quilt! Red, black and white make such a vibrant combination.

You must be so pleased to have got rid of those stains, but to be honest I can't really see them in the picture.

Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

Love, Muv