Saturday, December 2, 2017

Permanent? Fabric Markers

After my ordeal with the Bleeding Sharpies, I ordered some Markers marketed especially for fabric.  Following are the results of my trials.

These Markers are SET by ironing the back side for 5 minutes.

This is the first marker set that arrived.  Therefore, the first tried.  At first I thought I had wasted money sending for 2 sets at once.  NO, I had not.  

Above is the Marker Set plus my marks on a 6.5" square of prewashed fabric.  After waiting 24 hours+, ironing, hand washing, then repeating these last 2 steps twice, here is the result.  It looks like the red is finally not going to come off with ironing.  There was no visible color runoff in the water at any time during the wash or rinse cycles.  

After ironing the back side of the fabric on top of newsprint.

Maybe these will work?  Not so fast.  See the shrinkage.

I photographed them on my rather worn out cutting board.  This was prewashed fabric, cut into a 6.5" square.  NOT square or 6.5" anymore.  If you look closely, it seems that  more color = more shrinkage.  See how it dips at the top of the yellow?  Notice there are 3 color rows below.  At the top right, it shrunk a whole half inch where the columns have 5 colors.  Not using these on this project. 

These colors are SET by letting dry for 24 hours.

It took a few more days for this set to arrive.  Glad it finally came.  Notice in the above ironing test, NO color came off.  No color came off when I hand washed.  Therefore, I put this through a double wash - double rinse cycle on my washing machine.  

Here is the Final Result

Obviously, these are the ones I will use.  Only one marker tip.  Not as pointy as I would prefer.  Colors are not as dark or bright as I would like.  However, being permanent as well as not shrinking the fabric is a BIG Plus.

I liken my choice to this following example.  
A neighbor asked me why I kept my snow removal service after they chopped down a $90 Harry Lauder Walking Stick bush plus chewed up the edge of my wooden platform step.  
My answer, they show up.  Snow removal used to be a BIG problem here in Maine.  Looks like global warming is going to lessen that.  Of course it is at the expense of those who live in warmer climates.

Super Markers
Ordered on Ebay November 16, 2017

Super Markers 20 Color Premium Fabric & T-Shirt...

Item ID: 401327997793
Quantity: 1
Estimated delivery: Mon. Nov. 27
Paid: $9.96 with Credit card

Estimated delivery Monday, Nov 27, 2017
Super Markers 20 Color Premium Fabric & T-Shirt Marker Set Fine tip Bullet Point

December 13, 2017
I just [FINALLY] found this information on the site that manufactures Micron Pens, SAKARA.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The PROBLEM with Sharpie

A few weeks ago I went to Staples to buy some markers to use on fabric squares I would be assembling for a Prayer Quilt for a dear Friend who had just announced she was diagnosed with stage 3 Ovarian Cancer.  I told the store assistant I was looking for permanent markers to use on fabric to make a quilt.  He showed me the marker section. The Sharpies had the sets with the most colors.  That would be great to have such a variety of colors. I have used Sharpies for years.  I thought I knew their product.  I got the biggest set.

Because my Friend said that the only thing she wanted were prayers, it seemed like the obvious thing for me to do was cut some pre-washed fabric squares so Friends could write their prayers.  I led 2 workshops.  The squares made were WONDERFUL.  Very colorful, creative and I thought just the thing to remind our Friend that she was loved and being prayed for.

Unfortunately, I did not test the squares for color fastness until after the second workshop.  I only did it then because someone sent in a square they had created which bleed volumes when it was submersed in water.  After that incident, I ironed all of my stack of creative squares, then tried them in water.  The water ran RED.  It was so horrible, I just wanted to cry.

Although all ran to one extent or another, here is what resulted from a few squares. 

In all cases, it is important to me that the person connected with this square not be identified.  Therefore, I did some editing in the squares to eliminate identification.

After emailing Sharpie from their site, I waited almost 2 weeks to receive this reply,  


Dear Ann,

Thank you for choosing Newell Brands Office Products. We 
appreciate your interest in our products.
Unfortunately, our standard markers are not recommended for 
fabrics. The only markers we recommend for fabrics are our 
Stained by Sharpie markers. Any other makers can cause 
bleeding and may not stay permanent after washing.
If I can be of further assistance, please reply to this email 
directly so that we can see all previous replies. You may 
also receive a survey, regarding the service I've provided.
Thank you,
Newell Brands Office Products"

I replied that I thought the photos were misleading.  It has been 
less than 2 weeks, so perhaps I will get a reply sometime later.  
will post it if I do.

These are a few of the photos they post on their website.

Most people are going to have to wash white sneakers.  All will 
want to be able to wash their jeans.  These are the same 
markers I used on the fabric squares except that the ones 
I chose were Ultra Fine Point.

This is far beyond disappointing.  Now I have to find 
Washable Markers then ask people to do this all over 
again.  That is of course after I have cut some more 
squares.    . . .

Shopping online:  I am now in the process of testing markers 
made specifically for fabric.  Be alert.  Even some of these 
have a caveat that he markers may 'bleed'.  
I did not buy those.

However, buying in a store is much harder because all of 
the information  is not as easy to find.  I guess this is 
one time that shopping online shows more needed 

More to follow.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Book for a 1 year old = Kai

I am going to preface this with a quote from a recent Quiltart post.

Lorraine Edmond Nov 22 at 11:46 PM
"I belong to an art quilt group that has an event called a Showcase (formerly show-and-tell, I think). If you bring a piece to show, you sign 
up on a clipboard, and check one of two categories. One category is “I just want to show you this” and the other is for (respectful) critique. Everyone knows what the expectations are. Skillful critique is something of an art in itself, but if that is not the objective, better that everyone knows it going in.

Thank you Lorraine.  Sometimes I just want to share what I am doing.  Especially when, at this time, it is not a quilt, it is also not a work of art.  It is however very precious to me.  Hopefully to the recipient also.

I had multiple problems with making this little book.  Printing problems were helped with encouragement from Gloria Hansen.  Thank you very much Gloria.  The other major problem was that I did not have a working sewing machine.  Finally, I do have one machine that sort of works.  Not wonderfully, but it will sew a little.

This is a little cloth book for my first cousin twice removed = the grandson of my first cousin Tom.  He is my closest communicating relative so it is very important to me to keep up this conversation.

I carefully cut out each page as exactly as I could.  [However as you notice, the end product does have a lot of misalignment.] Then printed the images after they were 'worked' in both Picasa and Paint.  I have no typesetting applications because the typesetting I had on my old machine was on a 3.5" floppy disk.  This was frustrating because I could only look at a page at a time with no reference to text size.

This was however, a labor of LOVE.

The page edging is longer at one end to facilitate turning/finding a page.
The 'loop' at the top is for carrying the book around.  This is similar to the book I made for my other 'First Cousin Twice Remove = Alex'.

However, I found a lot more animals starting with 'A' than 'K'.

Back page - Cover page

Page 2-3

Page 4-5

Page 6-7

Page 8-9

Page 10-11

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Printing problem with my Epson Workforce 1100

Once again I am frustrated with this printer.  Love the ink; hate the printing process.  
I love the ink because for children's books, it is permanent against most everything.  Those gooey pages can be lightly sponged clean.  This is why I use it for these little books I make.

Since my black ink showed problematic signs, I installed a new black cartridge in the spot where the printer said that one was empty.  Not sure why it was empty because it had very little use.  Nevertheless, I want to get this working so that I might print a 'book' for my first cousin twice removed who turned one in September.  I usually send it for the first birthday.  Obviously I am tardy.  Now, I am just plain frustrated.  Christmas is coming, so I want to get this gift to this little boy before the holiday's become overwhelming.

Problem is that after the new cartridge and the cleaning, I got a worse mess.  Why?  Also, the cleaning used so much ink, my new color cartridges are now down almost 25%.  Not good, because the cartridge goes bad after it gets about 80-90%.

Last time I printed it cost me ~ $100 for 12 finished pages + some leftover ink.  Of course since I do not print very often, that ink dries up. 

Just got a message that my filled blue cartridge is now empty.  NO.  It is not.

I would very much appreciate some solution suggestions.  Also, since I rarely print, is there some way I can keep my ink from drying out?  I'm thinking perhaps I should take them out of the printer and put them in a plastic bag.

Frustrated in Maine where it is 67 with a steady rain.  Eerily warm for this time of year.  Then I looked at the coast of Southern California = 100 degrees +/-.  Scary weather.

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Power of the Sun

I know the sun is a powerful means of creating energy in terms of solar energy.  I am very happy about that because we need to get off fossil fuels.

I also know/knew the sun had the power to take color out of fabrics.  However, I did not know how much until I went into a partially finished bedroom, only used for summer guests because coming to Maine in the winter is not on anyone's list of things to do. I used the fitted sheet to cover the whole bed. This way when visitors were expected, I could remove this sheet and use all the protected pillows, covers beneath it.

These last few years I've been battling some personal physical problem, so not any guests.  My dear cousin Tom and his lovely wife Carla, stayed at The Brunswick Inn which is only 2 short blocks from my house.  After their visit I thought I should take a peek at this room to see what was going on.

Pictures are worth a thousand words.  See below.

100% cotton sheet

It is faded in the center from the sun.  The edges are faded from a few washings. This sheet lost its color rather quickly.  As I did more investigation, it seems yellow dye does not last as well as others.  This is the first time I purchased dark colored sheets.  In the future, I will only use white fabrics in this south-east facing bedroom because of the sun fading.

100% Cotton Sheet

The fading here is where it was not covered by something else.

?% Not Cotton Fabric

This fabric has some amount of polyester because I did the burn test.  I do not know how much, if any is cotton.  What I found really interesting is how the dyes faded = yellow and orange disappeared.  However, bits of blue and brown remained.  I would love to know what pigments are in those colors on this fabric because my future bedroom has south-west orientation.

It looks like white would be the safest.  However, I am going to do a test on the blue linen fabric that I would LOVE to use.  Notice that the blue in this fabric is still visible even where the yellow values are gone.

I do hope this helps in your future fabric choices where the sun is involved.

I will NOT be hanging any art quilts in this room because of the probably sun damage.  Not sure what art I will use because any dye/color will fade.  I am thinking even the color of wood would/could be bleached out by the sun.

Does anyone have experience with fabric paints and their resistance to the sun?