Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Miss July - You Blocks Are Done!

Well Judith (Miss July), I had to think long and hard to come up with ideas for your blocks. You provided us with some stunning cranberry red Oakshott cotton and a natural one too. And then nothing else. Just instructions to produce two blocks with these, and maybe some of our own fabric, but only in these colours. I though, and I thought, and I thought some more - but more realistically, I spent a long time on Flickr browsing through bee block sites getting inspiration. And I found it.

So here  you go, July's bee blocks -

I hope the red I used is okay.
This reminds me a bit of a maple leaf so a little bit of my roots in this one.
And the two together.
And now just the signature block to do. Then time to sit back and wait to see what challenge Sarah presents to us in August.

On to other matters. I think that over the course of the past few months we have established an understanding - housekeeping is not my area of expertise and best avoided whenever possible. Don't get me wrong, I don't live in a tip (most of the time) but no one will be using our house as a show home. There are times that I find others have more domestic wisdom than I do and it is at this time I turn to you for advice - on stain removers.

It was all going along brilliantly last night. I somehow got the girls up to their rooms and settled at an unusually and wonderfully earlier time than they sometimes push it. I settled onto the sofa for a little trashy telly and some more hand stitching of the perle cotton kind.

Emily came down to show me a drawing she had been working on. It was lovely. I told her so. She leant in and gave me a hug before heading back upstairs. All in all, a very nice moment. Except, after she left, I realised that when she leaned in she had her pen in her hand. I now have a two inch pen mark on my wonky stars quilt. I haven't told her because I think she would be devastated - or deny it until she was blue in the face.

Can you see the mark? Across the point of the star.
My camera wasn't really up to such a close up but this was the best I could get.
So what, pray tell, is the best thing for getting pen marks out of quilts - please!! I have the standard 'get the spaghetti bolognaise/curry sauce stains out product' because that is what there is the most call for in this house. Pen stains removal is not listed as one of the things it is capable of. What would you recommend for my dilemma? Any and all assistance is greatly appreciated.

Well, I had best go and water the potato plants. Thirsty buggers. But at least they go all limp very quickly so I get a good visual reminder that they need constant topping up. I love plants that communicate so clearly. Silent communication! I have not taken to talking to my plants - yet!



  1. My first port of call would be Vanish - my mum works in an office and often comes in with pen ink (or photocopier toner!) on her tops and puts a scoop of Vanish in the wash...occasionally the ink doesn't quite disappear and she soaks it for a bit before re-washing but it's usually a bigger stain. If that doesn't work you could try a Stain Devil - they come in specific types for different stains and my mum was a big fan when my football mad brother lived at home! I hope it comes out, I'll keep my fingers crossed!

  2. I do love red and white. Great blocks.

  3. Okay, practical matters first. According to Kim and Aggie, a pad soaked in methlyated spirits will remove felt tip pen. It won`t smell great but should remove it. Stain Devils is also a great idea. Now on to nicer matters, your blocks are beautiful and before I`d even seen your caption I thought of the Canadian flag for the second one. Nice touch. Love that you haven`t told Emily about the felt tip pen. What a lovely mum you are. But again, we knew that already. Smiles from M.

  4. Ooh sorry nothing to add on pen mark removal although it will be different depending on whether it is biro or felt tip - I imagine.

    Your blocks are lovely - red/white great colour scheme and love their graphic quality. Different colours round each star - love it - but they must take longer to do. I just load up one colour for all - will have to change this on next project - yummy!

  5. i was going to say vanish !!! hope it works whatever you use and you blocks are fantastic i love them well done !!

  6. Those blocks are fantastic! And I always use vanish, seems to work everytime

  7. I'll throw another idea in the hat...hairspray! A little applied with a cue-tip should remove the ink.

    Love the Canadianish red and white block you've made! It's fabulous!!!

  8. Oooh your blocks are lovely, and I saw the maple leaf before I read it so thats a big success!
    That's so sweet of you not to tell Emily about the pen, just makes me go awwww and want to hug you :-) Good luck getting the stain out though! lol Not that I could tell you how - I usually try vanish and give up if that doesnt do it...

  9. Gorgeous bee blocks - I love these red and white blocks that I see being made by all you guys for Judith's month. Re the stain - if it's an average biro pen i would try hairspray. I've found it works a treat (learned this at work many years ago) - spray a little on the stain and rinse through with cold water - might take a couple of goes but it usually works, and can be a little easier on the fabric than some of the real stain removers! Hope you find something that works.


  10. Not being a domestic goddess either I'm not even going to venture a suggestion on pen ink removal. But I do really love your bee blocks. Jxo

  11. I love your red and white blocks, and that wonky star quilt id really amazing. I like that you didn't tell your daughter about the pen mark. Quilts are made to be washed and are tough, little girls' feelings are fragile. So BRAVO!!

  12. Uh-oh! Poor you - red wine seems to be the solution to most problems! But I would go for the proper pen Stain Devil or Vanish on the mark, (at least it wasn't right in the middle on the white! - I have just looked on flickr to see which star it is, phew!).

    Love Judith's Bee blocks, you did good x


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