Friday, September 19, 2014

Public Service Announcement

Ok, last night I was at bee and was working on a new project.  I had drawn grid marks on white fabric with the Frixion pen.  I thought it was a marvel that the lines disappeared with heat. Yay!  But then I was informed by my fellow quilters that this pen does indeed disappear with heat, but it REAPPEARS with cold!  What???  I was drawing on stark white fabric!  Black lines are going to come back??

I fretted all the way home (30 minute drive) and decided that I was going to scrap the project and do something else.  This is a gift, by the way.  Today I was with Friend Marilyn and Friend Jan B. and as the day wore on I decided to just do the same project on a new piece of fabric and a blue pen that washes away.  Couldn't get it off my mind.  On the way home from THAT outing (90 minute drive) I decided to test all possibilities first.

I came home and got out a scrap of the piece I was working on. 

This is the piece. I marked some lines, ironed it and they disappeared.  Then I put it in the freezer.  This is how much they reappeared.  About 50% strength.  Hmmm....


This is the main piece laying on a dishtowel with the margin marks showing back up about 50%.  You can see from the grid marks just below the edge that they are darker than the margin marks.

Then I remembered one of the bumble bees saying that she used the pen on a darker piece of fabric, and the same thing happened but then she washed it and the lines turned white.   Hmmm...I'm using white.  So, I washed the pieces.  I just rubbed them under running water with my fingers.  No soap. Then I put them back into the freezer.

 You can see except for a couple of little dots on the strip they stayed out.
You can see on my main piece they also stayed out.


I don't have time tonight to redraw grid marks on the new fabric with the new pen so I have tonight to sleep on whether or not to start over anew.  But this little experiment is making me think I won't have to.

But let me tell you, I was very put out by the news this little pen is so tricky. Lots of angst going on. So I'm telling you, it's tricky.  And thank you, Barb, for letting me know this!  I would have gone on my merry way, ironed out the marks and sent it on and the recipient would have opened this gift and found black grid marks all over the place and I would have not known it because she would have been too polite to say anything and I would be mortified later when I found out that's what this pen does.  People said to just send along a note explaining.  I've never written a letter of apology and attached it to a gift.

Also, the lady at the second store said this pen was never intended for fabric, it's designed as an erasable ink pen but some quilter along the way discovered the heat treatment and applied it for quilting.  And not everyone in the shops knows what it does.  And, she said, it requires, like, freezer cold to reappear.  Yeah, but if your work is travelling in the belly of an airplane, it gets mighty cold.  

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Post Script...Epilogue...whatever you want to call "to be continued..."
I just looked again at the ironed, frozen, washed fabric with the grids.  Now that it's dry those marks still show. Faint, but they're there and wouldn't fool anybody, not on white fabric.  So, decision made.  Tomorrow I remark the new fabric with the blue washable pen and start over.  I have a couple of movies I can watch. It's supposed to rain all day. I can do this. If anyone has any quirky thoughts about the blue washables speak now or forever hold your 'piece!'

My opinion -  review of the Frixion pens?  Don't go there. Not for fabric anyway.