I sat down at my sewing machine tonight and looked at the little chicks which were sitting on the table and realised that one of them had black staining around the body but not near the eyes.
Further investigation revealed that the culprit was in fact the pen that I had used to mark the shapes... and consequently forgotten about. I'm not entirely sure which pen I had used now, but it obviously wasn't an appropriate fabric marking tool.
This is good news and bad news. Glad I found this out before I started making the second one. I was able to mostly wash the pen off the fabric. I'll have to re-mark it with something else to start sewing. The tiny remnants of the pen marks shouldn't run any more.
But as for my daughter's which is already sewn up, things aren't quite so easy. I scrubbed the little chicks and their wings as best I could, and they look a lot better but not perfect. My husband suggested we run them through the washing machine a couple of times and see if it makes them any better. It also means that I may have some problem with the mother chicken as well as the chooks, and this could get ruined totally if the washing does not work. I guess it's better to find it out now (and potentially have to remake the whole thing) than to find out later when my daughter gets it wet and ruins a beloved toy.
I had already ordered a bundle of a different brand of thread which is labeled as colour fast, which I don't appear to need now... but I guess a delivery of pretty thread will make me feel better (after the sick feeling I have now knowing that the mistake was entirely mine).
I'll keep you posted on the progress of Clucky.