CHQuilts: October 2022

Monday, October 24, 2022

My latest find-best marking tool for quilts

Quilting offers many challenges, which is what I love about it. But one of the most mystifying, at least for me, has been the part of the process of marking the quilt for quilting.  No more. I have found a product I love.

I bought these marking pens at left from Amazon. They are fantastic. The color is easily visible; the point is fine enough for small marks and the pens themselves are small in size. Made in Japan, the marks made by these pens wash out easily with a slight spritz of plain water. I tend to use a paint brush dipped in water to “paint” away the marks, generally, as I go. That seems to work best for me. I have no problem getting rid of the marks.

The color lasts for as long as it is needed. The only possible drawback when trying to hand quilt on the drawn lines, is a slight resistance in the fabric, but it is worth it to have a dependable pen that won’t run out of ink five minutes after the cap is removed. These pens last a really long time. In fact, I bought these in December 2020 and am using my second of five that come in the package. I have marked several projects in that time and my pen is still going strong. The marks show up on most of the fabrics I use. On dark fabric, I use a white chalk pencil.

I admit that I have always been partial to those blue water erasable marking pens that are sold everywhere from quilt shops to Walmart. I have been marking quilts since the early 1990’s, almost always using those. But these pens are far superior to them.

There are so many options for marking a quilt, from silver pencils, plain ole mechanical pencils, tailor’s chalk, pounces, and disappearing ink using water, heat, or just time, to name a few.

We all have our preferences, and this is mine. There is no longer a mystery for me about what to use to mark my quilts. I love these pens.

I have been doing some needle-turn applique. I now mark the the outline of applique pieces on background fabric as well as the small pieces to be appliqued onto it.  The line is fine enough that it is easy to turn a piece right where it is supposed to be. When I am finished, if there is any mark at all on the piece or the background fabric, I simply use my brush dipped in water to paint it away.

I have not yet tried the pink pens that claim to be air erasable, but that may be my next purchase.