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marking quilts

marking quilts

Old 03-12-2011, 09:41 AM
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What ever method you use with any type of pencil or ink, make the mark as light as you can and still see the mark. I try to do that, and sometimes I have to turn the light to just the right spot to see what I've marked. I will also, depending on the exactness of the design, just make intermittent marks to keep me on track, not making a solid line of the design. I learned 20 years ago to use a #2 HB pencil, but I think that was before all these new markers were out on the market. I just made very light marks.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by saf
I was going to use a pencil because this is what the teacher at the quilting class I went to yesterday recommended. Apparently the hera has no lead or colour and creases the fabric.
Hi Saf,

Did the teacher include a pencil as a supply item for the class? Is this a beginner class teaching you how to piece blocks together or is this about the quilting of the quilt top?

If you are just starting and working on a small project then you could use a pencil marking very lightly. This would be for marking of the quilt top for quilting.

I'm somewhat surprised that a quilting teacher would suggest using a pencil. This might be ok to learn the process for a small project, but not ok for truly teaching of the student. I would question if this is the practice that she herself uses. I would question whether or not she did any lecture on any of the other forms of marking of your quilt top for quilting.

For a large heirloom type project I would not ever think of using a pencil. There are some antique quilts that you can still see the pencil markings that never came out.

As another stated, marking materials depend on the size and application of the project. I would start with what you think you might suit your present needs. Your needs, likes and dislikes may change over time. Also there are new products coming out all the time to meet the different needs of quilters.

I would make a placemat size sandwich of a good quality muslin, with batting and backing. Use this as a tester. Write at the top with permanent pen the brand and marker used, then draw a line down the mat. Collect different samples of marking pens to test. If you're in a guild group, this could be done as a group. Each member could make her own tester placemat. Then collectively add the name and marking of each pen. Each member can then go back home having their own sample.

It can be tested with different forms of soaps, washings, dryings, ironings, etc. to see if the markings are truly removable or just what each pen's markings remain.

Good luck with your quilting.

Pam M
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:44 AM
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I use a yellow quilting pencil. That's the only thing I've ever used and not too pleased with it. Firstly, I find it extremely difficult to mark with a stencil as it can't be clearly seen and the colour comes off pretty easily. Secondly, I can't find a perfect sharpener to sharpen it. And lastly, it doesn't come off completely after I wash it after quilting.

Does anyone have advice on how I shd use this pencil to mark my quilt? Any suggestions for a good sharpener?
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:06 AM
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Ahh the eternal quest of finding a suitable marking tool will never end. I have had great luck with the following:

For dark colors:
I use a Fons and Porter Mechanical pencil with the white lead. However it rubs out very easily so I would not recommend marking the whole top with this. You have to mark as you go. Great for handquilting with a lap hoop and plays nicely with stencils.
I have also had great luck with Transdoodle brand transfer paper. Again rubs out very easily so you can only mark as you go unless the quilt is going in a rack of some sort. In fact the mark is almost like chalk and I usually go over it with the F&P pencil when handquilting. But in a rack it seems to hold up then. It comes in blue, yellow red and white and I have used all colors and had all wash out. Transdoodle is for having a preprinted or predrawn design and you want to transfer on to the quilt top. It is the same basic idea as old fasioned carbon paper or transfer paper used in tole painting.
Pounce pad and stencils works well for me when longarming. I have only used the regular chalk kind not the ultra that you remove the marks with an iron. Both blue and white have come out fine so far.
Light colors:
I have had great luck with another Fons and Porter product, the water soluble graphite pencil. Packaging said to do first wash in plain cold water NO SOAP. Some detergents can permanently set the mark. I have only used this tool to completely mark out a quilt that went in my LA rack so do not know how easy it would rub out when handquilting.
Many moons ago I read somewhere that you can starch your quilt top and then mark with regular pencil. The lead marks "float" on top of the dried starch and when laundered the marks wash out with the starch. I did this once with handquilted quilt. This quilt sat for years before I completed it and I had premarked the whole top. All the marks washed out. I don't know if I was just lucky or this really worked. It certainly seemed logical about the lead sitting on the starch and the starch washing out. Starching also made it a lot easier to lightly mark with a pencil. I used a regular pencil and marked very lightly.
Things that have not washed out for me:
Yellow quilt marking pencils
Blue chaco liner chalk
I have not tried the blue water soluble markers or the disappearing ink markers. Still a little afraid of them but many MQ pros swear by the blue wash outs.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:14 AM
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FF, yesterday I ordered the Fons and Porter white pencil. Glad to hear it works well.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:30 AM
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the teacher said that she used aBic mechanical pencil herself and lightly drew in any lines and designs. She stressed that we shouldn't use any of the cheaper pencils and to use it lightly. This is a beginners class for patchwork and quilting, and none of us have any experience of different products. I did use the pencil to draw my design on my needleturned applique piece and because all the lines were covered it was fine. Now I am just starting a sampler QAYG quilt and have just completed a dresden plate on a cream background. I definately don't want to spoilmy effort by using something that will stain the fabric. I will be handquilting it......
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:37 AM
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U asked about what I feel the hardest part, so i use a chalk or dry soup and easy pattern
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:57 AM
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sorry sawsan----dry soup???
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:32 AM
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joann's has the Hera marker. its sort of like holding a butter knife and scoring with it. the flat edge of the Hera makes indentations in your fabric which would be your stitching lines.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:50 PM
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Bruynzeel pastel pencils, available at art supply stores.
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