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Thread: Marking A Top Question

  1. #1
    Super Member ILoveToQuilt's Avatar
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    Question Marking A Top Question

    I know you all can help with this question. Since I am the "Queen of, Quilt Tops" (I never, ever finish a quilt) I need to know if you mark the top for quilting before you sandwich the quilt or after you sandwich. I know, I know...elementary quilting question, but since I usually don't make anything but tops, I need to know. I am attempting to finish a small wall hanging.

    Thanks for all your help!!!
    Anita

    The only place that housework comes before quilting is in the dictionary.

  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I found that marking before sandwiching was a lot easier.

  3. #3
    Junior Member J.M.'s Avatar
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    You can do both and a lot depends on what you mark with and how you mark.

    For straight lines I usually 'mark' with masking tape. I do that after sandwiching.

    If I mark with a chalk that tends to 'fade' (as in the lines get lighter or smudge or can be rubbed off entirely just by moving the quilt too much) I mark in small sections and thus mark after sandwiching.

    Marking with a pen - one that disappears with water - I like to mark before sandwiching because the hard nib isn't nice to use on a soft sandwich.

    For a pen that disappears by itself, you either have to mark and quilt the entire thing within several hours (doable if it's a small project) or do it in sections. How long you have depends on several different factors, from the brand to the humidity where you are. If you can do the entire thing in one, I'd mark before sandwiching, otherwise you'd have no choice but to do it after sandwiching. Don't discount the time you need to sandwich it, though, or you'll find your lines have disappeared before you're finished quilting.

    If I mark from a printed quilt pattern, I have to mark before sandwiching because I rely on a light box to see my pattern and mark. If I mark with a stencil I can mark before or after sandwiching.

    Whatever you do, make sure you test your preferred marking method first ion some leftover fabric to see if you manage to remove the marks. Testing before you mark your quilts saves you lots of tears. (Don't ask me how I know this)

  4. #4
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    You can do it both ways. Sometimes when I used a hera marker, it is better to mark the quilt with batting. It sort of makes a temporary dent in the fabric:
    http://www.joann.com/clover-hera-marker/9620873.html
    Great for marking for crosshatching.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  5. #5
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    depends sometimes i do before sometime afte i sandwiched really up to you
    QUILTNMO

  6. #6
    Super Member Bree123's Avatar
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    I have done it both ways. I have found that when marking with either the disappearing blue/purple pen or my new favorites, Crayola Ultra Clean markers, it is slightly easier to mark the top before layering because I am only working with the top & can maneuver it much easier than a sandwich; I also can lay it completely flat to trace straight lines with my ruler/straight edge. That said, I have seen videos of brilliant, award winning quilters who even waited until after their quilt was pin basted before they marked it. So ... to each their own. There really isn't one right way.

  7. #7
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    It's easier to mark before the sandwich. The marking means you can put pins in areas you are not sewing in
    Finished is better than a UFO

  8. #8
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    As others have said...primarily depends on what marker you are using as well as how you are quilting. I've done both. I hand quilt. I find that marking as I go in sections - depending on the design - is easier as the marks don't fade/rub off as quick. For an allover design, however, I've marked the entire top before sandwiching. I use chalk in various colors depending on the fabrics in the quilt and/or #2 pencil.

  9. #9
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    I didn't use to mark my quilts but have found it to come out better if I do so I mark with a chalk pencil before attaching to the frame especially the borders and sashing areas.
    Suz in Iowa
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  10. #10
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    I have used painters tape and the quilters 1/4" tape. I just mark on the tape a little arrow which side to stitch on. Idon't do fancy stitches mostly lines. Often on the bank (outside the ditch) as my neighbor calls it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.M. View Post
    You can do both and a lot depends on what you mark with and how you mark.

    For straight lines I usually 'mark' with masking tape. I do that after sandwiching.

    If I mark with a chalk that tends to 'fade' (as in the lines get lighter or smudge or can be rubbed off entirely just by moving the quilt too much) I mark in small sections and thus mark after sandwiching.

    Marking with a pen - one that disappears with water - I like to mark before sandwiching because the hard nib isn't nice to use on a soft sandwich.

    For a pen that disappears by itself, you either have to mark and quilt the entire thing within several hours (doable if it's a small project) or do it in sections. How long you have depends on several different factors, from the brand to the humidity where you are. If you can do the entire thing in one, I'd mark before sandwiching, otherwise you'd have no choice but to do it after sandwiching. Don't discount the time you need to sandwich it, though, or you'll find your lines have disappeared before you're finished quilting.

    If I mark from a printed quilt pattern, I have to mark before sandwiching because I rely on a light box to see my pattern and mark. If I mark with a stencil I can mark before or after sandwiching.

    Whatever you do, make sure you test your preferred marking method first ion some leftover fabric to see if you manage to remove the marks. Testing before you mark your quilts saves you lots of tears. (Don't ask me how I know this)
    I am so glad I clicked on his topic. I really enjoyed your answer and feel like I learned a lot reading it. I am definitely saving this information.!

  12. #12
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    For me, I normally mark after sandwiching. I use the washable markers (always pretest) for straight lines or when I use a stencil. I find having that bit of extra thickness/batting keeps the top from being contrary or moving around as easy when I try to be precise (yes, I know...pretty funny coming from this quilter).

  13. #13
    Super Member ILoveToQuilt's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the answers. Now I just need to decide what quilting pattern I am going to use and then choose a marking pen/chalk.
    Anita

    The only place that housework comes before quilting is in the dictionary.

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