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Thread: Marking a White Quilt Border! Help!

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    Member ankegram's Avatar
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    Marking a White Quilt Border! Help!

    Hi Everyone! I am in the process of quilting a cute little lap quilt for a friend. I am very concerned about marking on the white borders. I have a lovely template that I would like to use, but I'm scared to trace it onto the fabric. A few months ago, I finished a king size wedding quilt with a white border, and I had a terrible time washing out the chalk marks . I am a hand quilter so the chalk marks remain on the quilt for a while. Does anyone have any ideas, or products that you use to mark on your quilts that wash out easily and completely? I'm open to all suggestions! Thanks.

    Mollie

  2. #2
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I have never had a problem with the Marks-B-Gone water erasable blue pen.

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    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter View Post
    I have never had a problem with the Marks-B-Gone water erasable blue pen.
    Me either. I've had good luck with them too but I don't have them left on the quilt for any length of time. Hand quilting may have them on the quilt longer than I would be comfortable with.

    When hand quilting white, I did have very good luck with starching the quilt top well then marking with a regular pencil very lightly. The pencil marks "floated" on the starch so when I washed the quilt they all came out no problem.

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    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    You could try using a sliver of a colored bar soap. It will wash out without leaving any trace of the color
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i use a sliver of soap, too
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    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    I use water erasable blue.
    Finished is better than a UFO

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    Member ankegram's Avatar
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    Do you use a spray starch? I've never heard of that method. And, just a regular #2 pencil?

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    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I would trace the pattern onto tissue paper and sew right through it.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

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    For my machine embroidery, I have used the blue water erasable pins, then sprayed club soda on the markings & they disappeared like magic without leaving any type of stain on the fabric. The blue markings had only been on there for a couple of weeks. Don't know what would happen for a longer period. Using just pure water didn't get the markings off nearly as quick.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

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    I like Roxanne's silver pencil. When I have used it to hand quilt, most of it came off from handling before the handquilting is all finished. What little that was left washed out easily.

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    Member ankegram's Avatar
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    Thank y'all for the great ideas! I think I'm going to try the tissue paper method. I will look for Roanne's silver pencil next time I'm out and about. Where did you find your's, JustAbitCrazy?

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    Member ankegram's Avatar
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    I have one last question, have any of you tried the Hera Marker? I was wondering if I could use this tool with a plastic quilting stencil? It looks really interesting. One side appears to be rounded and larger, perhaps for marking straight lines, while the other end is pointed. I thought the pointed end might fit through the slits in the stencil. What do you think?

  13. #13
    Super Member TerryQuilter's Avatar
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    Have used the hera for straight lines and it works great for that. Don't know how it would be following a stencil.
    The Trike Riding Quilting Diva

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    Senior Member Patti25314's Avatar
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    There is a friction pen on the market by Pentel. It irons out! If your LQS doesn't have it, Staples does.
    Since I gain weight reading cookbooks, why can't I lose weight watching a fitness program?

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    I use Roxanne's silver pencil and have had no issues in washing it out. I also use Sewline pencil for marking as I go -- it rubs off easily and not good for marking an entire top. I found some machine quilting practice squares that I had marked with a blue washout pen. I'm sure these have been tucked away for a least a couple of years. So I washed one to see if the blue would come out and there was no sign of the blue left on the fabric. I have now marked an entire quilt top with the blue pen. I feel pretty confident the blue will wash out after I complete the quilting in perhaps 6 months or a year. If this is the case I will probably convert to the blue pen because the silver pencil smears after all the handling. Whatever you decide to use mark a scrap piece of the same fabric as in your quilt and then wash it to see if the markings come out. I have never used a Hera. I've tried but my eyesight just doesn't see the lines all that well. Just remember that the Hera is for marking as you go. I'm afraid if you marked the entire quilt top before sandwiching, the lines would disappear. Good luck on whatever you choose.

  16. #16
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I'd take a scrap of the border fabric and scribble on it with several of the Crayola washable markers and then wash it. They come in several colors and so far I haven't had a problem with them washing out. I always test on scraps first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ankegram View Post
    Thank y'all for the great ideas! I think I'm going to try the tissue paper method. I will look for Roanne's silver pencil next time I'm out and about. Where did you find your's, JustAbitCrazy?
    I bought mine at a major quilt show, but quilt shops should carry them. They come in white and silver. What I like about them is that there is nothing in them which is harmful to fabrics over time. I don't use anything with chemicals on my quilts, or anything which hasn't stood the test of time over many years.

  18. #18
    Senior Member cindi's Avatar
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    I use the Sewline pencils all the time. Just finished doing a quilt with an off-white border. Marked the crap out of it with the green Sewline lead and it all washed out - I was amazed!

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    Senior Member giquilt's Avatar
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    One time I marked a quilt with the Crayola kids washable marker. (orange on cream). Due to it becoming a UFO I did not wash it for 5 years. Yes, 5 years! It came out easily in the wash.

  20. #20
    Super Member Justquilting's Avatar
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    I found a pilot gel pen at an office store. It's thermal sensitive. Instead of water it disappears when it's ironed. It really works. It comes in blue, red or black. If you look on the back of the package. It will say thermal sensitive. I've left it in a hot car & thought it was wasted. But I put it in the frig & voila....it works again.
    Do what you want...Love what you do!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patti25314 View Post
    There is a friction pen on the market by Pentel. It irons out! If your LQS doesn't have it, Staples does.
    Regarding the friction pen - Several quilting pals of mine have had seen color changes in the original fabric when using these pens. It is true that the pen markings came out, but so did some of the color. I am going to take the advice of several on this thread & start testing anything I use on my quilts so that I don't get a disappointing outcome. My thanks to all who have shared info on this thread. Knowing what others have found that works & what doesn't sure makes it easier for me.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  22. #22
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I use the frixon pens that iron out.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justquilting View Post
    I found a pilot gel pen at an office store. It's thermal sensitive. Instead of water it disappears when it's ironed. It really works. It comes in blue, red or black. If you look on the back of the package. It will say thermal sensitive. I've left it in a hot car & thought it was wasted. But I put it in the frig & voila....it works again.
    This is the Frixion pen. First of all, let me say that I really like these pens. I use them for my flying geese, HSTs and QSTs, but I have not marked a top for quilting with them.

    Now, let me tell you what else I've heard. I've been told that it hasn't been on the market long enough to know what it will do over time. I've also been told that if you mark something, remove the mark by ironing it, then put the piece in the freezer, the cold will bring the marking back and you will be able to see where it was marked. Since I don't expect anyone to ever put one of my quilts in the freezer and since it only gets below freezing a few times each winter, I'm not going to worry about that. If I lived where it stayed below freezing for weeks at a time, I might worry, but I don't, so I won't. I did notice that where the fabric was marked, when it is ironed, there is a faint line where the mark was. This is left by the chemicals that make up the ink.

    When I took my first handquilting class, the instructor recommended the spray starch and #2 pencil method. Spray the fabric thoroughly but not soaked, let the fibers absorb the starch, press the fabric, then mark lightly with a sharp pointed pencil. This will give you a very fine line which is pretty much covered by the stitching. The pencil markings are actually on the layer of spray starch and will wash out when you wash the quilt.

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