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Thread: Need help with method for marking dark quilt for hand quilting

  1. #1
    Member Indianaquilter's Avatar
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    Need help with method for marking dark quilt for hand quilting

    I am a fairly new quilter and need help with marking a quilt top. My quilt top is mostly very dark fabrics. I can't see markings even with white to hand quilt, because then the white marking don't show on the light fabrics. Can I mark and quilt from the lighter back? Thanks in advance for any help.
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  2. #2
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    You can certainly mark & quilt from the back if you like, however my hand stitches don't look as nice on the back as they do on the top. Everyone finds different tools they prefer for marking, and just a word of caution - in the past I have used a yellow chalk-o-liner and had great success, however on the puppy quilt the yellow did not come out when the quilt was washed. I'm hoping that as time goes along it will fade, but do a test before marking your whole quilt. And good luck & love to see your finished quilt. Also WELCOME to the forum.

  3. #3
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i have marked dark fabrics with a sliver of soap.
    Nancy in western NY
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  4. #4
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    A few days ago someone here said they used crayola washable makers and they worked really well and washed out when the quilt was washed. Others said they also had used them and liked them. I just bought some last week but have not used them yet. You could try them on scraps to see if they work for you.

  5. #5
    Super Member janedee's Avatar
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    I use artists water soluable crayons I have a light grey and dark grey which seem to work on all fabrics just make sure it washes out ok or you can damp sponge them out - I always check each new fabric

  6. #6
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    Sew Line pencils would work for you as well. They come in lots of colors, so you could get white for the dark fabrics and blue for the lighter fabrics. Whatever you use, don't use much of it as you want it all to come out.

  7. #7
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    What are you planning to quilt? Straight lines can be done by laying strips of painter's tape on the quilt top to stitch along. I have cut shapes from the adhesive vinyl shelf liner and stuck the shape on the quilt to stitch around. I have a Fons & Porter pump lead chalk pencil that I like to use on dark fabric but the quilt has to be washed to completely remove the chalk. I also like the blue Quilter's fine point water solvable pen on light fabric.

  8. #8
    Member Indianaquilter's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the tips! I learn so much on this board.

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I would use a white chalk pencil, such as made by Sewline, Bohin, or F&P. These are what Kimmy Bruner recommended in her Craftsy class. She says that you can get the chalk off easily with a microfibre cloth.

  10. #10
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    just don't use a chalkoner! I marked just the spine of a feather with a blue chalkoner wheel. The blue stitched right into the spine. It did lighten some..but never came out. Luckily I was quilting with a grey thread, so only visible to me and my friend. not her son.
    Beth in AZ
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  11. #11
    Senior Member isewman's Avatar
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    From Don-isewman.. I'm a hand quilter also. I have these marking pencils. Lt blue-lt gray-drk gray-white, and of course the wash out blue marking pens. If you want I can send you a couple lt gray pencils. Send me a email back sometime, if you want to try them. There a chalk pencil called--"Generals multipastel chalk pencils. Don

  12. #12
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    I use plain old school chalks.I buy a box of multi colored to work on all colors

  13. #13
    Super Member Barb_MO's Avatar
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    I use white soap slivers also. Been wondering if I could use Dial soap for marking on white, or maybe other colored soap.

  14. #14
    Super Member Iamquilter's Avatar
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    The silver Berol marking pencil will work on almost all colors and comes out very well . I have also used F&P silver or white marking pencil and after you finish quilting it rubs off , it also has an eraser on the end to erase the markings.

  15. #15
    Super Member running1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilter7x View Post
    Sew Line pencils would work for you as well. They come in lots of colors, so you could get white for the dark fabrics and blue for the lighter fabrics. Whatever you use, don't use much of it as you want it all to come out.
    The pink color has worked very well for me on dark blocks!!!
    "... let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

  16. #16
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    It's not a good idea to quilt from the back. I use a white Clover marker, and I can see the lines perfectly. Note that if you use that marker, it takes a couple of seconds for the lines to appear after you draw them. Chalk is good also, but it rubs off, so it's best used in small areas with marking as you quilt. You can also ask the group Celebrate Hand Quilting on Facebook or get information off our blog http://celebratehandquilting.blogspot.com/ . This is a community of quilters who mostly are hand quilters... over 500 of them, from all over the world.

  17. #17
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    Could you give us a specific name brand for the artist's water soluable crayons so we can search on google where to purchase them? Did you purchase them at a name brand store or artist supply or what?

    Thanks

  18. #18
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    I wonder if the artist's chalk pencils sold in the craft section of Wal Mart would work. I recall several colors being in a package. That would be cheaper than purchasing an individual pencil at the quilt store. Has anyone tried using them?

  19. #19
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cstout View Post
    I wonder if the artist's chalk pencils sold in the craft section of Wal Mart would work. I recall several colors being in a package. That would be cheaper than purchasing an individual pencil at the quilt store. Has anyone tried using them?
    I just use regular stick chalk...rubs right out

  20. #20
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    I use Roxanne's white and silver pencils. However, I plan to use the fine blue pen on my next quilt. Sewline pencils are great for marking as you go, but if you mark an entire quilt with them, it will rub off before your get far on your quilt. I know from experience. Masking tape or blue painters tape works well when marking short lines, but not so great when marking long lines -- again my own experience. I have not used the washable crayons, but I bought some to try. I've heard good things about them. whatever you use try it out on scrap fabric to make sure it will wash out. I suggest you find a white chalk pencil -- Roxanne, Nonce, Prismacolor -- to mark the dark fabric. You can use a mechanical pencil, a graphite marker, or the blue pen to mark the light. It takes longer to switch colors, but I can promise you time spent in marking properly saves quilting time and frustration.

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