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Thread: quilt marking

  1. #1
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    quilt marking

    I am just gotten a quilter and frame and am just beginning to finish my own quilt tops and need advice. I have done 3 quilts so far and have been tracing my patterns onto transfer paper and pinning it to my quilt. I know—back to the stone-age! This works well?? But the chore of removing all that paper is a real pain in the #$%^! ! The problem is that I am TERRIFIED to mark on my quilt tops! I know this is similar to the fear of putting those first few machine stitches in, but those were removable if I messed up!

    Can you give me some recommendations on what marking products to use, etc? What has worked for you and what to stay away from?

  2. #2
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    You will get lots of recommendations on this. My recommendation is to test whatever product you are going to use with each quilt you use it on. Every time I think I have my 'golden' marking technique, I run across a quilt that the marks won't come out on. It pays to have several options on hand and test on each quilt.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  3. #3
    Junior Member An Arm Long's Avatar
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    At my guild meeting today, one of the members had just bought some pencils that are water soluble from a store for artists. Some were graphite that had not been treated with hardeners - we think. She also had a white one. I had never heard of actual graphite pencils that were water soluble. She tried them and they washed off with water with a tiny amount of dishsoap and a toothbrush.
    Has anyone else heard of these?
    Beth in Maryland

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by An Arm Long View Post
    At my guild meeting today, one of the members had just bought some pencils that are water soluble from a store for artists. Some were graphite that had not been treated with hardeners - we think. She also had a white one. I had never heard of actual graphite pencils that were water soluble. She tried them and they washed off with water with a tiny amount of dishsoap and a toothbrush.
    Has anyone else heard of these?
    Holice Turnbow sells washable graphite pencils when he vends at quilt shows. I've used them and haven't had any trouble removing them.

    The secret is to use a light hand when you mark.

    Janet

  5. #5
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by An Arm Long View Post
    At my guild meeting today, one of the members had just bought some pencils that are water soluble from a store for artists. Some were graphite that had not been treated with hardeners - we think. She also had a white one. I had never heard of actual graphite pencils that were water soluble. She tried them and they washed off with water with a tiny amount of dishsoap and a toothbrush.
    Has anyone else heard of these?

    I used a fons and porter water soluble graphite pencil twice. The first time I had no problems the 2nd was almost a disaster. What happened is that the graphite granules got imbedded in my thread and needle holes. It took 3 washings to get it all out along with a bunch of elbow grease and soft bristle tooth brush. I was in total panic mode. So I am no longer a big fan of the water soluble graphite for machine quilting. I will use it for hand though.

    I have had excellent luck with the blue water soluble markers (Mark-B-Gone). The trick with them is to test (of course!) not mark way in advance, and to not expose the marks to heat. There are no loose particles with these markers to embed in the thread or needle holes. I marked this quilt with a mark b gone and you can see in some of the pics where I haven't quilted yet the marks are still quite visible but where I have quilted I spritzed with a spray bottle. In the completed pictures there is no more blue visible and I simply used a spray bottle. The final washing will remove any residual ink that may have seeped into the batting or backing. http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...e-t184706.html


    I have also had very good luck with the air soluble purple pens too but those you have to mark as you go. Again you need to test to make sure the mark goes away after 24 hours or with a spritz of water. For dark colors I like chalko liners or my fons and porter white pencil. I have also used the pounce pad in both white and blue, the regular pounce not the kind you have to take out with an iron.

  6. #6
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    on dark fabrics, i use a sliver of soap
    Nancy in western NY
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  7. #7
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    I just finished hand quilting using the Dritz water soluble pencil. It worked great. It was white on a dark color. I will next try the dark on light fabric

  8. #8
    Senior Member DebbyT's Avatar
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    Last month I attended a FMQ class and the instructor recommended the blue 'Clover' water soluble marking 'pen'. When I tested it on white fabric where I had already stitched, it was easily removed with a damp towel. It comes in regular and fine line. She also recommended not to stock up on them because they dry out. Also to keep them in zip lock bags.

  9. #9
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by An Arm Long View Post
    At my guild meeting today, one of the members had just bought some pencils that are water soluble from a store for artists. Some were graphite that had not been treated with hardeners - we think. She also had a white one. I had never heard of actual graphite pencils that were water soluble. She tried them and they washed off with water with a tiny amount of dishsoap and a toothbrush.
    Has anyone else heard of these?
    YES!! I use them all the time, have for years, on dark OR light fabrics. When I need to purchase I google "aquarelle art pencils" for the best price at the time and I use graphite 'black' ones, not those in colors.

    Most recently I marked and handquilted a muslin candlewicked quilt which I laundered as usual after it was bound. Came out just fine, no markings.

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
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    peacefully colors my world.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/members...bums19552.html

  10. #10
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    there are tons of options on the market for marking your quilts---no matter what you decide to try always test first to make sure it will come out- some come out of one quilt then not the next so each time you should test to be sure it is going to come out- but everyone has some they have good success with and ones that they have problems with- personally i 98% of the time use a mechanical pencil or chalk- although i have used blue water disappearing ones, frixon ones you make disappear with an iron (or heat)
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  11. #11
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Handi Quilter did a webinar this morning on all of the different ways to mark a quilt and products available for marking. There is a TON of information in the webinar. It is available now on the their site and there is also a pdf that you can download.

    http://www.handiquilter.com/webinar/
    Sadiemae

  12. #12
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    I also have a fear of marking tools. I found one that disappears in a short time, but the marks were gone before I could finish quilting. I have bought many kinds of marking pens/pencils, but I'm always afraid that the marks won't come out, even after testing. I recently bought a Sewline pencil that looks promising. Hope it comes out as promised.
    Sue

  13. #13
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Crayola washable markers. So far I've had no problems with these but of course you should test first.

  14. #14
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    Check out the little video posted by the April teacher on the FMQ challenge, his method is kind of interesting & may be something you can incorporate into your work as well. http://www.sewcalgal.blogspot.ca/201...torial-by.html

  15. #15
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    I use the blue water soluable makers. And the purple dissappearing marker. The purple only if I intend to quilt right now. I've had it disappear in just a few hours. The blue stays untill you wash it in cold water. Often I will spritz with water while still on the frame. It will however come back when spritzed. But still washes out well. Chalk pencils havent worked well for me. But I do use the larger mechanical chalk from clover and they wash well. Fons and porter mechanical also works well for me.

  16. #16
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    I use the graphite and white ceramic leads that come with the Sew Line pencil in my business as a LA quilter. I also use the blue water-soluble pens. White chalk is a bit more difficult to get off, but it does wash out. When I used the yellow and blue chalks they NEVER came out, even after washing, so I threw them away. There are also pens that disappear with heat or steam, like Frixon pens that ckcowl mentioned - really nice! Do try whatever you are going use to mark on a quilt on a scrap of that material first just to make sure it really does go away. A friend uses Crayola washable markers on her quilts and they always disappear when washed.

  17. #17
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I have used soap slivers, ordinary pencil and ordinary chalk. I do test each one first (except the soap). You end up with a lot of coasters and potholders).

  18. #18
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadiemae View Post
    Handi Quilter did a webinar this morning on all of the different ways to mark a quilt and products available for marking. There is a TON of information in the webinar. It is available now on the their site and there is also a pdf that you can download.

    http://www.handiquilter.com/webinar/
    that is a wonderful pdf, wish i'd been there for the entire webinar
    i love that the iPad can be used for a lightbox and, also, i never thought of using my buttonhole spacer to space quilt designs
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
    T – is it True? H – is it Helpful? I – is it Inspiring? N – is it Necessary? K – is it Kind?

    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

  19. #19
    Senior Member grammatjr's Avatar
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    OK, I am going to throw a question out,last night I told my granddaughter I would ask.
    She is making her first REAL quilt, a large throw size, and has for the first time done lots of piecing, and got brave to try some FMQ. But, she is still having a hard time just free wheeling, so I have been using a white water soluble marker to give her an idea where she wants to head with the part she is quilting. The marker is sort of hard to see on the fabric, so we were discussing easier ways to mark the quilt. Anyway, my question.......

    Since Koolaid will not dye cotton fabric, but only stain it temporarily, could a line be painted on the fabric to mark the quilt, then rinse out the Koolaid? Of course it would be a good idea to test it out, and see for sure on the exact fabrics that will be used, maybe a sandwich of the exact batting too. But, I wondered if anyone had ever tried this?

  20. #20
    Junior Member An Arm Long's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for all the info. I will share it with my guild. We had tried alot of those things but did not realize that there were differences in graphite pencils. I will try it on sample fabric now.
    It is true that frixion pens will take the color out of some darker fabrics. I did stripes on a red fabric and when I ironed it the blue frixion marks came out but there were very thin white lines in their place.
    Beth in Maryland

  21. #21
    Senior Member anita211's Avatar
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    Sewline has excellent pencils that come out easily.

    Anita in Northfield, MN

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    This has been such an interesting topic with so many options. Tried quilting with the yellow paper and was so tired of pulling out the bits of paper that I will probably not try that again! Been sending the few quilts I've made since to a long-armer but told myself I would try FMQ this summer. So, I've got some options!

  23. #23
    Super Member paulswalia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by An Arm Long View Post
    Thanks everyone for all the info. I will share it with my guild. We had tried alot of those things but did not realize that there were differences in graphite pencils. I will try it on sample fabric now.
    It is true that frixion pens will take the color out of some darker fabrics. I did stripes on a red fabric and when I ironed it the blue frixion marks came out but there were very thin white lines in their place.
    A Checker (quilting notions) distributor yesterday told me this about Frixion pens. If using on a batik, iron them away and if a white line remains, use Best Press to remove the white line.

    If using on regular quilting cotton (not batik) the lines will come away with the tap of an iron or (my favorite choice) by tossing the quilt in a clothes dryer for a while. Here's the complication - if the quilt gets cold, really cold, the lines will re-appear. So if you are apt to leave a quilt in a car in the winter or if you compete at big shows where your quilt may get shipped in the cargo hold of an airplane, be aware that your markings will come back. That's a problem. Multiple washings will remove the marks, but may still have little bits re-appearing for a while.

    That being said, I really like these pens because they make such a fine line and come out so easily with an iron or a dryer.

  24. #24
    Super Member judykay's Avatar
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    I just watched this fantastic video. I am a hand quilter however many of there hints are great for both machine and hand quilting. Thank you so much for posting this.
    Happy Quilting
    Judy in Lower Michigan

  25. #25
    Senior Member carol45's Avatar
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    There's a product called Wash Away Applique Sheets. You can print on them, they are fusible on one side, and they are water soluble. I bought some, but I haven't tried them yet.

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