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Thread: What do you think about Frixion Pens?

  1. #1
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    What do you think about Frixion Pens?

    I am thinking about doing some marking with these. I have been using water soluble and disappearing ink pens but these frixion pens seem like they will work really well. Any issues or problems I should be aware of before marking with them? I have heard the ink returns if you put it in the freezer, but other than that, any other issues?
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

  2. #2
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    I have used them on many of my quilts. I really like them ( I bought them in all colors). I did not give any of the quilts I made to people who live in Alaska, so I should be ok.

  3. #3
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    Test on a fabric scrap first! I love Frixions but they can leave a faint white mark on dark fabrics sometimes. I tend to use them mostly for Redwork designs where I know I will be stitching over the lines( so it won't matter if they come back in the cold) and for small sewing projects.
    Lots of people use them for marking their quilts but I haven't yet. I am leaning towards ordinary chalkboard chalk as I just posted on QB.

  4. #4
    Senior Member HouseDragon's Avatar
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    I'm leery of something that comes back when it gets cold (or hot or whatever): that means the chemicals are still there in the quilt.

    I use Fons & Porters marking pencils with thin leads that do not have to be sharpened. One is graphite and the other is white chalk. Both wash completely out.
    If life gives you lemons, make Limoncello!

  5. #5
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    Here's a recent thread. Most seem to be happy with them. I won't use them *just in case*

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...s-t227571.html

  6. #6
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    I have used them and they make lovely fine lines which easily disappear.i have put them in the freezer because I rubbed them off accidently.
    I have used chalk with the wheel and with out and pounce stuff. I found on removing by brushing it spread like talcum powder. I would have thought that water would have thickened the line.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  7. #7
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I don't like them but every time I explain why I get flamed. So let's just say use them at your own risk.

  8. #8
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    We all have opinions and are entitled to them without repercussion - and I'm interested in yours! I believe this should be a safe zone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    I don't like them but every time I explain why I get flamed. So let's just say use them at your own risk.
    Thanks guys. I am a little leery of them. Right now I use regular chalkboard chalk on dark fabrics, or a white water soluble pencil. I also like disappearing ink for marking the spines of feathers as I go along. My only fear with water soluble markers is that I ship a lot of customer quilts in and out - I worry that a little of that blue ink that didn't come all the way out or, well, you know how it has a tendency to reappear...I'm afraid a box will be sitting out in the sun or in a hot delivery truck and become brown or permanent. So I'd like a safe alternative.
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

  9. #9
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    I love the Frixion pens, but I do not use them on the top of the quilt, just in case. I do use them for marking on the wrong side of the pieces and so on.

  10. #10
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    I have used the Frixion pens quite a bit, mainly on applique projects. The comment about them leaving a "shadow" on darker fabrics is correct. I love them on light fabrics.

  11. #11
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I use them all the time and love them. Just be sure to test them first.

  12. #12
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    I did my own testing on these pens recently, after watching a YouTube video by a well-known quilter. She said that she uses heavy steam to "push the gel (ink) into the batting", therefore removing the marks from the fabric permanently. She is the second well-know quilter who said that she removed the Frixion pen marks with steam, so I thought I'd give them another try.

    Here's what I did:

    I marked a quilting design on a sample piece of cream colored fabric using different colored pens in sections so that I could test the red, black and blue pens all at once. Then I sandwiched and quilted the piece.
    The marks ironed away easily and completely using a dry iron, but came back with a short stay in the freezer. Next I STEAM ironed the piece like crazy, using multiple passes with my "blast of steam" iron. I did my best effort to steam the marks away. They did disappear quite readily, but another short stay in the freezer brought them back as clear as when I first marked them. I ironed the marks away again, and then decided to see if a soaking with stain remover would take them away permanently. I sprayed with stain remover and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then I laid the piece out flat in the bottom of the kitchen sink, started the water filling, and went to get the laundry detergent. Well, when I came back 30 seconds later, all the marks were back again. I had simply run cold tap water over the piece; not anywhere near "freezing temperatures", and the stain remover and subsequent scrubbing with additional laundry detergent had no noticeable affect on removing the marks.

    That was enough for me to decide that I will choose NOT to use these pens to mark the surface of my quilts. Based on my own testing, the marks came back when washed in cold water... and I'm certain they would come back if used on a quilt that was left in the car overnight or even during the day in the winter, or in the travel trailer w/o heat, etc.

    I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how others are having such success with these... Can anyone provide any insight as to why they are not working for me?
    Wendy

  13. #13
    ro
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    dont need to put them in the freezer. what about leaving your pc of fabric/quilt in the car overnight during the winter. or how about in the car in the summer with the windows closed.

  14. #14
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    azwendyg, I think you have hit the nail on the head about the pens. They really don't go away. Some have found that they aren't as noticable or are covered with applique but the pen is still there. To some that is bothersome. We were on vacation in and around Flagstaff this summer. What a great place to live. We loved it there, though the altitude got to us, being from the Gulf Coast, going from 10 ft to whatever it is there was quite an adjustment for hiking.

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    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I use them for all my fabric marking. I haven't had any marks come back but I always starch my fabric before marking and then I wash the finished quilt or project. I guess the gel mixes with the starch and doesn't stay in the fabric. Sharon Schamber uses them for her prize winning quilts and she wouldn't tolerate markings showing and neither would the judges. I'm not that picky about the use of them on any fabric but it's up to everyone to make their own decision.
    Last edited by BellaBoo; 12-02-2013 at 03:12 PM.
    Got fabric?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilttiger View Post
    I love the Frixion pens, but I do not use them on the top of the quilt, just in case. I do use them for marking on the wrong side of the pieces and so on.
    I also use them for marking on the wrong side of pieces. Also, I only use the blue. If I'm marking on a dark fabric, I use the Clover white marker.

  17. #17
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    After reading this it seems more people are reporting poor results than good for them.

    What are some good alternatives?

    I'm working on a quilt with curved pieces that I need to mark if I want accurate cuts. I bought a Dritz blue water soluble marking pencil and quite frankly I'm having issues with it. I have to press so hard to leave a mark that the fabric moves under the template I'm tracing around. What would be better? I'm clueless.
    Thanks,
    Rodney

  18. #18
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    I use them all the time. When there is a residual white mark it always has washed out when the quilt is laundered.

  19. #19
    RST
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    I think it's the nature of the web that people who have a negative experience will post more readily than those who are pleased with a product. I use them, but cautiously. I did have the experience of using a hot pink pen on dark gray kona cotton for quilting motifs. I had done several trials and found that the ink disappeared well on my trial pieces, so I marked up my whole quilt. Unfortunately, life got in the way and my quilt sat for about 10 months before I finished the quilting. While the marks did come out with washing and pressing, I did have the dread "light shadow" in several places. It was disappointing, but not really that noticable on the final project. But that experience has made me wary about when and where I will use the pens.

    I really do like the fine line and the staying power. Chalk is just so "fuzzy" -- hate it. Those clover pens are also a major pain. I sometimes will use a very fine pencil on light fabrics and that washes out pretty well. Dark fabrics are tricky, and I don't have a great suggestion. Sometimes you can go with ironing a motif cut from freezer paper onto the surface instead of marking with a pen.

  20. #20
    Senior Member stillclock's Avatar
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    i am wary of anything chemical: sprays, pens, glue....

    i think the pens are ideal for marking where it won't matter that the ink/gel stays in the fabric.

    i wouldn't use them for quilt marking. for that i use good ole' hb pencils and white chalk dressmaker pencils.

    they always wash out and they're cheap.

    aileen

  21. #21
    Super Member Lucky Patsy's's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
    After reading this it seems more people are reporting poor results than good for them.

    What are some good alternatives?

    I'm working on a quilt with curved pieces that I need to mark if I want accurate cuts. I bought a Dritz blue water soluble marking pencil and quite frankly I'm having issues with it. I have to press so hard to leave a mark that the fabric moves under the template I'm tracing around. What would be better? I'm clueless.
    Thanks,
    Rodney
    Rodney, try putting fine sandpaper under your fabric when tracing to eliminate the shifting. I am also a big fan of the Fons and Porter mechanical pens with the different leads. Have not tried the frixion pens.
    Marilyn

  22. #22
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I use a soap sliver to mark on dark fabric. It's the best to show up. I save the hotel small bars and whittle the corners to a point.
    Got fabric?

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