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Thread: When do you mark a quilt

  1. #1
    Senior Member pstoner's Avatar
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    When do you mark your quilt top? Before you sandwich, after sandwich, on the frame, or off the frame? Any comments and suggestions would be great. And I have searched the previous comments about different types of marking tools, and haven't found one in particular that I like.

  2. #2
    Super Member sidmona's Avatar
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    I've marked it before I sandwich it and after it's sandwiched - both have worked very well. I don't have a frame so I can't help you there.

  3. #3
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    As with all things quilting it depends. How do you plan quilting it, by hand or machine? Have you picked out a quilting motif or are you going to echo the peicing? Is your quilting design a stencil, a template, a freehand motif or is it something you found in a printed media that you want to trace or duplicate?

    I have marked the top before sandwiching and I have marked as I progressed. If you have templates, stencils or a freehand design you can easily mark as you progress. If it is something you want to trace you will have to mark the quilt before sandwiching.

    Marking tools is another whole ball o' wax. I like using tools that will stand no chance of leaving a mark so I like to use chalk and Fons and Porter mechanical pencil with the ceramic lead. Down side is these all rub off easily so I must mark as I go. Additionally the Fons and Porter is a white lead so only shows on dark fabric. Chalk comes in different colors but I have had some difficulty removing blue chalk. Some use slivers of soap.

    I have the water soluble pens but have not yet tried them. Again I plan on using those as I go and bought them for marking light colors.

    I have entirely marked to full size bed quilts before quilting. On both of them it was a very light background where I had fancy motifs. I starched the finished top quite heavily then lightly marked with a plain old #2 pencil. The lead marks tended to stay on the starch so when I washed all marking lines washed out. But I was lucky, I have read about some that weren't so fortunate. There are also graphite pencils made especially for marking quilts. Just recently bought two, have yet to break them out and use them. For straight lines or 1/4" away from seams I use tape and do not mark.

  4. #4
    Senior Member pstoner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic
    As with all things quilting it depends. How do you plan quilting it, by hand or machine? Have you picked out a quilting motif or are you going to echo the peicing? Is your quilting design a stencil, a template, a freehand motif or is it something you found in a printed media that you want to trace or duplicate?

    I have marked the top before sandwiching and I have marked as I progressed. If you have templates, stencils or a freehand design you can easily mark as you progress. If it is something you want to trace you will have to mark the quilt before sandwiching.

    Marking tools is another whole ball o' wax. I like using tools that will stand no chance of leaving a mark so I like to use chalk and Fons and Porter mechanical pencil with the ceramic lead. Down side is these all rub off easily so I must mark as I go. Additionally the Fons and Porter is a white lead so only shows on dark fabric. Chalk comes in different colors but I have had some difficulty removing blue chalk. Some use slivers of soap.

    I have the water soluble pens but have not yet tried them. Again I plan on using those as I go and bought them for marking light colors.

    I have entirely marked to full size bed quilts before quilting. On both of them it was a very light background where I had fancy motifs. I starched the finished top quite heavily then lightly marked with a plain old #2 pencil. The lead marks tended to stay on the starch so when I washed all marking lines washed out. But I was lucky, I have read about some that weren't so fortunate. There are also graphite pencils made especially for marking quilts. Just recently bought two, have yet to break them out and use them. For straight lines or 1/4" away from seams I use tape and do not mark.
    I plan on using a template, on my quilting frame, previously tried to mark as I go, but found that the pressure of marking always loosened the tension on the top to much (probably my error).

    I have tried pounce (only to find out later, I didn't use it correctly, may try again this time spraying top with water then pouncing), have tried the "disappearing pens" not my favorite, and will not stay long enough to mark prior to sandwiching or framing.
    I have the Fons and Porters white pencil, but have a difficult time with it fitting into the stencil without consistently breaking the lead (again more than likely user issue).

    Has anyone tried "marking Magic" spray? If so, your thoughts?

  5. #5
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I saw a video the other day, and the lady that was using the Pounce pad said don't Pounce, rub... I have never use a pounce, but it did make sense.

  6. #6
    Super Member Annya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pstoner
    When do you mark your quilt top? Before you sandwich, after sandwich, on the frame, or off the frame? Any comments and suggestions would be great. And I have searched the previous comments about different types of marking tools, and haven't found one in particular that I like.
    all the books etc I read stated to mark you quilt top before sandwiching it.

  7. #7
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    This thread has been helpful to me, too. Feline Fanatic, I have a question. When you asked if Pstoner's design was from a stencil, a template, freehand... Is there a difference between a stencil and a template?

  8. #8
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    I mark after I sandwiched and I work in a hoop. For dark fabrics I use watercolor pencil (which rubs of after a while, so I can only mark "as I go". For light colors I use the needlemarking method and that only works when the batting lies under the top. Both methods work with stencils and templates and of course with freehand drawing.

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