Have you ever wondered what to mark your quilts with when you just want a few guidelines? I recently ran a little test using water soluble pens, air erasable pens, heat erasable pens and chalk. All these different methods worked really well for me.
First let’s talk about water soluble pens. In this instance I traced around a cardboard template of a leaf shape and then using it for Free Motion Quilting practice. So once I had sewn over the guideline I used an aqua brush which was filled with water to remove the pen lines with great success. I believe a cotton bud or Q-Tip will also work.
The second pen I tried was the mark and erase pen. This pen is double ended; one end marks the lines and the other end erases. This pen gave me very good results as well. Now before I go any further I must tell you that the manufacturer of both the water soluble pen and the mark and erase pen recommend you not iron any of the lines as this might set them. So I guess the best thing to do is wash the project in order to remove the chemical left behind.
Now for the air erasable pen; this pen gave me excellent results although I have to admit that the lines started disappearing even before I finished hand stitching the block. Now having said that, I think I would rather refresh the markings than have to put a lot of effort into removing them.
The next marking tool I tried was the Pilot Frixion pen. This pen works a little differently. After tracing the markings onto my panel, Free Motion Quilting over the guidelines I applied heat from the iron and the lines disappeared.
Now I have heard that after using these pens if you put your project in the freezer the lines will re-appear. So of course I tried it for myself and it’s true. Now having discovered for myself that the lines may return if your quilt is left in freezing cold conditions, I decided to put it in prospective. I live in Britain where it never gets very cold at all although we moan about the weather all the time. And I’m never likely to store my quilts in the freezer so my opinion about this pen is depending on what kind of climate you live in, you should decide for yourself if you should take a chance with them. I suppose if I was making an heirloom quilt I wouldn’t use the Frixion pen but none of my primitive wonky type quilts are heirloom quilts so I think I’m quite happy to use these pens for guidelines and such without too many worries.
This last marking tool I tried was a chalk pencil. Admittedly I used the chalk pencil on darker fabrics and it worked really well. It takes hardly any effort to remove the dust left behind by the chalk pencil and the markings were visible enough to work with.
So that was my little test. The results produced by all of these marking tools were perfectly acceptable for me. I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to use any of them where ever appropriate.
Here’s sneak peek at the project I produced using these marking tools. I hope you find this review useful.
Lucie the Happy Quilter ♥♥