Marking for quilting

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Donna posted on Mon, Nov 22 2010 11:44 AM

This is a multiple part question. 
First - what do you use to mark the quilting design on the quilt top?

Second - when do you mark it?

Third - HOW do you get it off?

Fourth - Are you happy with it? Or what are the advantages/disadvantages of it

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mars92 replied on Fri, Nov 26 2010 8:18 PM


Handpainted blocks ! Oh, they would be out of this world gorgeous. You go,  What a fantastic idea.  I am drooling over the idea. Wish I was artistic.  let me go quietly back to my jacks and start on my onesies again.  : > )

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Different idea learned from my Mormon friends for use with either a stencil that I purchase or one that I make by sewing through paper without thread (leaving perforations for the design): On dark fabric, I sprinkle some baby powder and on light fabric I sprinkle cinnamon. Then I use a tissue to spread the powder/cinnamon so it marks on the quilt. With dark fabric, I sometimes make the lines more permanent by using that sliver of soap that we never want to throw away -- a line drawn with that lasts until I wipe with a damp washcloth.

This works best when you mark just a section at a time, and has the added benefit of smelling nice when you're done!


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A few years ago, I took a workshop with Barbara Barber and she used a CRAYOLA (brand) WASHABLE Marker, just like I used to buy for my son when he was in 1st grade.  She says she uses them often.  Since she always washes her finished quilts in the washing machine, she says she has never had a problem-- the marker would wash right out.  I has used them ever since, because they are quite reasonably priced, you can buy them pretty much anywhere, including grocery store or drug store, and they do wash right out.  I have used the green, blue, purple, brown, etc. but I am a bit leary of the red marker, and have never used that one, because if one was going to stain, that would be the one.

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MNnancy replied on Sat, Dec 18 2010 11:12 PM

Great idea, Keaukina!  I'll bet they're much more reasonably priced than the disappearing purple fabric markers.  I, too, would be leery of the red.

On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

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Debbie replied on Sun, Dec 19 2010 12:04 AM

Thank you for sharing what a great tips I will be certain to try them!



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I've tried all the things mentioned for making my quilting designs- disappearing ink pen, chalk, pencil, Golden Threads paper, tissue paper, etc. all with similar results.  Something I've discovered recently is a product called "Transfer Ease" .  I used it for hand embroidery for redwork patterns but found it will work for quilting patterns as well.  You may have to piece it, but that's easy to do.  the product comes in paper sheets sized for your printer.  You just photocopy your design on your ink jet printer, then peel off the sticky fabric side, put it on your quilt and stitch.  When you are finished, simple soak the quilt in cool water for about 15 minutes and the sticky stuff melts away like magic.  It's great and really saves time.  You should be able to find it at any quilt shop or order online.  I use a website called "Bird Brain Designs" for my redwork designs and they sell Transfer Ease, too.  Check it out! 

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Linny t replied on Mon, Dec 20 2010 12:05 PM

Thanks, Charlotte.  I have been wanting to try tranfer ease and I'm glad to have your review.  I, too, order from Bird Brain Designs occasionally.  I like their website. 

linny t

Linny T


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Nana replied on Mon, Dec 20 2010 12:22 PM


Thanks for the review.  I may have to try this in the future.

Vinton, Virginia

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gini replied on Mon, Dec 20 2010 1:51 PM

welcome charlotte and thanks for the product tip   gini

gini in north idaho

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I also use baby powder but buy the travel/ small container  .. & make my own stencil designs using the printer to reduce/enlarge them..  I use the machine to punch out the basic holes, but add larger reference points using a round toothpick.  I use the kids markers often, when finishing an area...I use a water spray bottle to quickly disperse the worries of it staining if it is gone.




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Kris replied on Tue, Dec 21 2010 12:01 AM


I use Transfer Eze as well. I don't like tracing so this product was a god send. before I discovered it I used water soluble interfacing which worked but wasn't as good.

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I have discovered the Fons and Porter pencil that you can use either white or gray lead. Bohin makes one that is the same thing. I have two, one with white lead and one with gray lead. I really like them. I have tried every kind of marker they have ever made, and I think I have finally found something that works for me. I spent hours a few years ago marking a quilt on the floor on my knees with the purple marker that was supposed to be removable with water, and guess what, it disappeared before I could get it all quilted. I still haven't finished that quilt to this day. I took it out of the frame and it is still in the closet. Chauk smudges and disappears with a lot of handling, before you can get the quilt quilted. I hand quilt as well.

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