I've got a quilt top put together that I'm ready to sandwich and quilt. It's 54"x66". I should know better because I'm not a terribly experienced quilter, but I've absolutely fixated on a certain design I want to quilt on this. So I'm trying to decide how best to do it. The primary design for the quilt center is a labyrinth. I've designed the labyrinth as simply as I possibly can and still call it a labyrinth. It will be a 33" outside diameter design. I have other designs in mind to fill in the corners / remaining side areas. OK, so here's my plan and does anyone have a better idea????
I'm planning to piece together freezer paper to make a sheet the size of the quilt top. Then draw the design(s) on the freezer paper, cut the quilt lines with an exacto knife. Then press the freezer paper to the quilt top and draw the quilt lines on the quilt top, using the cut lines on the freezer paper as guides, with a Frixion pen (the pen marks really do iron off!) Then remove the freezer paper, sandwich, baste and quilt. Does this sound totally nuts? Does anyone have a better idea?
May I offer a word of caution regarding the Frixion pens? The heat makes the marks disappear, but it does not remove the chemicals from the fabric. This is evidenced when you put the marked fabric somewhere very cold and the marks show back up. After putting all that work into your quilt, you probably don't want the fabric to disentigrate on the marking lines at some point in the future. And you don't want the marking lines to show back up again under any circumstances either :)
Do the marks show back up even after it's been washed? I haven't noticed that on any of my quilts.
Oh, RATS! I had no idea the marks would come back! So, what on earth does one use to mark a quilt top? I've used water soluble markers before, with poor results - they don't always come out. The quilt top has a lot of white in it, or I'd just use my pounce.
I use the Crrayola Original fine tip washable markers without any issues. They have not left me in bad situations like so many of the supposedly disappearing pens have. I have used them on light aida fabric for cross stitching as well. Best results are achieved with a water soak because the color then goes down the drain. If you are of the mind to not wash your work this is not a good option. Do not use the suoer tips they came out with last year. They are much messier to use but even they wash out well though my hands after first use didn't look like it would be possible.
I use painter's tape a lot to mark any line that is straight, especially any grids. I have also cut my design out of sticky-backed shelf paper and stuck it to my quilt top to quilt around. I like to use a General's Sketch n Wash pencil (which makes a dark gray mark or they have a white pencil, too) or any chalk pencil. Of course, with a chalk pencil you cannot draw the design on the whole quilt at once. They are better for drawing small areas at a time, because the chalk wipes off. Another thought for transferring your design is to draw it on freezer paper, iron it to the backside of your fabric, then place it on a lightbox to transfer.
The chemical never leaves the fabric, even after washing. I tested this out myself, marking fabric with several different colors of the Frixion pens. I ironed and the marks disappeared. I then put the fabric in the freezer and the marks came back. I scrubbed the marks with soap and a brush, but they never completely went away. Several nationally known quilters have warned against these pens. Right on the package, it tells you that if the pens are left in a hot car, the ink will no longer show up. It tells you to put the pen in the freezer to make the ink show up again. When the heat is applied, the ink does not go away, it just becomes invisible. The chemicals are still there and the marks may reappear at some later date or they may deteriorate the fabric.
I want to stress that I am not trying to tell anyone what to use on their own quilt. That is for each individual to decide. I just wanted to give a head's up about potential problems.
Thank you, Linda.
Your freezer paper method is fine. If your background is light, you could use a mechanical pencil to mark your designs. I prefer to mark light background with Roxanne's silver pencil, but have used mechanical pencils. If some of your fabric is darker, you might have to use a white pencil or soap stone (I use Roxanne's pencils) as well. If you do use these, you will have to wash your quilt to remove the markings. I have never used the Friction pens or the Crayola washable pens -- have read both good and bad reviews on both of these, but no personal experience to draw from.
Thank you everyone for your input. Geez. I was so excited to find the Frixion pens, but I guess it just goes to show, if it seems too good to be true it probably is! So, since this quilt is red and (lots of) white, I think I'm going to go with the original plan of drawing the design on freezer paper, cutting out the quilt lines, then ironing the freezer paper onto the quilt top. I have a standard short arm domestic machine and was concerned about the extra bulk created by the freezer paper but I guess I'm just going to have to deal with it. With all that white fabric in there I don't want to take a chance... the unorthodox design I chose will be a challenge, but that's the spice of life, huh?