Mark my quilt…. Let me count the ways. Wait, I don’t want the marks to be permanent! 

How do you add non-permanent marks to your quilt? Let me help you here. There are several ways, but they all depend upon your fabric, what you need the marks for, and how you want to “erase” them.

Here are a few ways for you to mark your quilts. Regardless of the method you choose, test it on similar fabric before trying it on your precious project.

  1. Chalk markers work really well on dark fabrics, but not so well on light ones. Make sure the chalk doesn’t have any wax in it. Most chalk brushes off. Which means, it erases easily, but won’t last long on a big or complicated project. A spritz of water usually removes any residue.
  2. Air erase markers work well on light fabrics, but not on dark ones. Air erase markers may become permanent if they are ironed. The “ink” often vanishes within a day or so, so don’t mark too far in advance. If you need to remove the mark sooner, a bit of water or water with baking soda should do the trick. I use water and an inexpensive paint brush.
  3. Heat sensitive pens like Frixon can work. I have heard rumors of the marks returning after the project is frozen. I have run a few experiments which would have failed the Myth Busters test. But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Test your materials under the same conditions you will use them – washed, starched, etc. These pens last quite a while and are great for light fabrics, but not for dark. They also aren’t the ticket if you need to do additional pressing/heating and keep the design.
  4. Hera markers work for either light or dark fabrics. They leave a fold-like mark in the material. This mark usually presses out easily. However, it doesn’t necessarily last a long time with lots of handling.
  5. Pressed creases from a hot iron work really well for piecing. Not so well for applique work or quilting templates.
  6. Washi tap is a good option for sewing or quilting straight lines. It can also be used for simple templates.
  7. Freezer paper is a good option for top stitching or quilting as it can be echoed and reused often.
  8. If you are using the marking simply for applique placement, embroidery or quilting, you can pin a fuse some stabilizers in place. They may be removed with heat or water depending upon the type you choose. Keep in mind that some threads don’t like heat. On the other hand, using lots of water to rinse away the stabilizer may mean blocking the quilt later to get it square again.
  9. Special tissue paper, like Golden Paper, is a tear away option than can also be used for applique placement, embroidery or quilting. It works with any type of fabric. However, it may require the use of tweezers if it doesn’t pull away easily.

Each of these has pros and cons. It depends upon your project. This video provides some examples of each.

We hope you found this useful!

Happy quilting