q Tip Tuesday - Marking Methods - Part 1 | Tourmaline & Thyme Quilts

Do you want to know what my go to marking methods are? I do a lot of marking with my applique and quilting.

Usually when marking fabric, I like to have marking tools that are removable. Meaning, they will disappear either over time or when I remove them.

My first choice is an air erase marker. They disappear over time, so I can only use them just before I work. And if they don’t disappear fast enough, a little water will do the trick. These work best on light colored fabrics.

My second choice is chalk, either as a stick or in a marking wheel like Chaco. These work best on dark fabrics. I purchase my chalk in the grocery store.

There are three other markers shown in the picture: fabric pencil, frixon pens and ceramic pencils. Let me deal with those one at a time.

Fabric pencils are the customary method. I learned to use one of these when I was in home economics, back when it was a required course. These typically have a little wax in them. For this reason, I don’t like to use them in areas that will show. They are fine for the back of the fabric, but not the front.

Frixon pens are a touchy subject. Some people love them. Some people have had the marks return when the project gets cold. My issue is that they are not really erasable. Yes, an iron will cause the ink to fade or change color. It doesn’t leave the fabric. In fact, I have seen it discolor my batiks and leave a permanent mark that looks similar to a hera marker. For this reason, I use Frixon markers only on the back or where they will not show.

Ceramic pencils are intriguing. I have been experimenting with them. I like that there are different color options so I can see them on different types of fabric. So far, I have not had an issue erasing them from batiks, but I have been pretty careful where I use them. I have been using them primarily to outline appliques or mark the placement of them. I haven’t used them to mark quilting lines, as I really don’t want to test the removability of them. The only downside so far, has been the “lead” breaking on them. Otherwise, they are quite useful.

Next week, I will share some other marking options in my tracing arsenal.

Happy Quilting,