I just read a tip from Nancy's Notions not to use lead pencils to mark my seam allowances because it may leave a permanent mark.  I'd like to know what everybody else uses.  I  was using a lead pencil, now I'm not so sure.

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I have used the blue washable marking pen that works really well. But my tool of choice when I have to mark my seam allowances on my fabric is the quilter pencils. I buy them in a 3 pack red, blue, and white. I also startch my fabric to keep it kind of stiff and keep it from slipping when marking it.
I use a lead pencil, or one of the silver pencils.  I usually don't have a problem getting the lead out (no pun intended).  Should the mark show...erase as much as possible, then pretreat before you wash the quilt. 
Hoping someone can answer this question for me before tomorrow afternoon. I just finished a quilt top for my daughter. It is a musically themed quilt and all black and white (more black than white). I planned on quilting a treble cleft in each block that I have a stencil for. Tonight, when I got ready to start quilting, I discovered nothing I have will mark well enough on the black fabric for me to quilt the design. I have the white erasable marker (does not work at all) and a white quilting pencil usually used for marking 1/4 seam allowance for hand quilting. I'm thinking of going to Hancock's tomorrow and getting one of those chalk markers. Is this what you would do or can someone suggest something else???? Keep in mind that I do not but 2 quilt shops around me and none of them are open when I'm off work. So I'm limited to what Hancock's or Hobby Lobby have to offer. The chalk thing is the only thing that I could come up with. Thanks guys.


The only thing I can think of is talc.  I think I remember my grandmother using it in her quilting.  And it washes out really well.  You may have to make a template where you would mark the pattern from the inside of the template instead of around the outside edges.  Take a cotton ball and lightly dab the powder on the fabric.  Hope this makes sense.  PS... a q-tip may work also.  You're just trying to make your outline with it.



Do you have any chalk around?  Sharpen it in a pencil sharpener & use it.  The silver pencils work on black, as will a white colored pencil (Crayola brand are on sale right now..and contain white).  If you have access to Hancock or Walmart, then get the silver marking pencil (2.00 or so)..but the colored pencils work just as well.


The only chalk I had last night was some sidewalk chalk my daughter had. You can't sharpen that to a point. It's too big. Hancock's does have a chalk writer specifically designed for putting stencils on dark fabric. I'm going to go and pick that up after work. I was wondering if regular chalk would work. I guess it would huh? Thanks for the advice.
Hi Jodie. I have quilted on dark fabric before and I have used a Berol Prismacolor pencil to mark my quilting. I am using a white pencil on my current whole cloth quilt, which is a multicolor dark batik. The pencils come in many colors. I've never had a problem removing the marks (I usually have to touch up my marks before I finish the quilting because they have rubbed off), but make sure and test it on your fabric first to make sure that they can be removed. Also I have heard that some people use soap, but I have not tried this. Good luck.
Thanks Pam. I'm not sure they have that at Hancock's but I will ask when I go this afternoon.
I have used soap slivers. It does work on dark colors but these days most soaps have lotions in them so they are soft even when dried out so I haven't used it in years.

There is a pounce block out there but I don't know if Hancock's or Hobby Lobby carries it - I know they don't in my area.  It is a "box-like" contraption that you can fill with pounce (a chalk-like powder) that you just pat on like you are cleaning a chalk eraser. I have bought pounce at an art supply store, too. Try a Berol Prismacolor silver pencil. These are awesome on dark colors.


I use Fons and Porters they make a mechanical pencil for quilters.  you can buy white chalk leads or dark leads.  since they are made for quilters by a well-known name I am comfortable that they are safe to use.  

I have a pounce and when I sat in on a demonstration about marking quilt tops, she recommended to bang the pounce and get the powder all ready to sift out then drag it over your template rather than pounce it. Works either way.  

Lately I've given up on marking a top since it is so time consuming and been working on developing my free hand machine quilting techniques.

Thanks Lana. I went to Hancock's yesterday and got the chalk pencil. I love it. It is GREAT! It came with 8 white chalk pieces and 7 different colored pieces. I also bought a refill pack with the same thing in it while I was there. I can't believe I haven't used this before. The white works great on the black but since I have black and white in the fabric, I'm using the purple and it shows up on both wonderfully. I ended up getting the first 1/2 of the middle of the quilt done last night. It went really quick once I had the right tool.


I too love to do the free motion quilting. It is so quick and easy to do. But this quilt is for my daughter and since it's a musical quilt, she wanted a musical symbol quilted on it as well.



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