Inspiring Quilters, Stitch by Stitch
Do you use a normal pencil for your light fabric?
I have seen pencil marks left behind on older quilts, and have also seen an article where Alex Anderson from the tv show Simply Quilts discourages their use....However, if you are only marking the seamline where pieces are joined...and mark them on the wrong side of the fabric, the mark will not show. I only use a lead pencil on the wrong side on ONLY one of the two fabrics being joined. Marking for other purposes, such as decorative quilting lines, I use the purple/blue washable pens sold for this purpose...and have use the white and yellow pencils sold for quilters. However, the children's washable markers may leave stains...esp. the red and purple/blues.
I would heartily discourage the use of regular pencils for marking quilt tops. The marks left behind are unsightly, particularly on light colored/toned fabrics. If that type of marking seems to work best for you there are several mechanical pencils on the market similar to a regular pencil including the Ultimate Marking Pencil & the newish Fons & Porter pencils to name just 2.
If I'm marking a quilt top I use either Generals Chalk Pencils or the Pounce chalk powder.
I've used a pink SewLine with some success, but on busy fabrics - it appeared to wash out just fine. I haven't tried it on a light coloured background.
I understand why we want the marks to go away, yet in England, there was a tradition for wholecloth quilts in the North Country and Wales to be marked out by professional 'stampers' for people to hand quilt. These quilts became highly collectible, and the blue pencil marks were thought of as a mark of authenticity! How times change!
I have a question on water-erasable marker though - I posted a question about those and would welcome your experiences. I have been asked to quilt a top made 15 years ago that was partially marked in the white border at the time with the blue water-erasable. Wiping with a washcloth removes the blue, leaving a light yellow/brown line. Will the fibers be damaged by this over time? I could camouflage the marks but don't want holes appearing later, and have discussed attaching a new border instead.
Sarah, the decision to replace the border should be the owner of the quilt's call. You should voice your concerns re: fabric damage...but they may chose to keep it anyway, if the quilt was done by someone who is no longer alive ( or able to sew) and they wish to keep the memory of this person's hand on the quilt. lf it was a ''garage sale find'', then maybe its not something they wish to spend even more $ on.l'm really glad you found this post...l never saw it ,as it started before l joined MQP.You've obviously been exploring & reading :-) l wonder how many ''new'' products have come on the market since this original 2011 posting !