Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Quilt-marking Issues

Currently, I have three hand-quilting projects started. One is Erin's Diamonds which is in the big antique frame that was my grandmother's. The other two are more portable as they were prepared for demonstrating at History Day last Saturday.

I'd meant to spend most of my day working on Antique Nine Patches, yet I faced an unexpected dilemma that thwarted my intentions. The graphite marking pencil that I'd taken to mark the quilt created such a smeary mess that I didn't dare go on for fear of permanently staining it.

Perhaps these two pictures show well enough the smearing that resulted after quilting just this tiny little bit. I knew that I could wash the quilt, but what if the graphite permanently discolors the quilt? It will be quite awhile before I finish this, and consequently before I launder it, so I just thought it best to quilt on the other project, and re-think the marking technique/medium for this quilt.

I thought this template worked well for the space I want to to fill. Normally, I am not a fussy quilter - I do lots of straight things, in other words. Doing this curvy design will test me.

I shopped at JoAnn Fabrics yesterday, looking for backing and border fabric for the two commissioned t-shirt quilts I'm working on. While I was there, I checked out all the marking tools and found one pen that has two tips - one end is disappearing ink, the other is water-soluble. I bought it, and will try it out soon.

Another thing I found was my favorite type of thimble, which made me supremely happy!

Happy Quilting, Friends!


  1. I have been using the blue wash out pen for years and never have a problem with it because I wash my quilts. Make sure to use plenty of water and do not dry it until you know the blue is out. No heat on the blue lines before washing or they very well could stay in. I have used for 20+years with no problem. The disappearing ink does disappear quikely so do not mark too much in advance - if it is very humid it will not stay in long at all. Only used it once years ago so don't remember much else about it as it is too humid here - good luck with the graphite - I have never used pencil of any sort on my quilts as I don't want the problem of getting it out and I know what works for me so I stick with it

  2. I'm relatively new to hand quilting and was disappointed to find that pencil didn't wash out of one quilt I used it on. But it washed out of another. Anyway, I was reading a Gwen Marston quilting book not long ago and she recommended Berol Verithin white and silver pencils to use on dark fabrics and Berol Karisma Graphite Aquarelle pencil which is water soluble. The book was written 15 or 20 years ago and it's possible Berol doesn't make these anymore (or even that Berol has been sold to some other company). I'm too new to know much. I hope you'll let us know what you've found that works, Jayne.
    --Nancy. (ndmessier @,


Feedback on my posts is always welcome!