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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Quilt Marking Trials

By Audrey Easter

Quilt markers are something that, frankly, I love to hate. I'm still trying to convince myself to go completely marker free.*wink Through the years I have tried various and assorted methods including: mechanical pencils, wash-out blue markers, colored quilt marking pencils, a chunky chaco type marker and even dial bar soap. Then, someone turned me on to air erasable markers and convinced me they were the go-to quilt marker for someone like me. I really don't like to mark my quilts until I have them in a hoop so this made perfect sense. Following their seasoned advice, I bought the common purple air erasable pen at Walmart for years without any problems whatsoever. Then, Walmart switched the brand of purple air erasable markers on me and shortly thereafter I ended up with a quilt that had permanent marking on some of my green and blue fabrics. Grrrr. I don't remember the brand of the marker I used so successfully for years because of course I threw the pens away when they ran out of ink and most brands have a similar look and packaging to me. The pens in the picture below are still kept in my drawer with a big 'Do not use' written on the back so I won't be tempted to forget.
Shortly thereafter, I started doing a little bit of research on the subject. While reading through my 'Quilting With Style: Principles For Great Pattern Design' book by Gwen Marston and Joe Cunningham, I discovered the 'Verithin' pencil which is commonly sold at stores with art supplies. I love this pencil. It's my absolute favorite now, although I admit it doesn't work great on white and cream fabrics. It's cheap, it's simple and it comes out very easily. I will say that I've only tried the white and gray colors and didn't like the gray pencil nearly as much so quickly abandoned it.
My mother bought me the 'Miracle Chalk' pictured below this summer, but I haven't managed to test it out yet. It looks very interesting to me. Also, I'm wondering if anyone has ever used washable 'Berol' pens for marking their quilts? I've been wondering about investing in some of those.


  1. I won't use the air erasable on my quilts after using it to make a bag because the marks came back after ironing. I've done a couple of posts ( see November 14) on the testing and using of the Berol washable pens and use them a lot. I love the white verithin pencil for marking my applique.

  2. Thanks for the reference to your post about the marking pens Janet! Great information!!

  3. My favourite pens for marking are Crayola Washable Markers (fine line). On my blog, please check out these tips and what to be aware of for using these pens.


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