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Saturday, March 22, 2014

My favourite marking tool

by Andrea Stracke

Finding the perfect marking tool seems to be one of the biggest challenges for a hand quilter. Many different markers are available these days but they all have their advantages and disadvantages. The markings on a quilt top should be visible as long as necessary and when the quilting is finished we want the lines to be easy to remove.

I’ve tried many different markers before I finally found the perfect one for me – a darning needle. Here is mine (the measuring tape shows centimetre):


My favourite marking method is needle marking. I found a description of this technique several years ago in a book I still like a lot: “Traditional Quilting”, written by Mavis Fitzrandolph (B.T. Batsford Ltd, London, 1954). For executing the needle marking the needle is not held upright but at a sharp angle. The tip will be pressed against the layered quilt and leaves a fine crease line on the fabric when you guide the needle along a template or ruler. The markings last quite long and don’t rub off. It’s needless to remove them after the quilting has been finished because they are invisible under the stitched lines.
 


You can imagine that this marking method is most suitable for solid fabrics- and because I do wholecloth quilts it’s perfect for me!

17 comments:

  1. Brilliant! I will have to give this a go.

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  2. I have never heard of this method - always learning new things although I am satisfied with the way I mark I'm sure some will find it helpful!

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  3. I like the looks of this method. I may give it a try. Your photo of the marked/creased lines shows well. Your stitches are exquiste.

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  4. Do you use the sharp point of the needle to mark or the eye end? I don't use solids too often, but I'll certainly keep this in the back of my mind for when I do. It will be worth a try. ;-)

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    1. I use the sharp point of the needle.

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  5. Thanks for the tip. I am going to look for this book at my library.

    Your quilting is what I aspire to achieve some day but really don't think it will happen.

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  6. Beautiful! I've used the hera marker for straight line quilting... but, I'm thinking this needle marking tip will prove more useful in long run! Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Is this needle being run against a long ruler for the straight lines?

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    1. Yes, that's right. You can also use a Hera marker for marking straight lines, but I prefer the needle. It's much more handy.

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  8. Merci beaucoup pour ce bon conseil.
    Bonne semaine.
    Gisèle du Québec

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  9. That is a clever idea. You can get a special marking tool from Clover that uses this method. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I think you are talking about the Hera Marker? I have used it for straight lines like cross hatching but I still prefer the needle - it's handier, especially for small details.

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  10. I also use the needle method for curved lines also, along a (selfmade) template. Works very well, also on printed fabric. If you think you don't see the line well, you can re-direct the light, most of the time that solves your problem.

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  11. I like that marking method for solid fabrics. I have been so disappointed with marking methods. The markings on the outermost border of my current quilt have totally disappeared despite the assurances of the product. I am not sure what I want to do now as I spent a whole lot of time marking a complicated rope pattern that I had to resize in places. Ugh. I love your blog and your quilting.

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  12. Speaking of tools, I just ran out of thread. Ive been using Aurifil . I went to my local store and got Coats and Clark hand quilting cotton..OMG!!! I cant believe I have not been using it before..I love it, it is so much better than the foreign stuff!!! It is made right here in USA and it is great for hand piecing..

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  13. Neat technique! First time visiting your blog - wow, such beautiful hand quilted projects!

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