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!