I enjoy applique. After preparing the block it can be quite portable. And it's nice to sit down under a good light in the evenings and sew.
Above is a block I started in 1996. You can see in the top right corner a pencil line of a bird that has yet to come alive. That is the good thing about pencil lines. They don't come out easily.
But that is also the bad thing about pencil. It doesn't come out easily and it is always distressing to see a nicely stitched quilt with the pencil lines still visible. Getting the pencil lines out is a topic for another post.
This post is about marking things onto quilts. It is comparable to the holy grail, trying to find the perfect marker. I have been searching for quite a while and have something of a collection to share with you.
Quarter inch masking tape is a good way to mark 1/4" inside or outside the seam allowance. It gives a straight line without the bother of having to rule a line. Unless you leave the tape on for too long there is no residue and no difficulty in removing after use. The tape can be reused a few times. Wider than 1/4" is easily sourced.
Except I don't like using it. I stitch close to the tape and the needle gets sticky. Besides it is limited in its applications and only useful for straight line stitching.
The silver pencil can be difficult to remove and there are better options.
I was persuaded to buy the "Karisma" propelling pencil. I can't find it any more. Only the packet and some refills. 'Nuff said.
The Chacopy tracing paper behind the empty packet seemed like a good idea at the time. I don't remember why I no longer use it. I might try it again today!
From the left, the pink Sewline pencil was bought because of the enthusiasm for it from a fellow blogger. Not a successful option for me.
You probably know the blue washout pens next to it. The cheap pen on the left is OK in an emergency but generally runs out quickly. I am more likely to use blue pens on a block than to mark a top for quilting. The finer points work well for me but I am always wary to use them. There are too many sad stories of marks that refuse to disappear, damaged cloth fibres etc.
On the right is an "hera" marking tool. A friend swears by hers. No permanent marks left behind and it's easy to use. I haven't tested it adequately to comment.
The two tools on the left are chalk markers. They are good for marking a quilt top. They also make a cute sound as they go. I like them. You can get other colours than white. The chalk rubs off easily so only small parts can be marked at a time. That suits my rhythm.
A recent discovery is the chalk pencil. No cute whirry noise but it does come with lots of colours and that is useful for multi coloured quilts. The only disadvantage is the point needs sharpening quite frequently. Not recommended to mark applique, but good for quilting.
Getting bored yet? It's not my fault. There are so many things on the market. This post could be twice as long if I reviewed everything.
My favourite all round marking tool is this
I would love to find the perfect marking tool that doesn't damage fabric, no fuss to apply, comes out easily and works for both applique and quilting. Any suggestions?