What might seem a like a simple tool, the instrument used to mark a pattern onto a quilt, is as diverse as the people who use them. The quilt marker can spark lots of conversion and some debate.
I must admit I have tried almost every popular type of marker for sale. Everyone has a favorite and there isn’t a correct, better, or even more effective one out there. It comes down to one important fact: If it works for you, it’s the right choice!
Here’s my two cents on the topic:
Starting off with the most popular, the General’s pencil and “Quilter’s Choice” from Roxanne. I have to admit, I have bad eyesight and tend to mark my quilt with a heavier line. This one fact has skewed my opinion of these pencils. I really (REALLY) don’t like these at all. I have had numerous problems with the pencil mark remaining on my quilt after repeated washings. I have read every home remedy and tried them all. I tried the Aqua Eraser from Sewline as well, and wasn’t happy with the results. Yes, I know the marks will come out over time, but frankly I’m not thrilled with that resolution.
To me, these are a better option when considering a pencil. The “lead” is chalk and in theory washes out very easily. I will say it does wash out, but again I an not happy with the tiny residual marks, initially. I know, I’m picky!
The choice that most will frown upon but the ones I love! To each his own as they say. There are a few things that you have to watch out for when using erasable markers. NEVER expose the marked quilt top to an iron or even the sun. The ink will set and, in the end, a very upset quilter will be standing at the washer screaming! I do like the fact that the mark is completely erased when water is applied. I have heard the nightmare stories where the ink migrates to the batting. I can see how that can happen. Once water is a applied to erase the mark, the ink will spread. I use a pencil type water brush to get the marks out as I go. Again, this may seem like too much of a bother for most. I like that I get a bold line and can control the “erasing” as I go. To further ensure the marker is removed, I soak the finished quilt in cold plain water and then wash the completed quilt. If there is any migration of the ink to the batting the plain water soak will do the treat to remove it completely.
Advice I will suggest STRONGLY: Always try any of these marking instruments on a scrap piece of fabric from the quilt you are working on. All fabric reacts differently. A simple test will prove invaluable, and give you peace of mind throughout your quilting