Welcome to another installment in the machine quilting 101 series! Slowly but surely I will get to all of the quilting topics. This series has taken me much longer than I had originally anticipated, but that seems to be the way it is--with almost everything! All that to say...today we will be talking about marking your quilt!
Chaco Liner (pen-style)
Water Soluble Marker (Fine tip)
A few things to mention right off the bat:
1. Before committing to any marking tool, test it on scrap fabric (or a scrap quilt sandwich). Do this before you mark your project, preferably using the same materials as your project, because the marking tools could act differently on different materials. It's better to be safe than sorry!
2. I always mark my projects after they are basted. Often times that means removing pins in certain areas before marking. I don't know if that's normal or not, but it's what I've always done. Also, I mark only a few lines at a time...sometimes only one line at a time. It's a lot of starting and stopping, but it seems to work the best for me. It prevents quilting fatigue, if nothing else! :)
Now, a quick overview of the tools:
The chalk comes in blue, white, yellow and pink. I had the hardest time deciding which color to purchase, but I ended up with blue. I could see adding more of the colors to my collection of marking tools over time. It was $9.50 and replacement cartridges are available.
I think I paid $6.95 for the hera marker at my local quilt shop a few years ago. It was money well spent! There are two kinds of hera markers: the larger one I've shown here and the slim. I've tried both and I'd definitely recommend the larger one.
spiral quilting, I almost always mark the center (and I use my free motion foot for that part). Once the area is quilted, I spritz it lightly with a water bottle and just like magic, the ink disappears.
I have a hard time finding this particular marker in any stores that I shop at in real life, so I order them on-line from Connecting Threads. (They happen to be on sale at the moment for only $3.00, usually $5.00.) Like I said, they last for years, so it's a good deal, sale or not!
Painter's tape is another great option for marking, which I've covered in my grid quilting tutorial. This method of marking is perfect for small projects, especially placemats. I suppose you could use this method up to baby quilt size without a problem, but anything larger than that gets cumbersome! I haven't bought painter's tape in quite a while, but it is a reasonably priced option as well.
To mark or not to mark, that is the question!
I think that's all I have for today! I'd love to hear your thoughts on marking quilts. If you have a favorite marking tool that you absolutely can't live without, please tell me about it!