I just read a tip from Nancy's Notions not to use lead pencils to mark my seam allowances because it may leave a permanent mark.  I'd like to know what everybody else uses.  I  was using a lead pencil, now I'm not so sure.

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I use a chalk pencil on the dark fabrics, but I use a pencil for all of the lights.  I have never had anything leave a mark.  I have been using these two things for 30 years.

Do you use a normal pencil for your light fabric?

thank you

I use the cheap BiC pencil #2 mechanical pencils work well for me! I always startch well before marking out my quilt designs. I draw lightly. I spray adheisive spray onto my smaller patterns then lay my fabric optop so the fabric doesn't shift any while I'm marking out my patterns. I've have also had good luck using washable markers.
I think marking a quilt is the hardest part of the whole process. That being said sometimes I use a very fine mechanical pencil and I don't know that I have ever had problems.  I tend to rely on the blue line markers for most fabrics and the purple air dry markers. On darks I use a silver pencil. It just depends on the fabric I'm marking on.
Garnie--My granny used to use a regular #2 pencil, and it washed out. My current favorites are these: the blue water erasable fabric marking pen, Roxanne's Quilter's Choice white pencil (the lead seems a little harder and easier to sharpen than some of the other brands), and the Sewline mechanical pencils. I have 2 Sewline pencils--one with regular pencil lead, and one with white. They rub right out, even before washing.
I like chalk pencils; I have the one with several colors; kind of like a refill pencil.  I would think if you're just marking the seam allowances that a regular #2 pencil would be fine; that's what everyone used before all these fancy new products came out.  Plus, you're going to sew over it anyway.  But I really do love my chalk pencil because you have lots of different colors.

I have seen pencil marks left behind on older quilts, and have also seen an article where Alex Anderson from the tv show Simply Quilts discourages their use....However, if you are only marking the seamline where pieces are joined...and mark them on the wrong side of the fabric, the mark will not show. I only use a lead pencil on the wrong side on ONLY one of the two fabrics being joined. Marking for other purposes, such as decorative quilting lines, I use the purple/blue washable pens sold for this purpose...and have use the white and yellow pencils sold for quilters. However, the children's washable markers may leave stains...esp. the red and purple/blues.

 

 

I would heartily discourage the use of regular pencils for marking quilt tops.  The marks left behind are unsightly, particularly on light colored/toned fabrics.  If that type of marking seems to work best for you there are several mechanical pencils on the market similar to a regular pencil including the Ultimate Marking Pencil & the newish Fons & Porter pencils to name just 2.

If I'm marking a quilt top I use either Generals Chalk Pencils or the Pounce chalk powder.

 

Teri

I agree with your marking ideas.  I sometimes use the air disappearing purple marker or the blue wash away marker, but I do not leave the markings on my quilts for very long because I do not know how hard they would be to remove.  The really cheap mechanical pencils are a good one for me, also.  The lead or quality of the lead is so wimpy that half the time the marks have disappeared before I am ready for them to disappear.  Oh well, another day for that problem! Ha!!!!  Freehand rules!  No markings, but then no fine detail either!  The Pounce powder is still my favorite, so I am in agreement with you Teri.  My quilting is a work in progress I guess...learn something new everyday.  Love quilting, it keeps me semi-sane when my household is very insane.  Roxie
Has anyone tried the SewLine pencil?  It sounds good, like they all do, but I'm wondering just how easy the marks are to remove.  Like I said, I use the colored chalk mechanical pencil, but something with a fine tip now and then would be useful.

I've used a pink SewLine with some success, but on busy fabrics - it appeared to wash out just fine. I haven't tried it on a light coloured background.

I understand why we want the marks to go away, yet in England, there was a tradition for wholecloth quilts in the North Country and Wales to be marked out by professional 'stampers' for people to hand quilt. These quilts became highly collectible, and the blue pencil marks were thought of as a mark of authenticity! How times change!

I have a question on water-erasable marker though - I posted a question about those and would welcome your experiences. I have been asked to quilt a top made 15 years ago that was partially marked in the white border at the time with the blue water-erasable. Wiping with a washcloth removes the blue, leaving a light yellow/brown line. Will the fibers be damaged by this over time? I could camouflage the marks but don't want holes appearing later, and have discussed attaching a new border instead.

Sarah, the decision to replace the border should be the owner of the quilt's call. You should voice your concerns re: fabric damage...but they may chose to keep it anyway, if the quilt was done by someone who is no longer alive ( or able to sew) and they wish to keep the memory of this person's hand on the quilt. lf it was a ''garage sale find'', then maybe its not something they wish to spend even more $ on.l'm really glad you found this post...l never saw it ,as it started before l joined MQP.You've obviously been exploring & reading :-) l wonder how many ''new'' products have come on the market since this original 2011 posting !

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