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TOPIC: Best pens for labels & signing quilts

13 May 2008 13:08 #18157

What a great idea Florence. I'll be sure and ask her to do that. Thanks a bunch.
Last Edit: by Charmart.
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13 May 2008 13:05 #18155

Charlotte, if this isn't planned to be a bed (ie, used) quilt, you might suggest she pick up some Czech beads on her travels and you could incorporate that into the quilt!
Last Edit: by florence.
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13 May 2008 12:21 #18152

I am so glad to hear your experience. My granddaughter is going to the Czech Republic in August for a year as an exchange student. I thought when she gets back I'll make her a quilt using pictures and other mementos that she brings back. I also want to send fabric with her to get her friends and the families she stays with to sigh. I'm glad to know what to send. Another question concerning that. What kind of fabric would y'all suggest sending? I don't know what color the quilt will be and I didn't know if white or off white would get too dirty. Any suggestions would be appreciated. (sorry I ran on so long :oops: )
charmart (charlotte)
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12 May 2008 06:04 #18087

  • cjbeg
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Thanks Beth,
I have printed and added to my good to know file.
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12 May 2008 05:31 #18084

  • sandytn
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Great information and perfect timing. I am going to personalize my BOM with some family information and was thinking about using a pen to write the information on the block but I'm now rethinking. I think I will embroidery the information. It will take longer but I will be there for the next generation.
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12 May 2008 00:42 #18082

Beth, thanks for the info!
Last Edit: by Judymc.
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11 May 2008 22:17 #18078

I'm very glad to have this info, thanks! Did the Sharpie look bad before washing because of bleeding issues or something else? If it was bleeding that made it look bad before, did the bleeding part disappear after washing leaving the initial writing?

At a quilt show I was at, a vendor used a gel pen to transfer redwork designs onto fabric and they said it had to be a specific brand. I think it was the company that makes Tsukineko inks. I wonder if these wash out if heat set? Has anyone tried them?
Last Edit: by RuthMcI.
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11 May 2008 10:07 #18063

  • Stinki
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What excellent detective work!
Thank for doing all that AND sharing the info with us

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Best pens for labels & signing quilts 11 May 2008 09:24 #18060

  • BethMI
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Sharpies win!

I like to make quilts where friends and family can sign them. Up til now, I have not been happy with how the signatures turned out. I have 2 graduations coming up, and I wanted these quilts to be signed. But I also wanted those signatures to be durable to last through the multiple washings in ordinary laundry detergent which I knew they would endure. (Unspeakable things happen to college quilts!)

Several weeks ago, I asked people on this board about which pens are best for this purpose. I got a bunch of answers. Many people are committed to Pigma brand pens, some like gel ink pens, and others preferred Sharpies.

So I went out and bought all of them – variety packs of different colors of the following pens:

-- Pigma (can't remember the size tip, but the biggest I could find)

-- Sharpies ultra fine point

-- Pentel smooth gel (medium point)

-- Uni-ball gel pens (medium point)

I then signed a leftover quilt square with different colors of each kind, signed the square with all colors of all of the pens. I then backed it with batting and flannel (just like the quilt I was making) and quilted it. I then began washing that square with almost every load of laundry I did.


BEST SHARPIES - except RED, which faded more than the others. Note that these signatures looked the worst before washing.

MEDIUM PIGMA - Some WORDS are still readable, but many individual LETTERS are so faded as to be invisible. (This probably relates to the pressure used to make that particular stroke of the letter and to the difficulty in using these pens because the point is so fine that it is difficult to write on woven fabric.) If you use them, stick to black.

WORST GEL INK PENS - NONE of the gel pen signatures are very visible. In fact, almost every one faded so badly that entire words are scarcely visible at all. Note that these signatures looked GREAT before washing.

From now on, I will stick to Sharpies. If I want a more delicate look, I will use black Pigma pens with a thick tip.

I thought you might like to know!

Beth, MI
Last Edit: by BethMI.
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