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Marking Tools

Marking Tools are meant to transfer notations or designs for use while quilting or sewing. There are many reasons quilters and sewists use marking tools; marking where two pieces should meet, marking a quilt design on a quilt top, tracing a pattern onto fabric, just to name just a few. You may want permanent or temporary markings. The first and most important thing to remember about marking tools is ALWAYS TEST YOUR MARKER BEFORE BEGINNING! This cannot be stressed enough! Choose your marking tool based on what you need marked, the fabric to be marked and how the markings will be used. Permanent markers are available for tracing designs or patterns onto fabric, but always consider the intended purpose of the quilt and how it will be used. There are many types of temporary markers, air or water erase, heat erase, soap, chalk in various forms, wax, gelly roll pens, ceramic and graphite pencils.  In addition, the quilt top or block can have tailor tack stitching and Hera markers that make temporary crease lines and painters tape or thin masking tape that can be quilted on either or each side.

Each of these markers have their pros and cons. For instance air erasable markers often disappear in humid weather. Water soluble markers, if used for quilt designs, may also go through the fabric and mark the batting, so it may take several washings to remove. Some colorful temporary markers can stain threads that pass through the lines or leave a faint "shadow".  Quilting Designs may be marked with loose chalk powder, using a perforated paper or plastic template and a pouncer.  All hope is not lost - there are many, many choices and you're sure to find one to suit your needs. Just remember the most important rule, ALWAYS TEST YOUR MARKER BEFORE BEGINNING TO BE SURE IT CAN BE REMOVED and you should be fine. Using tape for marking straight quilting lines is also effective. 

Benefits of Marking Tools

  • Marking Tools are good for marking y-seam or inset seam stopping points or where curved seams should meet.
  • Marking Tools can be used for marking quilt designs on a quilt top for hand or machine quilting.
  • Marking Tools can show placement for applique or embroidery designs.

Tools and Supplies of Marking Tools

  • Organization and Storage containers as needed.  Most markers need to be stored with caps on and lying flat
  • Chalk markers should be secured and covered to keep any loose powder in place.
What I Wish I Knew When I Started using Marking Tools
  • Don't always believe the hype on a new MARKING TOOLS
  • The remember the first rule of marking tools
  • Always test the marking tool on the same fabric as your project.

Marking Tools Resources