Marking tools

I need your help to find a better “marking tool”.

I am in the process of trying to get out the “chalk” from a Clover CHACO LINER marking tool. I choose the yellow one, as it would stand out on the white fabric.  Oh, boy, does it stand out….It won’t wipe off (other than all over my walking foot), it won’t rub off with a damp cloth, and now, it has been sprayed with oxy clean stain spray and All laundry soap, and rinsed….. and it still won’t come out.  Going to back to the tub in the utility sink with Dawn dish soap.  How annoying.  The packaging gives “little” information for removal other than “test on your fabric”.

When you “google” the problem, you get lots of interesting answers…..the best was here – Removing marks  – There seem to be 2 schools of thoughts for “getting the chalk out”….use a water / white vinegar mix or SHOUT spray & wash product.  If my “dawn detergent” doesn’t do the job, then that is my next idea.

I’ve tried the silver pencil (last year’s Christmas cushion covers) and that was a mess.  So; what do you use, and what kind of success have you had???

I hate the idea of “messing up” my quilt by having leftover quilt markings on the project.


7 thoughts on “Marking tools

  1. I use two kinds of marking tools, one is the water eraseable blue pen, recommended by Jamie Wallen an award winning quilter. It removes with water, and even better with Sew Clean mixed with water. You might try the Sew Clean, but I don’t know how it does on chalk. For larger designs with stencils, I use pounce chalk. Most of the time it just brushes off, and any residue left disappears completely with ironing.

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  2. I like the the Pilot Frixion pens that just iron off of light colors very nicely. BUT note that they leave a permanent white mark on darks! When using stencils, I use the “pounce” system (google it) and then BRUSH the chalk off–never wet it. I’ve had good luck with both the purple and blue air-erase and water-erase markers. But my favorite solution is no-mark quilt designs. Good luck!

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    • Oh thank you! I have the pounce, pink blue and white but golly it is a disappointment. The chalk is either rubbing off as the +uilt gets moved around or bouncing in the air as the needle gets near it. I wonder how much gets into the bobbin case. I will try the frixion pens. I have the blue water erase pen. That is what I should have used for this situation.


  3. If you’re doing something simple like cross-hatching use a Hera marker which is just a little white tool that you make a crease line in the fabric that you can easily follow with your machine. Or you can use a butter knife to do the same thing as long as you make sure it doesn’t have any roughness on it. For more complicated designs you can trace them on tracing paper pin the paper to your block and follow along the lines. You can stack a bunch of them and prestitch them first if you’re doing a lot. Personally I have trouble seeing the stitching marks when I do that. Be sure NOT to use pencil to mark since it rubs off on the thread, and any ink you use, make sure it is totally dry. I use the frixion pens to mark tracing paper because it can always be ironed off. I am always afraid of not being able to get marks off. In the past I’ve used the air erasable pens and have pretty good luck with them, although sometimes they take a while to disappear.

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  4. We had Sharon Schamber at our quilt show lecture a couple of years ago, She said to starch your fabric several times front and back before you use the Frixion pen. I think she says to starch front and back a total of 7 times. The way I understand it is the starch is supposed to keep the ink from imbedding in the fiber. Like every other marking instrument, the weasel words are test first. That said, I don’t generally mark my quilts.


    • I love to hear what the “pro’s” say! The starch is an interesting concept. I am a heavy starch-er when it comes to piece work, especially when working with anything that will have bias. (I’m a pre-washer, so there is always the post wash starch, iron, starch and iron some more before cutting). Thanks for sharing the advice from Sharon! Thanks for taking time to comment too!


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