Thanks to those of you who encouraged me to free-hand quilting designs, in
response to my post about what a hassle templates were, I had good luck
tonight. I was thumbing through a book of quilting patterns looking for
something I might like to hand-quilt on each block of a project I'm piecing
right now, and found one I though would be perfect, but it was too small for
my 12" blocks. So I got a dinner plate, a cereal bowl, and a drinking glass
to measure out the concentric circles, then used a straight-edge for the
wheel-spokes between the inner and middle circles, and freehanded the
feathers between the middle and outer circles. No problem! I can do this
repeatedly with a graphite pencil or chalk on the quilt sandwich, no
It was fun. Just wanted to share.
Atta girl, EP. Quilting is supposed to be fun. However ... did you feel
that coming? I'm wondering if the handquilters here are going to let you
use a graphite pencil. If they're all on Halloween candy sugar high and
unable to respond, for goodness sake test and be sure that the graphite will
wash out. There's a strange recipe of alcohol, detergent and something that
includes brushing with a toothbrush to remove graphite marks but you might
want an easier way. Only fair to add that I don't know what I'm talking
about - I've just seen the discussions. Polly
"Edna Pearl" Thanks to those of you who encouraged me to free-hand
quilting designs, in > response to my post about what a hassle templates
were, I had good luck
Believe me, Polly -- after my recent experience with a yellow fabric marker,
I'll be testing that graphite fabric marker on a scrap of this calico
But surely I don't have to test chalk . . . .
I've had happy results with the children's just plain old water soluble
Crayola felt pens. Don't know what would happen if they were left in very
long or exposed to much sunshine or baked in a car. For 'briefly', they are
While you were using the china, I was using the lid to a butter tub to
make a perfect circle for the base of a flower girl basket. When you get
really creative, you might add pickle jar lids and the top to a can of spray
starch. Good circles just all over the place. =) Polly
Have you tried those blue water soluble pens? Or even just crayola
washable marker? You do have to be careful you don't get an iron or the
sun near your quilt top and the water soluble ones have been known to
reappear if the quilt isn't washed with soap/detergent, but I've found
that pens make marking a quilting design a lot quicker and easier than
chalk or pencil. I do exactly what you did, it's impossible to own a
circular feather template (or any other shape for that matter) in every
size you might possibly need, so I'll use any circular object that I
have on hand and if nothing seems to be the right size, I'll resort to a
pair of compasses and cutting my own template out of card and trace
round that. A while back I also went to an art store and bought a
template that had circles from tiny to about 2 inches in increments of
1/8 inch, which is useful for all sorts of things.
A correction to Anne's post- do NOT use any type of soap or detergent to
remove a water soluble marker! The marks must be removed with lots of cool,
clear water. The soap/detergent could set the water soluble marker and make
the marks permanent. The best way is to run the finished quilt thru a
washer cycle with only cool water for the wash and rinse cycles. Then it
can be washed with a soap/detergent. The Crayola washable markers aren't
fussy- just wash and you're ready to go.
Sounds like you are making great strides in your quilting! Good on you!
Leslie & The Furbabies in MO.
On Nov 3, 11:05=A0pm, "Edna Pearl"
I use both graphite and chalk pencils to mark all of my quilts. Never
a problem but I always wash in the machine w/detergent. I'm currently
using a plain old #2 mechanical pencil but I've used the graphite one
that comes with the changeable chalk pencils that Joanns sells as well
with good results on both. One note of caution, the graphite one that
Joanns sells is smudges A LOT on the templates and your hands - hence
the reason I switched to the regular mechanical pencil. But the
markings from the graphite one come out of the quilt very easily when
washed. I also like the chalk changeable markers sold at Joanns.
They are great when the mechanical pencil just won't show on the
fabric. I have learned to only mark the section I'm working on at the
time, though. The chalk wears off otherwise with all the moving and
twisting of the quilt. Then again, I've only worked on queen and king
sized bed quilts. I think the chalk would last the length of time it
takes to hand quilt something that size if not for all the movement.
So if you're working on a frame it might be a different matter to mark
the entire quilt. I think I've tried every marking tool on the market
and these are my favorites. And just my 2 cents - Roxanne #12 needles
and Thimblelady stainless steel open end thimble are the best needles
and thimbles for hand quilting. Again, tried lots of others and these
are the best for me. Give them a try if you have the opportunity.
Kim in NJ
Good for you! I frequently do feather wreaths just drawing 2
concentric circles: the larger one is the "spine" of the feathers, the
smaller shows how wide to make the inner feathers. The outer feathers
fill up the space in the block (so the wreath looks a bit square, even
though it's a circle.) Then I just let them happen without worrying
exactly how many loops to make.
Roberta in D
I fully admit to being a quilting heretic, and this note is about
using graphite pencils to mark quilts. I do it all the time and have
NEVER had any problem with it not washing out! I use an ordinary No.
2 pencil, nicely sharp, and mark lightly. When the quilt is finished
I toss it into a large washing machine, gentle cycle, cold water, and
use regular laundry detergent. Thin lines marked lightly seems to be
the key, and if you make a mistake do NOT try to remove the stray mark
with an eraser, since that will scrub the graphite into the fibers!
Ignor them, and they will wash out later. As to using pencil only
where it won't show much, I should add that I use pencil on white
fabric, too, and just finished my 4th whole-cloth quilt, and the
pencil came out completely.
In article ,
I've only used a regular mechanical pencil to mark a quilt one time.
That was enough for me. Nothing I did got those lines out, even though
I'd used a light hand with the marking. I washed. I used that "strange
recipe" (can't remember exactly what it was, except that it did have
alcohol and Palmolive dish soap). I even resorted to a fabric eraser. No
luck at all. Now I use the water-soluble blue pens or the Bohin markers
(wonderful things! I love them.).
Good catch about the graphite. I used it a long time ago. It is so
accurate for quilt marking that it still entices me. That said, it
washed out of only about 95% of the fabrics in the scrappy quilt on
which I used it. :-(
Michelle in Nevada
oops, I'd somehow managed to miss the two stage requirement, just
checked what Diane Gaudynski has to say on the matter and she confirms
what you said, I'm just hoping now that I've not done this to any quilts!
I have heard that you do need to be sure to do that 2nd stage of washing
with soap as water only makes the colour change to invisible which might
be reversed under certain conditions like a wallhanging with sun on it.
The only reason for me to use the blue water soluble ones over the
crayola ones is that if I make a mistake in marking I can just wet a
small area, let it dry and remark.
I'm amazed, as one of the problems I've had with this method is that the
graphite transfers on to the thread and it ends up looking like it's
been quilted in grey thread!
Do you starch your fabric before marking?
Dang, EP! You need to post some pictures of all these creations!!
I'm still determined to finish my ongoing 3 projects but I have promised my
quilting friend I will be ready for some basic beginner instructions come
Feb when I see her again.
However, I found myself thinking about trying to copy these Pottery Barn
"gift" pillow shams. What a lovely next years Christmas gift they would
With hope and heart,
Kathleen, back to lurking because I *refuse* to get too interested just yet!
lol -- Polly, meet Kathleen, a dear friend of mind who has quilted in the
past and is trying to finish some UFOs of other arts before she gets back to
quilting. Kathleen, Polly is guaranteed to crack you up and is an expert