The Search for the Perfect Fabric Marking Tool Continues…

by Kelsey Norwood

in Crafts,Quilting

Since I discovered that my second true love is quilting, I’ve been researching and trying all kinds of different products. Here are some of my favorites:

Silicone Spray

Spray and wipe off for a super slippery sewing table surface, which makes machine quilting so much easier! I got this stuff at Walmart and tested it on a scrap – so far I haven’t had any oily residue or any other problems, but I do worry…anyone know of a fabric safe silicone spray?

Repositionable Adhesive Spray

This is my favorite discovery of the year – basting a quilt with adhesive spray takes about 5 minutes. So fabulous…this Krylon kind isn’t specifically for fabric either so it does have a strong odor, but it’s super cheap and I haven’t noticed any adverse effects.

Finger Grips

Some kind of quilting gloves or grips are a must. I haven’t tried gloves yet, but I do like these little finger tip things. I only use them on my thumb and pointer finger and they’re easy to get on and off when I need to rethread a needle, etc. But I’m going to try gloves too (maybe grabaroos? anyone?) and see what I like better.

And marking tools. Since I discovered quilting stencils, I’m been searching for the perfect marking tool. I’ve tried these:

  1. Aerosol Chalk Spray (not pictured because I can’t find it anywhere!) – THUMBS DOWN
    1. pros – easy/quick to use
    2. cons – very messy, stinky, and one quilt would use at least an entire can, and doesn’t show up very well
  2. Trace’N Mark Extra Thick Water Eraseable Pen – THUMBS UP
    1. pros – easy to use, very visible and doesn’t rub off
    2. cons – expensive (around $8 a pen but it does last a long time…), time consuming, point just barely fine enough to fit within stencil
  3. Pounce Pad – THUMBS UP
    1. pros – inexpensive, can mark a whole quilt in no time
    2. cons – doesn’t always show up very well, chalk powder only comes in two colors

I still have to try these Frixion gel pens I’ve been reading about – that option seems really awesome except I’ve heard the ink runs out quickly. But there are tons of colors and the ink allegedly disappears with a little heat/friction. I could love it.

What’s your favorite marking tool? Or general quilting product? Spill it. I need to know.



1 Michelle October 17, 2011 at 8:48 pm

I actually really like the Hera marker, it’s like a funny shaped white bone-like thing that just puts a crease in your fabric. I used it when I was hand piecing, loved it.

2 Kelsey October 18, 2011 at 8:58 am

I’ll have to check that out – I want to try them all! Thanks Michelle!

3 Beth T. October 19, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Without a doubt, my favorite marking tool is the “miracle chalk marker”. It isn’t a “marker” like a felt tip pen type. It looks more like a sliver of soap, about the size of a book of matches. It can be sharpened by shaving the edges. The marked line stays put, and then disappears when you press an iron to it.

You can purchase them from the maker (just google “Miracle Chalk”), or from other online retailers, like Amazon or Joann’s.

Mine has finally run out and I’m waiting for a new one to arrive. Yesterday I had to use one of those yellow pencils instead, and it strengthened my love for the funny little chalk thingamajig.

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