Wow…I have been away from posting for a long time. I am still here quilting . I am almost half way done with the baskets quilt.
Click pictures to enlarge
Teddy is a big help! he says Hi
I will post progress soon!
I am often asked what I use to mark the quilt top for hand quilting. The answer is it depends.
As you can see I have several in my sewing box…the middle slot
First let me say that every quilt and quilter is different and may have different results. The best teacher is personal experience.
Light colored fabrics are easy to mark. For those my preference is a blue wash away pen.
These pens are easy to wash out when the quilting is done. The instructions will tell you to mist with cool water or rub with a damp cloth to remove the ink. I put the entire quilt in the washing machine on the cold water and use the rinse cycle…after that you can wash as desired but you need to be sure all of the ink has been washed out. Even if it is not visible to you it still could come back because some of the ink will have migrated into the batting.
The other caution with these pens is that heat will set the ink. Do not put a marked quilt in a hot car, do not keep your quilt frame over the heat vent, do not iron anything that is marked.
I used a blue water-soluble pen on my Tree of life quilt
and it all washed out
The pens come in regular and fine point. I prefer the regular. I find the fine point catches on the fabric and makes for a less smooth line.
There is another marker that looks the same (but usually with purple ink) but is not at all the same. These are the air erasing pens. The ink reacts with air and fades away to nothing in a few hours….however the ink is still there only the pigment has become invisible. They still need to be rinsed in cool water before washing . I do not like them at all and do not use them …hours of marking a quilt top disappearing over night is very upsetting. If you can mark only a small area of your quilt (an area you can finish in 2 hours or less) and then mark the next area and quilt in a few hours and so on, the will work. All the rinse /wash/no heat rules apply to these as well.
These pens have been around for 40 years and if used correctly they will wash out.
For darker fabric they have pens with white ink. The ink takes a while for it to show up (under a minute usually), it goes on clear and dries white. Same wash out as for the blue ink.
For dark fabrics I like to use my Fons and Porter mechanical pencil…The lead also comes in black.
My only problem is that the markings rub off easily so you may find yourself re marking often.
I used one on this quilt
I also like the Sewline mechanical pencil.
There are lost of marking pencils
I find that these do NOT wash out. The yellow is the most stubborn to get out.
I used pink and blue (depending on the color of the fabric) on this one and after three washes, the last with Oxi Clean, I can still see the marks
But it doesn’t show in the pictures so I can live with it
Prismacolor pencils (you might need to go to an art store) wash out nicely and come in many colors
I like inexpensive #2 mechanical pencils.
These will wash out if you use a light touch when marking. If you press to hard you might need to wash twice. I marked this quilt with one of these pencils
when I can see the markings Pencil is my first choice, If I have mixed fabrics I often use a pencil on the light and a white or pink mechanical pencil on the dark.
One last note on marking. Most of the quilt stores are now selling Frixion pens.
The way these work is by heat. If you write on paper with them and then want to erase the ink you use the eraser and it causes friction..the friction causes heat and the heat causes the ink to become invisible. The ink is still there….If you put in the freezer for a few minutes the color returns to the ink.
Someone decided to try it on a quilt. do the marking with the pen..then quilt…then remove the markings by heating with an iron.
The problem here is that the ink is still there…It doesn’t wash out it is always there. We do not know what will happen to the fabric over time. Will it begin to re-appear? Will it begin to erode the fabric? Don’t take the quilt someplace very cold or the ink will re-appear.
I have not used them on a quilt myself but I have done some test swatches on fabric and I do see the ink returning….
My advice on Frixion is to not take the risk…they have not been tested long enough to now what will happen.
So for me I use a combination on most quilts…and as much as I can I try to not mark at all and do more free hand quilting.
What ever marker you choose have fun!
I have been working on hand quilting the Fruit Basket Quilt, I am getting close to the 1/2 way point. Don’t be afraid of the wrinkles….I have pin basted it, but with very few pins and it smooths out fin when I get it in the hoop. here are some pictures of the progress front and back…..and Teddy was feeling like having his picture takes so jumped right in to pose (click pictures to enlarge)
I am working on a post about marking pens and pencils for hand quilting that will be posted soon
The vintage Fruit Basket quilt is progressing.
Here is a picture of the back
As you can see the fans are not perfectly even….that is my intention. I’m going for less formal look. I can do much more elaborate and more uniform quilting, But that didn’t seem to fit here.
My hand quilted Tree of Life will be exhibited at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum from Jan 31 – April 29
Just in case you haven’t seen it yet here is a picture
I started the quilting on the fruit basket quilt. I used unbleached muslin for the backing fabric and Hobb’s Tuscany Wool batting.
Each basket block has 37 pieces so there are a lot of seams to quilt through! It is harder to quilt through seams because of the additional layers of fabric. It is easier for me to sew through all those seams with a larger needle. I am using a #9 between needle and thick thread and larger stitches. The wool batting is providing a nice loft and the fan design shows up very well.
Click Picture to enlarge
Lots of quilting to go , but so far I like it!
Ever Since I finished the quilt I have been thinking about quilting this one in the same way.
posted about the top earlier http://timquilts.com/2012/11/17/crazy-baskets/
The Pattern has Many Names
Basket of Triangles, Fruit Basket, May Basket Design, The Basket Quilt, The Broken Sugar Bowl, and I’m Sure many more, But I am using Fruit Basket.
The border is all I am fixing. The individual blocks are all a bit off in uniformity but I can live with that. When the maker applied the border fabric she cut long strips (longer than need) and hand stitched them on without pinning. The result of doing it the way is that the fabric stretches as you go and you actually use up more fabric then needed and cause puckers…in the case almost pleats.
I took of the borders and pressed, and pressed the center then pinned on the borders carefully keeping a straight line with the border. the outside edges of the quilt were not straight so the border will be used to fix that.
once I had a side pinned I sewed it and trimmed of the excess top fabric and the extra length of border fabric. Here is what I cut off
Now it is flat and ready to mark for Baptist fans. I am using a 14″ hoop to mark the outside arc of the fans, and when I do the quilting I will eyeball the rest, quilting from the outside arc in.
When I start a new quilt with a vintage top I think about many things. I have to make a decision about how much I want to re-make it. There are quilts that I have totally taken apart and re made. Sometimes that is needed to make them flat and quiltable or to make them stronger by replacing worn fabrics. Sometimes I simply quilt as they are and retain the original look. In the quilt I had to decide whether or not to re-orient some blocks. If you look at the 3 blocks in the lower left edge you can see that they are upside down
I decided to leave this one as the original maker did it. I think the mistake adds to the charm.
Teddy thinks it time for a play break….when one ear goes up I can see it time for some attention