Favorite tools: markless marking

posted in: Tools | 3

Wooden toolsIn most cases, I avoid marking quilting lines on my quilt tops. I’m basically lazy, and I don’t like trying to remove pencil marks after I’m done quilting. I’m suspicious of those disappearing markers, so I don’t use those either. I’m sure there must be some that work well, but I’ve heard too many horror stories. As a result, I love any method that will let me skip the mark removal step.

I have these two wooden tools that I keep next to my sewing machine. The top one is a wooden Hera Marker. I’m not sure what the bottom tool was called or what it was supposed to be used for. Maybe it is a wooden stiletto or one of those tools meant to press open seams. In any case, I can’t find either of them on the internet. Clover manufactures plastic versions similar to them, however, and they seem readily available.

Marking quilt topOne way I like to use the bottom stiletto-like tool is for marking quilt tops. Once the top is layered over the batting and backing, you can mark guidelines that you don’t need to work at removing later. The tool leaves a crease that disappears with a simple spritz of water. I like to use it when I plan on quilting random, semi-parallel lines. In times line those, I just want simple cues to make sure all the lines stay generally parallel, and don’t begin to slant in one direction. I haven’t tried using my wooden tool when I want to mark intricate patterns.

Hera marks I was happy that the creases remained easily visible even when I got to the very last corner.

Freezer paper guidesSometimes I’ll cut simple shapes from freezer paper, which I can then iron onto the quilt top. Then I can just quilt around the outer edge of the freezer paper. It’s another easy way to transfer a shape to a quilt top without leaving marks.

3 Responses

  1. Lisa

    Hi Maria

    I love your idea for using the stiletto for marking quilting lines and plan on giving it a try later today. Just fyi – the plastic hera lines are permanent and don’t wash out.

    • Maria

      I’ve never used a plastic hera, so I didn’t know they wouldn’t wash out. I wonder why? Is the plastic edge sharper?

  2. jodi meenan

    Good to be suspicious of those disappearing markers! I used one once and it would not STAY disappeared, it kept reappearing till I thought I was losing it!!! Very frustrating!