I guess I am a bit of a researcher at heart. In my last post I expressed concern about how the heat erasable Frixion pens will “bloom” back when the quilt gets cold. I also was perplexed as to why my quilted lines were wobbly on my practice piece.
I received the following comment from Carol Cann, a talented Canadian quilter I met in my class with Diane Gaudynski in Paducah:
“…for those of us who live in a northern/cold climate, a quilt could get cold if put in a trunk and driven to a quilting event. There is also concern if a quilt is shipped to a quilting event during the colder months, not sure if postal trucks are heated in the cargo area. Some of the ladies in Canada who send their quilts to shows are concerned the pen marks may come back when shipped and possibly exposed to cold. That would be pretty embarrassing to be accepted into a show and then have the quilt turn up with all the marks “blooming” back onto the quilt.”
Wow, excellent point. Note too that the marks do disappear again upon warming.
It was also suggested that if you washed the piece, the marks would not bloom back. I HAD to test this. I did my own little Consumer Reports testing of that premise and found that yes indeed, if you wash the quilt, the markings will NOT bloom back anymore at all.
I do love the way the Frixion pens mark easily with a thin, very visible line-better than any other marking method. If I was going to wash my piece and if the pen did not leave marks on the project I was working, then the Frixion pens would be my go-to marking method.
- Frixion pens do “bloom” back and show marks if subjected to cold temps.
- Frixion pens leave a bleached looking mark on some fabrics. If you hit your marked line with stitching it won’t matter, but, if you change your mind or don’t hit your lines, you may see bleached looking marks all over your quilt.
- If you wash the quilt, the markings will not bloom back in the cold.
- BUT, if I was going to wash it, wouldn’t I have just used the blue wash out markers instead????
Marking is fraught with peril-there is no foolproof marker/method for marking your quilts, even ones you wash. I have a quilt on which I used the blue wash out marker-it left brown lines. I did everything correct in the use of the marker and the treatment of the quilt. Inexplicably, I have some staining. If you use a method that removes easily and is virtually guaranteed to not leave a mark-those marks sometimes leave before you’re done quilting! Other methods are just difficult to see and quilt.
That is why I prefer to work almost exclusively free hand, no stencils-rarely do I mark.
Also, I discovered that my wobbly lines were NOT a machine issue, but a fabric issue. The fabric I used here was a somewhat coarse cotton with a low thread count. As a result, when my needle hit one of those big ole fat threads, it would have to go left or right of that thread, thus creating the wobble. Shirley Hendrickson, The One Of Great Knowledge at Shared Stitches pointed that out to me.
This is a great case for using high quality fabrics-always!