Thursday, 3 May 2012

Vanishing quilt markers

I've been meaning to try the vanishing markers (sometimes known as air erasable, though they don't actually need erasing; they simply vanish of their own accord) for a while. I picked one up when I saw it a few weeks ago, and have been using it to mark the structural lines for the fiddly quilting I'm doing at the moment. It's a 'Hemline' branded marker and I've not been overly impressed with it - it takes lots of back-and-forth to get a half decent mark. It's more brown than purple, and is hard to see on mid colours. The first marks I made (about 8 days ago) are definitely faded in places, but still quite evident elsewhere, which I'm a little concerned about. I won't use it again, and will throw out the pen.
(minutes after marking with the Sewline vanishing marker)

Knowing I still had plenty of marking, and suspecting I could run out, I stopped at my LQS for more on my way home from work on Monday. I'd been hoping for a different brand, and they had Sewline ones in stock, so I got 2. These are extremely different. The ink glides on smoothly and evenly in a single stroke, leaving a scarily dark purple line, which was easy to see even on the darker teal fabric. But this stuff almost fades before the eyes! I woudn't recommend marking more than you can quilt in about half an hour - giving yourself some leeway for interruptions etc. I did a bit of a test; marking a few lines at about 3am, just before I went to bed this morning. I took some photos immediately (above). For comparison, I took more photos after collecting James and Eleanor from school and having crumpets for afternoon tea (below).

(about 13 hours after marking with the Sewline vanishing marker)

This (above) was taken about 13 hours after marking. The lines have totally and utterly vanished! I'd been warned about the effects of sunlight, so as soon as the lines were marked, I folded the quilt over itself a couple of times, and none of the quilt would have received direct sun through the day, although it was near a window.

I remarked this afternoon, and the next photo shows the Sewline after about an hour, already starting to fade considerably (edit: still useable on the light, but I had to remark the dark areas):

(about 1 hour after remarking with the Sewline vanishing marker)

The verdict so far - I won't bother with the Hemline again - it's a pain getting the marks on, and they haven't faded as I'd hoped. I will use the Sewline markers again though - but take care to only mark very small amounts at a time! Next up I want to try the Collins markers. They are what Judi of Green Fairy Quilts uses, so I figure they must be pretty good.

By the way, this is not a sponsored post. I bought the pens myself and am simply sharing my experiences. Of course, if anyone wants to send me some free markers, I won't object!

As for the actual quilting - it's plodding along. I won't mind if I never quilt that filigree pattern again though! Now, I'd better go and quilt that last bit before those lines vanish again!


shannon said...

i too, rely on the SewLine markers. but a word of caution- the lines from the air solvable one sometimes will not remove from the paint on white on white type prints.

Margaret said...

I have read that Judi uses these and can only think "WHY??" They are awful, and have the worst reputation for not coming out completely, or coming back and appearing browinsh, even after a washing. She's going to bet bitten badly with this type of marker, and so will you. The water eraseable are better. Even better are Marvy eraseable or the Frixion pens that go away with steam. JMHO.

Laura said...

have you tried frixion? $3 in woolies and iron out... apparently the marks come back in cold weather so do some testing b4 marking one of your beautiful quilts

Esther said...

Marking is always such a decision. I really like the sewline vanishing pen, try to steer clear of the water soluble, and only use with customer permission, and have heard about the frixion marks re-appearing, one story of a show quilt, shipped through a cold route, to be opened up at the show and have marks showing. Do the frixion marks wash out?