Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer's End...

With Labor Day weekend here, I think it's officially the end of Summer. I may get started on the machine quilting of this, then again I may kick back and relax for the last few days of Summer.I've been teaching basic quilting for years and since September means back to school, I'll be sharing some of the techniques that I use this month. Every Tuesday in September will be Quilting School here:
September 6 - Borders That Don't Wave
September 13 - Rotary Rules
September 20 - The Perfect Quarter Inch
September 27 - Fearless Free Motion Quilting
Hope you'll join me!

I mentioned these Pilot Frixion pens a month or so ago. Since then I've learned a bit more about them. You'll find a discussion board here. Seems the markings come back when frozen. So I decided to do a little experiment.
Here are 2 pieces of white cotton marked with every color in the set.
One piece was ironed and the markings disappeared immediately. The second piece was hand washed. The markings faded but are still lightly visible.
Then I put both pieces in the freezer. The markings on the ironed piece returned clearly. The washed piece was fainter, but the markings were visible.
My conclusion - use these cautiously! Most people don't freeze their quilts, but obviously the chemical from the ink is still in the fabric.

If only I could invent the perfect marking pen. I'd be set for life!!!
Have a great weekend!


  1. Kathryn

    I work at a quilt store and we've been told by customers these pens leave a white mark on batiks when hit with a hot iron. Not bright white but faint. I, too thought these were the answer to all my marking needs...darn it they aren't perfect. I promise to never freeze my quilts!

    I so enjoy your blog.

  2. Sooooo, what if they are ironed and then washed? If frozen after that will the markings return??
    I bought a set of these while on vacation this summer. The gal at the store had NO IDEA the ink disappeared until I told her. She got out some fabric and we gave it a try! Of course we did not freeze the sample. :S
    I also wish that they made WHITE to include in the set. I just could not decide which of those colors would do a person any good on a DARK fabric.
    Lovely quilt!

  3. I used one to mark 2 stitchery patterns on fabric and then ironed on stabiliser to the back knowing that it would disappear when I ironed but that I could then freeze it to make them come back. Well one bit of stabiliser got a crease so I pulled it off and ironed it back on, but the extra ironing must have done something to the ink because that one didn't come back even after a few days in the freezer :(

  4. The idea of someone freezing a quilt is making me laugh.

  5. Love the quilt you are getting ready to quilt, so bright and fresh looking. I will look for your quilting classes at the sites you mentioned. I am sure they will be good. Thank you for the discussion on the Frixion pens. They do well on paper.

    Have a super great sewing and stitching day.

  6. Love a good quilting experiment! Thanks for sharing your data! ;)

  7. I just LOVE the quilt you're making! I have a tiny picture of a quilt like that, rippet out from a magazine. Do you have a tip for me to share so I can find the pattern? I've been looking for it for a long time.
    Cannot wait to see how you're going to quilt it. It will be a beautiful quilt!
    happy weekend,

  8. I have to smile...I just recently bought and tested these pens just as you did and had the same results. I even tried washing them out first then ironing and then putting them in the freezer and the marks still came back...faintly, but they were still there. I'm not sure I'll be using these pens for anything more than sudoku! :o)

  9. I live in Alaska. Trust me, if you are trying to stay warm with a quilt at 14 degrees you are probably just about to die from hypothermia. I don't freeze my quilts. If your quilts are at 14 degrees, you have more important things to worry about than marks coming back, like your furnace broke! N


Thanks so much for taking time to comment!