To mark your quilt tops, choose from a variety of tools according to your fabric.

Many products are available for marking sewing lines and quilting designs on a quilt top. Useful supplies include fabric markers, templates, and pattern guides. Variances in fabric contrast (light to dark) and fabric quality make marking different for each project, and a variety of markers may be needed for a single project. Try markers on fabric scraps, and wash the test scraps as you will the quilt to be sure marks will wash out.

(from left to right)

  • Pounce: This is chalk in a bag. Pounce or pat the bag on a stencil, leaving a chalk design on the fabric. The chalk disappears easily, so mark as you go with a pounce.
  • Mechanical pencil: Use hard lead (0.5mm) and mark lightly so that stitching or quilting will cover it.
  • Artist's pencil: This silver pencil often works on both light and dark fabrics.
  • Soapstone marker: If kept sharp, these markers will show up on light and dark fabrics.
  • Soap sliver: Sharpen the edges of leftover soap for a marker that washes out easily.
  • Chalk pencil: The chalk tends to brush away, so it is best to mark as you go with these pencils.
  • Wash-out pen, pencil or graphite marker: These markers maintain a point and are easy to see. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions to remove the markings and test them first on the fabric scraps to make sure the marks will wash out. Note: Humidity may make the marks disappear, and applying heat to them may make them permanent.
  • Triangle tailor's chalk: This chalk tool makes free hand marking easy.
  • Chalk roller and chalk wheel: Powdered chalk in this wheel makes a simple, fine line.