A blog land friend, Yvonne, emailed me with a great question. She is not happy with what she is using to trace her embroidery patterns onto fabric and from the sound of it, putting out good money "trying" different things to get a satisfactory end result.
Pigma Micron Ink Pens
I like Micron Pigma Archival Ink Pens.
Micro Pigment Ink for waterproof and fade proof lines.
They come in many different colours.
I like the 005 size. (That is the size of nib/tip of the pen.)
Many stitchers find size 01 (which is a bit thicker) just fine.
You can find the pens at your local art supply store and/or your local quilt shop. I have known people who have tried unsuccessfully to find them at their local fabric chain store and then travel on to a chain craft store only to find they did not carry them either.
If you can afford only one, brown is your colour.
If you can afford two and you do redwork, yup, you guessed it - red.
Gelly Roll Pens - Fine
I like them as long as they have a fine tip and they are permanent ink.
They come in assorted colours also. Follow the above suggestions.
Tips for when you are using the pens -
Light touch is best.
Never use a Sharpie as the ink just spreads on the fabric.
For long lines, you do not have to make a long hard line, try light dashes. However, you do have to remember that is what you did. Perhaps make a pencil note on your master paper pattern to juggle your mind when you get to doing your stitching.
To mark stitches like french knots, cross stitches and lazy daisy leafs when your are tracing onto your fabric, make a tiny or small dot.
Be sure not to hold your pen tip down on the fabric for long in one spot.
Freezer paper ironed onto the back of the fabric before you trace your pattern will stabilize the fabric if the fabric is a loose weave, ie., some linens. Now having said that sometimes with wiggly type fabrics I tape the fabric down with masking tape over the pattern and hold the fabric firm with my other hand in the area that I am tracing. I am afraid, on some fabrics, that the little bit of wax that might be left on the surface will not let the Pellon stabilizer fully adhere to the fabric. Yet, that is just me. With todays good quality quilting fabrics I do not use the freezer paper on the back of the fabric.
A friend, Pat, the one pictured in the STABLE post, is taking my class, and told us that she puts her pens in a plastic bag because it keeps them from drying out. Another friend, Marie and her canine buddies, who dropped by last night, said she keeps fabric ink pens in a plastic bag and keeps the bag in the bottom of her refrigerator. Guess where my pens are now. I suppose I should put my markers for scrap booking in the refrigerator too. Now the trick is to make room in the refrigerator, but for sure the Pigma pens are in the refrigerator now. It just makes sense.
Karisma Fabric Retractable Pencil
It is not your regular everyday pencil lead that is known to smug and not erase away fully.
It is a fabric pencil lead made in Japan, and comes in white, yellow and lead colour.
I use it when I want to mark (lightly) on my quilt tops and be able to erase the marks away. Yup, it really does erase away.
It works well for those who do not have a steady hand when tracing embroidery patterns and are making "mistakes" when using the Pigma or Gelly Roll pens.
Keep the lines light and thin.
Sewline Fabric Pencil
Same information as the Karisma Pencil.
Ink Jet Printer
That is a whole other process that I will blog about another time. I just wanted you to know that you can do it on some fabrics, with not too bad results.
I apoligize the pictures are all at the top of the page as I am still wrestling with their placement.
Please let me know if you find "My Two Cents Worth" helpful.
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