Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chalk Pencils / Markers

Wow, I’ve really been ignoring my blog and I’m going to make an attempt to correct my ways.  I’m back! 
Did everyone have a wonderful Christmas?  I sure did!
So, I just received an email with a question about chalk markers and which ones are the best to use. 

I use chalk markers quite a lot.  It helps to keep my embroidery stitches straight.  For some reason, and I’ve tried and tried, but I just can’t stitch straight lines without a drawn line to stitch on.  Even if it’s a short 1-2 inch straight line, I can’t stitch straight!
So my chalk marker is my like a best friend and I always keep it handy.

A Good Tip!  Removing white chalk from your wool…..
First of all, when marking your wool with chalk, mark LIGHTLY.
This way the chalk stays on the surface and is not embedded in the wool.
After stitching along the white chalk line, I lightly brush the white chalk off with my fingers and then give the wool a good shake.  Most times, this removes all residue of chalk.  If there is still visible signs of chalk lines, simply take a scrap of wool which is the same color and lightly rub along the line of chalk.  Then give the wool a good shake.  This should take it out completely.

Now, I do have to say that the two markers that I’m going to show are my own personal preferences.  I’m happy with both of these so I’ve never tried any others. If you have a marker that you love to use, share it with us in the comments.
Both of these were purchased long ago from my local quilt shop.  Your local quilt shop probably carries nifty little notions and gadgets. The helpful staff  loves to give suggestions and help to find you exactly what you need.
The first one is the one that I use the most. 
CIMG0813 This pencil comes as a set which includes a sharpener and lots of chalk sticks.  The chalk holder holds one long chalk stick.  When the yellow button at the top is depressed, it releases the chalk to lower it as the chalk wears down. I’ve used this for years and I’ve only used two white chalk sticks so far.  I never use the colored chalk, just the white. 

And just a word of warning:  I never use colored chalk because it tends to stain the wool and can be very difficult to remove from the fabric.
The white chalk, if used lightly will always either brush off or can be rubbed off, leaving no signs of marking.   More on that later …

The other marker that I use is this one:
CIMG0816 This one hold powdered chalk and has a little metal wheel for drawing the line.  It makes a cute clicking sound as it’s rolled across the fabric and my grandson used to love to draw on fabric ..and his arm and face and legs with it. 
Extra powder can be found at quilt shops or at Joann’s and it’s easy to fill.  This marker makes a real fine line and sometimes it’s too fine of a line to use on thick wool which is why I mostly use the other marker instead.  I used this one all the time when I quilted with cotton fabric.  This can be purchased with yellow chalk, but again, I always use white chalk in it so that it won’t stain my wool.

I just now did a search on Joann fabrics website and see that both of these are available on their website.  I believe I’ve seen them in the stores too so next time you’re there, look in the quilting section for the rack of quilting notions.
Click on the link to go to the website: --->>Chalk Pencil at Joann’s

Click on the link to go to the website:--->>Chalk Marker at Joann’s

Another word of warning about colored chalk:  If you’re tempted to use colored chalk for marking your cotton fabric or for wool, do a test sample first.  In all of my experience, the colored chalk never comes out completely, no matter what I do to try to remove it.
I don’t even take a chance anymore.  If I have white wool, I’d rather draw lightly with pencil to mark it rather than use colored chalk.  The pencil line is easily covered over with the thread whereas the chalk colors tends to spread/bleed outside of the thread line. 

Ok!  That’s it for today.  I know some of you ladies have favorite chalk markers that you use.  Share your favorites in the comment section so that we can help those who are chalkless!

Also, my website has lots of other helpful tips for working with wool …just click HERE to find the list on my website.

Happy Day!