Marking Pen Quilts

Marking Pen Quilts

I have a great email question hit my inbox this morning and thought I would share my answer here.

“What brand of assorted color selection of permanent marking pens & fine point black permanent marking pens did you use.  I need pens that do not bleed on quilting cotton, specifically a black pen.  I am want to do a Dalmatian Puppy Quilt and need to permanently colour the black spots on to a white quilting cotton.”

Memory Quilt Project

A Memory Quilt is a fantastic way to record special events, special dates, and special loves that are important to you. They are easy, and quick to create using permanent marking pens!

Memory Quilts can become a project for your entire family or friends by holding a Quilting Party.  Make up the large white squares with the pattern and doodle fills completed.   Then put the squares out of your table with a pack of assorted fine point pens so that everyone can add their own drawings, signatures, or little sayings.  After the event, simply finish the quilt, memorializing the event.

marking pen quilt

My Memory Quilt came about because my son ask me what the name of one of our past cats was … “the one that was marmalade colored with three white paws?”  That started the ‘how many pets have we had in our 42 years of marriage’ naming contest that evening.  The list became so long that I finally had to write the names down so that we didn’t miss any of our beloved friends and didn’t start repeating names.

(While you may know me as a pyrographer and wood carver, my neighbors know me as ‘that cat lady!’   But I plead not guilty as a cat hoarder as all of our friends through all of our marriage have been spayed, neutered, and had their regular vetting and pet vaccinations!  Besides, the biggest pride I ever had at one time was 21, as we somehow ended up with three stray Mommas that wandered onto the back porch, which, of course, came pregnant!!!  And THAT wasn’t my fault.)

So, in answer to the email question, I personally use Sharpies!  They come in both fine point and wide point with a nice variety of colors.  The pens are very reasonably priced and available just about everywhere.

This marking pen quilt is a new creation for the Great Book of Floral Patterns that is in the process of being revised – and which sadly appears to be currently out of print from the publisher.

The quilt is worked on 12 1/2″ white cotton squares.  I printed my patterns, from our Wood Flowers Circle pattern pack, onto regular computer paper.

marking pen quilt

Next, I taped the printed pattern to my light box and over the pattern positioned my quilt square.  The quilt square was also taped to my light box using blue or green painter’s tape, which does not damage the seam allowance of the fabric.  When I turned on my light box, the pattern was extremely clear and visible through the fabric so that I could easily trace the outlines of the pattern with a fine point black Sharpie.

And … as I just wanted this quilt to a fun project I used some of my pyrography fill and texture patterns to fill in each area of my design with the same marking pen.  See our project, Pyrography Doodles, for fill ideas or you may want our Pyrography Doodles pattern package that has over 300 texture and fill patterns, plus 29 pattern designs.

If your white cotton fabric is thin or heavily starched you may have some slight bleeding.  Generally, that bleeding is some minimal that it is not really noticeable once the entire quilt is finished.

When I had all of the large quilt squares completed, I set the marking pen with a hot steam iron.  Next, I used my assorted color pack of fine point Sharpies to write the names of all of our furry friends over the years onto the blank areas of each square.  Since I know that we will have new friends join our family in the coming years, I have plenty of space to add their names too!

Next, I cut 2 1/2″ squares from a series of black and white fabric to become my small quilt squares.  Right now my quilt is waiting for the batting, backing, and free motion quilt stitching.

marking pen quilts

T-shirts are wonderful for marking pens too!  This is an extra-large, 100% cotton t-shirt that has been colored using fine point Sharpies.  The pattern comes from our Celtic Dragons pattern pack.