My supplies to mark this quilt were cardboard circle templates and Prismacolor pencils. I tried three different colors that were slightly contrasting to the fabrics in the quilt but dark enough that I could see the color.
I didn't know if the marks would wash out so I wanted a color that I could live with if they didn't.
You can see in the photos below how the marks looked on the fabrics. (Click the photos to enlarge them. They'll open in a new window and you'll be able to click again to see them even larger.)
The marks were harder to see after I'd quilted over them. I wondered if they would wash out. I could live with the quilt if they didn't but I hoped they would come out.
After the first wash and dry there were only the slightest traces of colored pencil on a few of the blocks. I wasn't worried about them because they didn't stand out or distract from the quilt as a whole. By the second wash and dry there was no trace of colored pencil on any of the blocks.
I don't know the content of the colored leads in the pencils and it's possible that they contain acid or something else that would damage the fabric over time. Should this quilt last for a hundred years, it's possible the lead would eat through the fabric and make holes, but I doubt that would happen. Of course, I can't imagine this quilt being around that long anyway.
When I hand quilt I usually use masking tape to mark straight lines, use
a seam as a guide, or do free-hand Baptist Fans. I used a lead pencil
once and now Prismacolor pencils. In one of Gwen Marston's books she recommended Berol Verithin
white or silver pencils, Berol Karisma pencils, and graphite Aquarelle
pencils. Not having access to any of those, I tried
Though the Prismicolor pencils do not make a fine line and needed frequent sharpening, I liked using them. It wasn't too hard to mark on the quilt and I was pleased that the color washed out. I would use the them again. One thing I would not do is use a pencil in a color that is a high contrast to the fabric in the quilt -- never black on a white quilt -- even though it would probably wash out.
Have you ever used colored pencils on a quilt or do you have some favorite way to mark a quilt?