fabric, Kaleidoscope Collections, quilt desgin, quilt shows, quilting

Creative Sewing Center & Frixion Pens

I can’t say it enough, I love teaching machine quilting.  The irony of that statement is that early on I used to say, “if its not hand quilted it’s not a quilt”.    Yep, I’m one who said that to people.   Then I had the eye opening experience of going to a quilt show and seeing the amazing work by other quilt makers and a new path in quilting begins.

I like where this path has taken me.  I get to play for work!  Oh yes a lot of time, effort and energy went into being able to follow this path and I need to keep working on honing my skills and that includes being open to learning and embracing new to me quilting ideas.

This skill honing includes listening to my students and seeing how I can better teach, how can I be more encouraging and help my students get from, “I can’t do that!” to “Oh not only can I do that, I’m going to!”  This is an important shift in the machine quilting process.  The biggest difference between my students and I – I have a lot more time logged in at the machine, I’ve gone through all of those frustrating moments trying to figure out what’s wrong and why isn’t this working.  I’ve had a lot of aha moments.

October 15 & 16 at Creative Sewing had each of those moments.

Congratulations to Gary Drinkwater the new owner of Creative Sewing Center!  The new location is FABULOUS!!!!  Bright and open and ready for quilters and sewists alike!  When you’re in Maine take the trip to Auburn and visit this delightful shop.  Great fabrics and sewing machines.  Saturday I taught on the 820, Sunday on the 55oQE.  These are both great machines for quilting.  I’m going to set up dates to head back to teach again in April.

See the shoes in the photo above?  Kathy, who teaches sewing in the shop had these great Birkenstocks on.  I told her I had a pair just like it in my car, went out and changed.  My sister said this would make a great quilt, shes right!  It’ll be on my some day list.

Several of the students took classes both days.  Thanks ladies!  On Saturday one of the gals marked her quilt with a Frixion pen.  (She’s sending me pictures soon.)  Marking your quilt top with these pens is great, they’re not gunky and write smoothly on the fabric.  I wrote her a note on the practice piece – note it was batted & backed at the time so I was writing with the batting there.  She went home pressed out the marks.  They disappeared as they’re supposed to. I’d heard from several sources that when these marks get cold (below 40 degrees) the marks come back.

She then washed & dried the quilt then stuck it in the freezer over night.  No marks came back.

So probably not quite as scientific as needed however a good test.  I’m thinking the key is to wash the quilt which most of us do anyway to either just wash it before giving it to the intended receiver or blocking it for a quilt show.

If you have any doubt about the markings from the Frixion pens coming out  do a control study at home using 4 fq’s

the first should be left alone for a “control”

the second mark it up, quilt it and iron it and leave it for a week

the third mark up, quilt it,  iron it & freeze it to see what happens

the third mark up, quilt it, iron wash & dry & freeze

Use some kind of marking system so you can keep track of the samples.  With any kind of marking system check to make sure they won’t leave residual color behind later on.  Sometimes the dye in the pen will just react with your fabric in a most unpleasant way.

If you happen to be attending Quilt Market in Houston check out the Kaleidoscope Collections booth and the Andover booth.  I’ll have quilts that I quilted in both booths!  I’ll be able to post pictures sometime after Market starts.

Happy quilting!


13 thoughts on “Creative Sewing Center & Frixion Pens”

  1. I’ve also been using these pens with good results. Did the iron/wash/freeze thing and they didn’t come back. Love that they come in several colors so that you have good contrast on the quilt fabrics. You can’t quilt what you can’t see…..

  2. I’ve used the frixion pins too with pretty positive results. I would always suggest that you test first on each project. I had trouble getting the pink all the way out of a quilt but never a problem with the blue or black.

  3. I am hearing the exact opposite about the pen. I was at a class at the NQM in Paducah last week and we saw examples of the pen leaving ghost marks, almost like a bleach line, after the mark had been removed.

    Plus another blogger i have been following is very concerned about the results she was getting with the pens and exposing them to the cold.



  4. Thanks for sharing the information Carol.
    As with all quilting tools the must always be used with caution, testing them before using them. Melissa of Sweet Home Quilt Co mentioned that if a faint white mark reappeared then the iron wasn’t hot enough.


  5. I will NOT use the FriXion pens for quilts!! I have tested them TWICE and both times the marks came back. I’m steering clear!

  6. I also came across the Frixion pens over a year ago and decided it was too risky for me. I did a bunch of tests similar to what you describe, and decided that since those pens are not acid-free and archival quality, I’d prefer to not take the chance. I’ll stick with the pens that are safe for use on fabrics.

    My son sure did have some fun with them, though!

  7. I also did a test and found that if you iron off the mark it will come back in the cold(freezer) but if you iron and then wash and then add to the freezer the mark does not come back. Also if you do not want to put a hot iron on the finished piece simply throw in the dryer first to remove the mark then wash. If you do not wash the mark will come back. I will use these but will always test each fabric first. All my quilts are made to use and not made to hang on walls or last a couple of generations. If I was to make a heirloom quilt or wall hanging then would probably not use.

    Teri thanks for the info about the pens and keep up the great work!

  8. Common sense tells you that if you put a substance on something, it is there unless physically removed. The ink must be heat activated, and disappears in the presence of high temperatures, and appears in the presence of low temperatures. So washing to remove the ink would make the most sense.

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