Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Frixion Pen Review and a Bit of Good News

This last weekend I went to a quilting retreat hosted by my quilt guild. It is always lots of fun. This year we even had participants from Paducah, KY, and Memphis, TN (pretty far from southern Indiana). One of the girls from Memphis showed me a pen that I don't have (and I AM a gadget queen). She said it is a pen that a "famous" quilter recommends for marking quilts, so I thought I should check it out. The pen makes a very clear mark on the fabric and "disappears" when it is ironed; the marks reappear with cold and supposedly wash out. Now, I LOVE my Bohin chalk marking pen for most jobs, but I'm finding that the marks are getting rubbed off by me dragging the quilt all over the place (I travel a lot.) while the hand quilting is in progress.

The Pilot Frixion pen is intended for use on paper--not fabric, so I decided I needed to test it. Since the fabric I want to mark is red, I thought I'd see what effect the pen had on that. I thought I'd also try it on white. First I used a permanent marking pen to label each area to be marked. After ironing and icing (running an ice cube over the fabric), I'll be washing the fabric.

In the picture above, you see what the fabric looked like before I did any ironing, icing, or washing. The next picture shows what the marks looked like after ironing.

In the pictures above, the "Xs" that are left were not ironed. I don't know if you can see it in the picture, but where the "Xs" had been there is a sort of "ghost" print of the marks on the white fabric. On the red, there is the slightest little bit of discoloration--the "X" is a TINY bit lighter.

Above, you can see that the "Xs" have returned after I rubbed an ice cube over them. They are a bit lighter than the originals.

Below, you can see how the marks look after washing and drying. (I used cold water and detergent.) There are absolutely no marks left in the fabric (ghost or otherwise) except for the permanent pen I used to label each section. Even the discoloration in the red fabric is gone. I also ran an ice cube over each piece, and none of the marks came back.

Based on this experiment, I have to give this pen a thumbs up for pieces you can throw in the washer after quilting. I used a blue Frixion pen and have no idea what the other colors would do. Supposedly, the "famous" quilter uses only the blue pen.

Oh, I'd also like to share that two of my pieces were juried into "The View from Here: Quilts of the Ohio River Valley. SAQA members from Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio." The exhibit will be on display during the International Quilt Festival Cincinnati, 2013 from April 11-13 at the Duke Energy Convention Center, 5th Street, downtown Cincinnati, OH. If you are interested in seeing which ones, check here. They are the first quilts in the post--The View from Within and Black Beauties. I'm tickled!



Eileen said...

Thanks for the review! Very informative. Had read about them and am anxious to get my hands on one.

Barbara Triscari said...

I just bought some over the weekend and am anxious to try them out. Thanks for doing the test so I don't have to. A friend had just bought a set to try out and told me about them. Congrats on the SAQA show. I hope to be there to see it in Cinci. Is there a public (or SAQA) list of who got pieces it? I have a couple of friends who entered as well.