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.

Cross-Crafting Seminar, Carving a Wooden Spoon

Cross-Crafting Seminar, Carving a Wooden Spoon

wood caving the wooden spoonThe classic wooden spoon may be the easier beginner’s wood carving project there is.  During this session of our free, summer cross-crafting seminar we will work through the wood carving steps to shape the handle and bowl of a wooden fork.

Cross-Crafting Seminar Introduction
Cross-Crafting Seminar Supply List
Cross-Crafting Seminar Free Patterns
Cross-Crafting Seminar, Scroll Saw Basics
Cross-Crafting Seminar, Setting Up Your Scroll Saw
Cross-Crafting Seminar, Scroll Sawing the Wood Spirit Face
Cross-Crafting Seminar, Wood Burning the Wood Spirit Face
Cross-Crafting Seminar, Colored Pencils for the Wood Spirit Face
Cross-Crafting Seminar, Cutting a Wooden Spoon

Cross-Crafting Seminar, Carving a Wooden Spoon


1 – scroll saw cut wooden spoon, slotted spoon, or fork blank
wide sweep round gouge
narrow, half-circle, bent round gouge
bench knife or chip carving knife
carving gloves, thumb guard, or heavy terry cloth towel
150-, 220-grit sandpaper
6″ or large square of brown paper bag

wood carving a wooden spoon

Note: Working with the wood grain


wood caving the wooden spoon
As you work through the carving steps for this wooden fork you will need to pay close attention to the wood grain direction in each area of your work.  Both the handle and bowl of your wooden spoon are curve-shaped.  This means that at the widest point in the curve the direction of your cutting strokes must be reversed to work the knife or gouge blade with the grain. The grain direction of your wooden spoon blank determines the directions of your bench knife and gouge strokes.  You want to move the knife so that it runs with the open fiber ends of the wood grain, not into those open fibers.

Step 1: Rough-cut the edges of the handle along the back of the spoon.

wood carving a wooden spoon

Begin with your bench knife and using a paring stroke, pulling the knife blade towards you, round over the back edge of the lower section of the spoon bowl.  I am using carving gloves in these photos.  Gloves are cut resistant not cut proof!  So, please, watch carefully how you are holding your knife and where the knife blade will go if the knife slips out of the cut.  Often, I carve using thumb guards instead of gloves as they give me more movement in my hands.  If you have neither, use a thick terry-cloth towel in your holding hand as protection.

Step 2:  Rolling small cut strokes along the edge of the handle.

wood carving a wooden spoon
The sides are round by making many, small paring strokes, worked from the inside area of the handle, moving each new cut slowly towards the edge of the handle.  This first series of rounding paring cuts is worked from the center point of the handle towards the top edge of the handle.

wood carving a wooden spoonYou can see the progression of small cuts in this photo. Using a series of small cuts, worked from the center back towards the spoon’s edge creates a true curved edge instead of a lightly rounded sharp corner.

Step 3: Round over the second lower edge of the back of the handle.

wood carving a wooden spoon

Continue working the lower edge of the back of the handle by moving your cutting strokes to the second side of the spoon.  The smaller your cutting strokes the smoother the finished edge will be.

Step 4: Work the back handle edge towards the fork’s bowl area with your bench knife.

wood carving a wooden spoon

This rounding process is moved to the front portion of the back of the handle.  To work with the grain line of the wood, these cuts are made using a push stroke – pushing the knife blade away from you.

Step 5: Change the direction of your bench knife cuts to match the change in grain direction at the narrow joint between the handle and bowl.

wood carving a wooden spoon

Use a series of short, small bench knife cuts, worked from the center area of the handle towards its outer edge to round over the handle.  Stop your cuts where the handle narrows into the fork’s bowl area, as your wood grain direction will change at this point in the blank.

Step 6: Free the cutting strokes at the narrow joint.

wood carving a wooden spoon
Flip your spoon blank in your hand so that you are working the knife from the fork’s bowl area into the narrow joint with the handle.  This will bring the cuts from step 6 to meet the cuts you are making now, and free those cuts from the narrow area.

Step 7: Finish rounding over the edge of the back by working the fork’s bowl area.

wood carving a wooden spoon
Continue rounding over the back edge of the fork by working the bowl area with your bench knife.

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