MCM #19 – Marking with Chalk and Stencils

When  I went to the AQS Quilt Show in Lancaster in March, I picked up some stencils and a Pounce chalk pad and chalk pencil. I have wanted to test them out but haven’t had the time until now. Yesterday I sat down with them and want to share with you how they worked for me.

Full Line Stencil and Pounce Pad

I purchased three stencils and two pounce pads. One in white chalk and one in pink. They also make a blue chalk but I did not buy that one. I was told the white chalk would iron off, like a Frixion pen, and the pink chalk needs to be washed out. I like the idea of iron off chalk, as long as it doesn’t leave a mark behind like the Frixion pens sometimes do.

To use the stencil, just place it on your fabric and rub the Pounce pad over the stencil. This is what it looks like:

Full Line Stencils and Pounce PadSee those dashed lines in each corner? Those are used to line up the stencil for marking if you plan to use the same design multiple times. Since I was only planning on using this design once I didn’t worry about making sure all those lines were chalked.

Once you have the stencil marked, off to the machine you go! Now you just ‘trace’ the chalked lines with your sewing machine or long arm. I used this on my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen, which has a hopping foot. The hopping kind of bounces the chalk off – for this reason I would only mark a small section at a time.  This is what the design looked like afer I finished stitching half of it:

Stenciled design

See on the right side how the chalk has mostly disappeared? It does concern me a bit that the chalk dust would end up inside my machine and cause some type of damage. Has anyone worked with chalk like this and has it affected your machine? Inquiring minds want to know…. 🙂

Once the design is stitched most of the chalk outline is gone. All that’s left is a bit of chalk dust.

Chalk Dust - Pounce Pad

A quick pass with the iron and the chalk was gone.

Ironed Pounce Pad design

Pretty cool, huh? I would use this again, but only mark a small section at a time. I would also blow off the excess chalk before starting to stitch just so I wouldn’t worry as much about chalk dust in my machine.

I also tried a chalk pencil to mark freehand designs with. It can be ironed off as well.

Chalk Pencil for marking quilts

I broke mine because I was pressing too hard. Sigh. The pencil came with a sharpener, which is nice. I like being able to draw lines or designs where I want them. With this chalk pencil though, you won’t get a very sharp point. It’s more like drawing with a crayon.

Again, after quilting, just hit it with the iron and the line is gone. With the pencil, you don’t have to worry about the hopping foot bouncing the chalk off. The drawn line stays until you iron it off.

Chalk Ironed Off Quilting Design

Neither one of these products left any kind of mark on my fabric after ironing. I love the Frixion pens, but after having one leave a white line on a dark section of a quilt I’m afraid to use them for marking customer quilts. Hopefully these two products will be something I can use without too much concern.

I can’t say anything about the pink Pounce pad yet – I haven’t tried it. I’ll update you when I do. I would really love to hear how you mark your quilts. Please let us know what works for you!

I finished this practice piece by doing some grafitti type quilting on it. Come back tomorrow to see how that worked out for me!

I’m excited to have had some time to sew for myself and try a couple of new products and a new to me style of quilting. That is what I’m crushing on this week for Main Crush Monday. How about you? I would love to see what has you excited and what you’re working on this week. You can link up any blog post or Instagram pic – here’s how:

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About Beth

I'm a wife, mother of two, and lover of all things crafty. I love to cook up new things in the kitchen and in my craft room, and sometimes get "licking the spoon" mixed up with "licking the fabric"!!
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8 Responses to MCM #19 – Marking with Chalk and Stencils

  1. I use the Clover white marking pen. Lines stay on until you quick pass with heat or damp cloth.

  2. Jasmine says:

    I haven’t used the pounce pad before, except in classes. But I do love the chalk pencil I have. I usually can wipe it off with a damp washcloth. What brand is yours? I wonder if mine will iron off.

  3. soma1773 says:

    I bought some chalk powder to work my Doctor Who quilt, specially for the dark fabrics. Thank you so much for the review.


  4. Hmm, I don’t know about how the chalk dust might affect your machine. I would just recommend to pause to de-lint frequently and make sure it stays well oiled (the dust *might* dry it out a bit?). The pattern looks lovely all quilted up!

  5. Susan says:

    I read about some chalk pencils made by General. They are actually thin like a pencil- got them at the stencil booth at the Lancaster show too. I have only used the gray one ,it wrote nicely and came off easily but did not bounce off like yours. I had heard that the dark ones just disappear with water unlike the graphite ones. I haven’t used the dark one yet so I cannot vouch for that!

  6. Ramona says:

    Thank you for the info on the chalk. I have a pounce pad and have never been able to get it to work, either. I haven’t tried the chalk stick, though. I have had the same issue with the Frixion pen leaving a faint line on the fabric.

  7. Judy says:

    I don’t have a pounce pad but I love the thought of having a stencil that does not have the skips in the lines! When I watched Gina Perkes do her demonstration on the long arm, she used the pounce pad. Sang it’s praises loudly. It was interesting that a few of the women watching did mention that they had issues with removing the chalk. . . I believe they were talking specifically about the blue.

    I am still on the hunt for the perfect marking pen!! I will be watching the answers to what others use with great interest!

  8. Lea Anne says:

    I have one of those pounce pads. Never could get to work properly, and I didn’t know that some of the chalks would disappear with heat. Thanks for sharing I’ll be trying mine again soon.

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