Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Here's hoping this one works.

Dear Washable Markers,

Hi. We met at my PIC's house a couple of months ago. I was the one with the polka-dotted baby quilt who kind of didn't want to meet you, and ended up using you to draw the lines on the quilt so I could sew my quilting lines straight. Remember me? Yeah. I just wanted to say I'm sorry if I seemed stand-offish that day. I think I owe you an explanation for my cool exterior.

I'm sure you've met women like me before -- women who've been in relationships with other marking tools and then show up to a new tool with an "attitude" or whatever. Well, it's not you or anything -- I mean, you say right on your package that I can trust you -- it's just that I've had relationships with lots of other marking tools, and they have been challenging. Really, really challenging.

I know some tools get jealous when women talk about their exes, but I think without a frank talk about what went wrong and what went right, we're doomed to failure. So, given that you seem like you care about winning, I'm gonna give you the highlights. I think we might then be able to move ahead with a shared sense of understanding and purpose. Don't you think? I do.

So. OK. This guy:

This guy was really sharp, and I had lots of hope for the relationship because of that. But turns out sharp isn't everything. I tried so hard to make it work with him, but it was just a mess. Literally, a dirty, smudgy mess. He eventually ran out of lead. I ran out of patience. And I moved on. I don't want a mess. So sue me.

These guys:

I was with these guys in the early days. You know the kind: All enthusiastic in the beginning, trotting out all the fun colors, talking about how soft and versatile they are. Yeah. Well. They disappear. They disappear, and then when you go back to them, they make all these promises to stick around again. And guess what? They fucking disappear again. They are the reason Quiltie and I are having trouble to this day. Thanks a lot, Chacopel Fine. Thanks, but no thanks.

And then there was this one:

This one really broke my heart. Hera was her name. Some people I really trust set me up with her and gave her glowing reviews. "She's incredibly tidy -- no mess at all -- and she sticks around," they said. Only problem was, I couldn't see her. We made marks together, and yet, try as I might, it was such a struggle to be at the right angle, in the right light. I would've had to get reading glasses or something to make it work. I suppose I was simply too old for her. Sad, really. She was perfectly lovely, and I know she'll make someone else very, very happy.

So, I'm giving you a try, Washable Markers. I can certainly go without marking tools and free-hand my quilting; I started this latest baby quilt exactly that way, in fact. But I think having a nice, effective marking tool to help guide me through these circles will be a nice thing.

Just don't fuck me over by not washing out.

(If you don't wash out, mister, there will be hell to pay, I assure you.)


Dr. B.


seth said...

i cannot comment on marking tools for lines that aren't straight, but for straight lines i am a big, big fan of masking tape. it comes in varied widths, and you can just slap that business on there, stitch along the edge, and remove.

kim said...

Oh, I just know that someday you'll find the right one!

Ashley said...

I'm scared. Hold me.

Also, I like masking tape too. Lots.

Stacey said...

I used masking tape also, but if the markers work, it will be great! They do make washable markers especially for quilting too - you may want to test the crayolas to make sure on a scrap piece of fabric first!

Carol said...

Here's hoping they work out nicely. Maybe a test is in order? Given all the hassles the others gave you. You know, just to show it who's boss?

Stella said...

Heehee! "Some tools get jealous." Indeed.

Let us know how it turns out -- I like masking tape, but it's obviously subpar for curves and circles.

Wendi said...

I'm another big fan of the masking tape for straight lines. For curves I usually freehand it, but if I want perfect shapes (like a perfect circle) I cut it out of felt, pin it to my quilt with a safety pin, quilt around it, then move on. I've never marked on a quilt - I guess I'm not the trusting type. . . :-)

Leslie said...

Hmm, interesting review! I've had the same issue finding the right marker to create embroidery patterns. So far the standard tools haven't met my needs.

Anonymous said...

I also hope you are testing this first. In my experience washable markers sometimes run when wet...

new york knitter said...

ok I admit it I am scared for you because I don't know about those washable markers with fabric...have you done a test before you put it on your lovely quilt?
for straight lines I am a big fan of blue painters tape.
Good Luck!

Dr. B. said...

You all are really great. Thank you SO much for the encouragement and advice. I will be using masking tape when I return to Quiltie, thanks to all of you.

Also, I did do a test run on scraps from the quilt before ever marking the quilt top itself. All of it rinsed out just fine from the scraps, but the nervous part of me is sure that the fabric changes properties once it's been carefully cut and sewn together -- you know, turning the marker permanent. Right? No, no. It'll be fine.

It's a BABY quilt. If there are marks on it when I'm all done, I'll just blame the baby.

jane said...

I haven't much time for reading blogs lately, but yours always makes me at least smile, and usually laugh out loud. I love the very kind and genteel writing about the markers and then...WHAM.
You crack me up!