05 August 2013

On your marks...

After a pretty but challenging Sunday morning hike in the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve (note to self: hiking downwards at the beginning of a hike means hiking upwards on the way back) I decided to take it easy the rest of the day and mark the quilting lines on my "41" quilt.  I think the uphill hike was less frustrating.

Have you ever used Clover water soluble pencils?  I used them for the very first time marking this quilt, and I think I spent more time sharpening the pencils than I did marking the lines.  The lead kept breaking below the shaved area.  See the blue bit of lead in the upper left side of the bowl?  There are countless more, of both the blue and pink variety, buried under those shavings. 

Even with a light hand and barely sharpened point, the lead kept breaking and popping out.  The pink pencil was worse than the blue.  I marked 40 lines with each pencil and here's what the pencils looked like when I had finished:

I wrote a nice, diplomatic email to the company describing my experience with their product.  Not sure what they can do about it, but I thought they should know. 

On the bright side, I've finished marking the quilt top and can now move on to basting.  Did I mention that at 68" x 76", this quilt is the largest I've made?  I'll be spending the better part of the day on the floor pin basting.  Guess that's not such a bright side after all.


  1. Oh no! I'm leery of specialty quilting markers because they tend to do that kind of thing to me, too. I hope you're able to find something else that works better for your next quilt! And good luck with the basting! :}

  2. Frixion pens are the way to go, no sharpening either ;o)

  3. Usually when pencil lead breaks below the wood line, it's because the pencil has been dropped. It shatters the lead throughout the pencil, and then no matter how you use it, it's gonna be problematic. So probably it's not the fault of the pencil company, but the company that dropped the box of them somewhere in shipment to the store or to you. :)


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