Marking Dark Color Fabrics Without Marking


As quilters we know that marking on dark colored fabrics is difficult at best, so what are out options? Read 3 great methods & share with your friends.

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Marking Dark Color Fabrics Without Marking

Have you ever needed to mark a quilting or embroidery design on dark or busy fabric and not had the proper marking tool? Many times with “busy” fabrics, a blue pen or chalk marker just won’t show up, so we try a pencil or permanent marker of some sort knowing that if our stitches aren’t exact our markings will show. Below I will give you a few options to use for the next time you need to mark on dark color fabrics without marking.

Marking Dark Color Fabrics Without Marking


Freezer Paper

First, freezer paper is a quilter’s friend. You can see through it to trace, you can press it on to your fabric to keep it in place to quilt around, and it is reusable!

freezer paper


For the “Doggone Happy” (see photo), I wanted to quilt bone shapes on the background of the quilt, but no templates were available, so I drew my own on freezer paper, cut them out, and pressed them onto the fabric with a hot iron in the desired locations as shown. You can then quilt around them, peel them off, and press them down in a different area of the quilt.

freezer paper doggie


If there is a more complicated design like the one pictured below that you need to embroider, you may cut just one design line at a time, and following the line, embroider, and then cut on the next line and embroider that one working your way around the design and just peeling back the portion that you are finished using.

freezer paper heart


Press'n Seal

Another way to mark dark fabrics is using Press’n Seal. With this product, you roll off enough to trace your design on, trace, and then press it to your fabric using your fingers (no iron necessary). You then stitch through the Press’n Seal using small stitches and very carefully tear away the Press’n Seal. You may need to use tweezers to take the pieces out in tight curves, but this option stays in place nicely and you can trace your design with different colored markers on different portions of the design as the fabric dictates.

Press N Seal Fabric With Press N Seal


Tissue Paper

One final means to mark on dark fabrics without marking, is to use tissue paper as your template. You will want to use white tissue paper like you use to wrap presents and not a color as any moisture will make colored tissue paper bleed onto your fabric or anything it touches. Just trace your design onto the tissue paper, pin or baste it in place all of the way around the design, and then stitch right through it. This will be much easier to remove after stitching than the Press’n Seal, but it also is a bit more fragile, so it is not the best to use around small children or your furry four-legged helpers.

Happy Stitching!

tissue paper


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Method of using an iron to press seams and blocks. This means simply pressing downwards on the seam with the iron from above and not moving the iron back and forth which can distort the block or seam.
Pattern pieces made out of paper, cardboard, plastic or metal, giving you something to draw around so that you can accurately replicate any shape.
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