If you are like me, you are probably interested in new tools that can save us time and effort in our quilting and give us better results. Several years ago we were introduced to the Frixion heat erasable pens. After they were on the market a short time I purchased one and tried it out. As a former science teacher I did a little testing and reported my findings on my blog. Unfortunately last October that blog post along with the rest of the posts evaporated into cyber space. Here is updated information on the Frixion pens.
What I learned from my experimentation was that the ink does disappear from the fabric when ironed. Not knowing the true nature of the chemistry behind the disappearing ink I had a feeling that there was some kind of reaction that took place with the heat that made the color disappear, but the ink itself was still on the fabric. The samples below on cotton clearly show that the ink disappears when heated. In the top right sample half of the oval was pressed with the iron making it disappear. The sample on the bottom left was pressed making the oval disappear, but the oval re-appeared after being in the refrigerator. The two smaller samples on the bottom right were washed. Although they do not show up well, the washed and dried sample did not show the oval, however, the other that was washed, dried and then put in the refrigerator did have a ghost halo.
Since the questions has come up again about how these pens work, whether they are safe to use on fabric and for some, finding ghost marks after storage in a cold bedroom, attic, or basement, please click the link below to go to another blog to get all of the facts from Pilot, the manufacturer of Frixion pens.
So, the question remains. Do we continue using the pens or not? Certainly it would not be advisable to mark a whole quilt top with one of these pens. Perhaps it is still OK to mark diagonal lines on HST and QST patches and other places where the mark will be in the seam or seam allowance. Only you can make that determination as to whether you want to take the chance on a ghost mark on your prize quilt, or any quilt.