Tool Review Tuesday: Frixion Erasable Gel Pens
10.18.2016

Tool Review Tuesday!

It’s Tool Review Tuesday! This is where we choose a tool, do some rigorous product testing, and produce a review that gives you the nitty-gritty details needed before you add something to your cart.


Featured Tool: Frixion Erasable Gel Pens by Pilot, Item #82263, 82264, 82262

Connecting Threads Guest Reviewer: Bea Lee, avid quilter and pattern designer

frixion

What is this typically used for?

Writing on (and erasing off) fabric.

What was your first impression of the Frixion Erasable Gel Pens?

I saw these demoed at a quilt show and immediately bought a pack!

How did you use them?

You think you have to use an eraser or the eraser on the back of the pen, but NO–it’s removed by friction (and heat) which is a HOT IRON!! The man that demoed it wrote some scribbles on some fabric and then ran over it with an iron and it disappeared! it was MAGIC!!

How did using them go?

I love them! I used them when I long arm quilt. I don’t mark out everything but, for example, if I’m planning on making a feather on a border, I don’t mark out the whole spine (though I could- I just don’t). I only mark out the outer edge points of where the spine should go, so maybe 2″ from the edge and then 8″ up and 2″ from the other edge and 8″ up etc. Then after I quilt the quilt I just iron over the feathers and the markings disappear.

How long did it take you to learn how to use them?

No time at all.

What did you like best? The least?

I liked how I can erase it easily and don’t need water like other pens. I think I only had ONE dark fabric not work well, but dark fabrics are hard to mark on. There was one fabric where I had a very faint line afterwards. I have heard that if you FREEZE the fabric the lines will show up again, but I have YET to stuff a quilt in a freezer just to test that theory!

Why do you NEED to try them?

If you machine quilt, it’s great for marking

Who would appreciate the Frixion Erasable Gel Pens most?

These are perfect for:

  • Beginner, intermediate, and expert quilters

Each tool is reviewed by a member or guest of the Connecting Threads team. Have a tool you want us to scope out? Let us know and it could be the next Tool Review Tuesday feature!


7 comments

  1. Anna - October 18, 2016

    I would never use a Frixion pen – before you use a Frixion pen on your quilt, PLEASE read the following:

    http://quiltskipper.com/2015/08/13/frixion-pens-all-you-need-to-know/

    The manufacturer does not recommend them for use on fabric.

    Reply
    • Hayley - October 18, 2016

      When it comes to marking tools, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the limitations. We have a few in-house quilters who, while they don’t necessarily use the pens for quilting, they still opt to use them for embroidery (where they will be permanently covered).

      Reply
  2. Karen - October 18, 2016

    Using for embroidery is one thing but I would never use them to mark a design on a quilt although I know a lot of people swear by them. I go places where it is below freezing and bring a quilt with me I would not want my quilt marking lines to show back up. NOT for me! I will stick with the blue wash out pen that I have been using for 20+ years and have never had a problem with – and it was designed to be used with fabric.

    Reply
    • Hayley - October 18, 2016

      Washable marking tools are also a great option! While the Frixion Erasable Gel Pens are not everyone’s favorite to use, it’s wonderful to have so many different marking tools at our disposable as quilters and embroiderers. It’s always a good idea to test your tools and know their limitations.

      Reply
  3. Mary D - October 18, 2016

    I’m curious why so many quilters recommend these pens to mark quilts when the manufacter of this pen clearly stated the technology was not designed to be used on fabric.

    I guess it’s an adage of “nothing bad has happened to my quilts yet so I will keep using them”. There are so many other less harmful options to use to mark quilts with, I’m sure I would not put my investmest of time & money at risk just to use these pens.

    Of course this is just my humble opinion.

    Reply
  4. QuiltShop Gal - October 18, 2016

    The Frixion Gel Pens are very easy to use, but beware as they are not manufactured by a company that has any loyalty to quilters. There isn’t any testing on their dyes/inks on fabrics. And, like many others, I’ve experienced situations where the “chemicals” in these pens do bleach fabrics, aka leaving a mark. Be careful. Fully test these pens on any fabrics you use.

    QuiltShopGal
    http://www.quiltshopgal.com

    Reply
  5. Anita - October 19, 2016

    I have used them for templates and other quilting/sewing applications and have marked my embroidery designs using the Frixion. I am careful to only use them on projects that will not be exposed to cold. It is by far the easiest marking pen I have used and if I need to leave my project for a couple of days, I know the marks are still going to be there when I get back to it.

    Reply

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