Thursday, March 15, 2012

Frixion - Miracle Tool Warning

I was introduced to Frixion pens at a quilt show in Wa. a couple years ago and started using them. I have since had some bad experiences I thought were worthy of a warning to quilters using this tool. I am not going to tell you not to use them. I still do but, I am more careful as to where and when.

If you quilt for yourself it isn't as much of a problem but, if you quilt for customers, you do need to tell the customer if you use it to do marking on their quilt. In one of those bad instances I used one on a customer quilt that she picked up in Jan. Apparently it was kept in a place that was cold enough for the lines to return by the time she got around to taking it out of the bag. I can imagine her horror when she found the black lines all over her quilt.

She decided to wash it right away instead of calling me. Of course, she washed it in cold water so, the lines did not go away. She then called me and I had her come over. We tested and the lines did iron out again. I told her to take it home and place it in her freezer or somewhere very cold for 24 hours to make sure they didn't come back. Fortunately, when I talked with her again, all seemed to be ok.

I have to say that I was lucky in that instance but, I have not used them on customer quilts since unless they are also good friends and I ask them first.

In another recent incident, some friends were helping me make quilts for a special exhibit (we are in the north so it was cold when we were making them). One of my friends used the markers and ironed them away. Then held the piece up to a window to try and trace something she missed. The cold just from the window made the lines come back. She then washed the quilts in hot/warm water in hopes to remove the lines permanently. Hopefully that is the end of the lines but, until it gets very cold again, we won't really know.

I think those who want to use these marking tools need to be aware and very careful. Another instance to be very careful would be something you are entering in a quilt show exhibit. If the quilt were to get cold enough (think about the cargo bay of an airplane that gets very cold) or, shipping to a show late in the year when it's cold, even placed too close to air conditioning or in a very cold room, the lines could possibly return and I'm sure the judges would just pass it by.

My suggestion as with all marking tools is to test, test, test and then still be careful. I myself did run tests when I first found them and all seemed ok. However, each time I freezer tested the lines got fainter sometimes taking several ironings to remove completely. Over time now, it looks like different fabrics can react differently so you need to be careful. I am even finding that their are variations of outcome due to the color of ink you are using.

I would also suggest that you visit and read another warning at .

Bottom line, BE VERY CAREFUL! You don't want lines appearing on your masterpiece every time it gets cold.