Category Archives: quilter’s caulk

Fixer Upper

In my last post I showed you my latest kaleido-spinner project, noting that I planned to reverse the two large blocks in the fourth row. That’s been done, and this is what the quilt top looks like now:

The change was made to better balance the distribution of yellow in the quilt. That small hexagon kaleidoscope on the left side of the fourth row has very little yellow in it, so it needed some help from its neighboring blocks.

It’s a subtle but significant change. Here’s a look at the quilt top before and after:
before-and-afterI was concerned about the lack of color in that hexie kaleido block even before I added it to the quilt so I employed a Sharpie Ultra Fine Tip permanent marker to give it a boost:

This is a trick I learned from a quilt teacher, who referred to permanent markers used in this fashion as “quilter’s caulk.”

Here’s the block with the color added all around:

Sadly, much of the yellow on the outside edges disappeared because I had to trim the block before I added the side triangles and then I lost more of the color to the ¼” seam allowance:

I actually toyed with the idea of adding more yellow in the white flowers, practicing on a couple of scraps  . . .

. . . before concluding I was taking my obsession with balance too far. And here’s the thing about using permanent markers on fabric: if you make a mistake, it won’t wash out.

So my kaleido-spinner quilt top is done. I have a small piece left of the original floral fabric to put on the back — people always want to see what the fabric looked like before it was cut into little pieces.

Oh, and my quilt now has a name. It’s Stella by Starlight.




Posted in hexagons, kaleido-spinner, kaleidoscope quilts, quilter's caulk, update | 5 Comments

Friday Finishes

Happy Friday the 13th! It’s a lucky day for me as I have not one but two finishes to report. Minutes ago I finished sewing the label on Toile Story:

2015-2 Toile Story label

Over the last few days I hand stitched 343″ of binding. My stitches are about three to the inch, meaning I took somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 stitches to finish the binding. And I enjoyed every one.

Toile Story measures 76″ x 91″. I may have to take it somewhere outside my home to get flat pictures of the front and back. Look for photos in a future post.

My second finish is this quilt top, which now measures 56½” square:

2015-2 Cutting Corners w borders

Adding plain borders to float the blocks was a good call. There was one thing I had to do before I could call the top done, though. I was bothered by something in the upper right block.

In this photo look at the upper left corner of the floral square:

2015-2 block before QC

See that little white spot? It’s part of the floral design but to me it looked like a hole in the fabric. Quilter’s caulk to the rescue:

2015-2 QC

One of my quilt teachers told me about quilter’s caulk, otherwise known as Sharpie Ultra Fine Point permanent marking pens. You can’t use colored ink to fill a gap or seam, which is the definition of the verb “to caulk,” but you can use it to color correct a seam or some other part of an item made with fabric.

With just a touch of my aqua Ultra-Fine Point Sharpie I made that hole disappear:

2015-2 block after QC

To see how I’ve used Quilter’s Caulk on other projects, check out this previous post from 2012.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I hope you are doing something special with a loved one. My valentine is taking me to dinner at the historic Multnomah Falls Lodge in the Columbia Gorge. Lucky me!




Posted in quilter's caulk, update | 5 Comments

Quilter’s Caulk

Do you know about quilter’s caulk? I heard about it from a quilting friend who in turn learned about it from a fellow quilter. Here’s what it looks like:

Quilter’s Caulk??

Yep. That’s right. You’re looking at a collection of Sharpie Ultra Fine Point permanent marking pens. Calling one of these pens “quilter’s caulk” is a misnomer, really. You can’t use it to fill a gap or seam, which is the definition of the verb “to caulk,” but you can use it to color correct a seam or some other part of an item made with fabric.

I’ve had occasion in the last couple of days to use quilter’s caulk, so let me show just how handy it is. While stitching in the ditch around the borders of a baby quilt, I wandered out of the ditch and onto a border. My thread is light aqua, and those five stitches really showed up on the bright pink border:

Errant Stitches in Border

Now here it is after applying fuchsia-colored ink on the offending stitches:

Errant Stitches Minimized

On another project, I was using red thread to sew pockets on an apron because I wanted the thread to blend into the background. I had trimmed the top edges of the pocket with black bias tape. Just look how that red thread pops out against the black bias tape:

Red Thread on Black Bias Tape

Quilter’s caulk to the rescue:

Bias Tape After “Color Correction”

Quite an improvement, wouldn’t you say?

Be sure to test the ink color first to make sure it’s a good match. And don’t forget that these Sharpie Ultra Fine Points are permanent markers.

“Quilter’s caulk.” Pass it on.




Posted in aprons, bias tape, quilter's caulk, update | 3 Comments