Friday, February 12, 2010
Marking Fabric - Sewline vs. Bohin Mechanical Chalk
We recently received the following question from a customer: "I was wondering which fabric marker is better, the Bohin Mechanical Chalk or the Sewline?" It is hard to answer as to best. We think it depends on what you are doing and how much money you are willing to invest.
The chalk in the Bohin pencil is softer and flows without much pressure, but it does have to be sharpened. If a consistent width of line is important, it won't be as consistent. Jami, as a long-arm quilter loves it as she is using it after the quilt is sandwiched. As a hand-quilter (who rarely hand-quilts anymore) I would also love it for marking after the quilt was sandwiched and in the frame. I don't think the Sewline would work well for either of these uses, but I would prefer the Sewline if I was marking the quilt before it was sandwiched, as I could do so on a hard surface.
Because the Sewline pencil advances with a click and is always the same width, it gives a consistent line. With 5 colors, one always works. There is an additional investment. Although some people are happy to have one pencil and change the lead, after I was sold on it, I bought all 5 colors and I have to admit, it is nice to be able to reach for the one you need when you need it.
I found, I LOVED the Sewline when I was putting my Ruth McDowell style Jar quilt together with curves. It is a freezer paper method. In order to sew the curves freezer paper has to be removed. So, each piece must be traced around before removing, leaving a sewing line and hatch marks. Although I have all sorts of markers, it wasn't until I took a white Sewline home for the dark pieces that I really started having fun putting that piece together. The next day I came down and bought all the colors. They have a top on them the color of the lead and I love knowing exactly which one to grab.
Bottomline: If I could afford the Bohin and all the colors of the Sewline, that would be my first choice. Having the Bohin and one color of the Sewline could work too. If only one Sewline, buy the color you use in fabric the least. For instance, if you never use pink, buy a pink one and it will show on anything else. As far as the Bohin is concerned, at the price of $12.09, everyone should have the vesatility it allows.
If you want to see to the Bohin,
For more information on the Sewlines,