I love having a little ink to guide me in my craft projects. I use them all the time, from simple things like where a button goes to complex illustrations that I plan to cover with needlework. I’ve used a lot of them and, without a doubt, the Pilot FriXion Ball Pen is my favorite.
What do I love about them? First of all, it’s a pen with a nice, fine tip. Not a big felt tipped marker. That allows me to get all the detail I need with no problem. The ink doesn’t rub off like chalk pencils and I never have to wait for my piece to dry because I had to dowse it in water to get rid of my lines.
The ink in these pens is removed with friction- there’s a nice little rubber tip that you can use to rub on your line to make it disappear. What’s better, if you think back to your high school science classes you’ll remember that friction creates heat. Lucky us, this little detail gives us even more options to rid project of guide lines. The ink will disappear instantly with a touch of a hot iron. Or, when you’re completely finished with all the lines on your projects you can stick it in your dryer for a minute and all of them will be gone when it comes out. I love it!
Still not convinced? Sometimes I trust reviews more when they point out the flaw of the product along with all the raving. I have only two small complaints. First, the pens don’t work on black fabric- as far as I know they don’t make one with white ink and obviously red ink doesn’t show up too well on black. Second, you’ll always want to test the pen on your chosen fabric before starting. On some fabrics, after the ink has disappeared you’ll see a small impression left behind. Most of the time this can only be seen when holding the fabric up to a light, sometimes not even then. But every once in a while a fabric comes along that leaves a little more of a mark. It’s never been enough to dissuade me, but if I were making a very special item (such as a christening gown or an item for a bride) I’d want to double check with my fabric before I put all that work in!
You can get these guys in most quilting shops, but I’ve found they are much cheaper on online. (I bought my first one at a quilt store for about $7, then found a pack of 3 for the same price!) Here are a couple good links-