These are some of the pens/pencils I use to mark embroidery lines on my blocks, so that my stitches will be more even and straight. Not shown here is the plastic shoebox full of chalk liners, air erasable pens purple, water erasable pens in blue, and so on. Either the color is wrong, they don't really come out of the fabric as the mfg. advertises, the line is very thick and hence useless, and/or they wear off long before I stop needing them.
Yesterday I was sewing with my little group at the quilt shop, all sane quilters except me, and I mentioned my marking tool problem. Their heads popped up and they almost said in unison, "You need a Sewline!" A couple of women had their Sewlines with them and let me try them. I loved the results! It's a mechanical pencil with "leads" in various colors. The pens are marked with the color of the lead on the barrel. For example, the yellow one has a yellow band around the top. The display in the quilt store included blue, yellow, white, and black. Evidently there are more colors and even a trio pencil which holds 2 different colors of lead and a "tracer" (stylus).
The pencil was priced at $12.95 in my quilt shop, so they are not cheap. It came with lead in the barrel and a little box of several more leads in the package. Of course, there is no reason that you couldn't buy one pencil and change the leads as needed. I asked if anyone had tried to put the leads in a cheaper mechanical pencil and was told that they were too fat for a 0.7 pencil, but no one had tried a larger sized pencil.
The pencil makes a skinny line, does not require much pressure to make a mark, shows up well on fabric, and comes off with the built-in eraser or a damp cloth.
I really wanted the trio pencil but there were none in stock so I settled for a yellow one.
The line is narrow and easily visible.
The mark is removed by the pencil erase but there is the tiniest bit of fuzziness, probably from little eraser crumbs.
I used a damp q-tip to remove the residue, and the mark is completely gone.
I have been looking for this pencil for a long time. I am going to get the trio pencil and keep it in my sewing box.
I think this pencil will work very well with Carole Samples' Dream-a-Seam templates or marking with a ruler. I know I will be doing more layered or stacked stitches now; this pencil makes it so much easier to get a result that pleases me.
As usual, I have no affiliation with the Sewline company in any way other than owning one of their pencils. Carole Samples is a brilliant author, designer, and teacher. Val Bothell is a vendor of lovely cq supplies. I am not connected financially in any way with either one, although I am very fortunate to call Carole a friend.