Back to Jason’s Pumpkin Quilt & the White Chalk Pencil


Life is back to normal and I have finally caught up on my sleep from my whirlwind travel.  As I have said before, this part of the applique on Jason’s quilt goes sloooooooow.  Visual excitement comes further between many days of work.  I would hate to bore you with images that seemingly look alike and have nothing new.

I have no idea if I ever blogged about this and I am not going back through the archives, but I do want to show you what I do when I find it hard to know if I am doing it “right” visually.  You know when you are working on something over time and that color palette you were so excited about suddenly looks tired?  Did I make the right choices?, Is this all blurring together? 

Hey, everyone goes through this.  It usually takes me a year after I have  finished one of my quilts to truly appreciate it.   When doubt creeps in like this, I pick up my chalk pencil and draw in my embroidery lines and I can see the work come to life.  I am excited again and I know it IS working!


See all of my white chalk embroidery doodling on the leaves etc.? I just noticed, doesn't the wren's "yet to be appliqued" eye look so funny?


This is a Stabillo CarbOthello white pastel chalk pencil and I can’t live without it.  It is too thick for me to use to mark my applique pieces, but it is wonderful for testing out embroidery ideas with no commitment.  A light hand is all that is needed and the lines usually rub out within a few days of handling.  Or if I want to erase, I just take a scrap of fabric and gently wipe away the marks.  This is also the same pencil I use to create the highlights on my Rose Hips and apples and set with the colorless extender.  (It is in the picture at the top)

Try this out when you get bored with your work and see if it doesn’t bring back your enthusiasm for the project at hand.

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About Sandra

I am an Author, Designer, Illustrator and a major international award winning quilt artisan. I love working with fabrics and threads and they have become my medium of choice.

15 thoughts on “Back to Jason’s Pumpkin Quilt & the White Chalk Pencil

  1. Thank you for the name of the pencil …. it is now on my shopping list.

    I have just realised that you are bad for my posture ………. I have to get up close to the screen to see all the details even more closely than your close-ups! At least I usually check to see if the coffee cup is empty before I lean in close!

    Judy B

  2. Your wren looks like he enjoyed one too many margaritas! Humm.

    Just love the realistic leaves with holes and nibbled on parts. Those apples are gorgeous!

  3. Oh my gosh Melanie, That is too funny, maybe I should make an “x” over his eye when finished?

    I am biting my nails on the apples becasue I only had a small piece of that fabric and the fussy cut areas that are perfect are widely spread out. Cross your fingers I can pull 7 more apples from it!

  4. So, do you own the entire huge set of these pencils? (You are an evil influence!) Do you use them on fabric and then wet them at all to get certain wash characteristics? Hmmmm….

  5. Sandra, Everytime I see one of your quilts I have to shake my head in amazement. You make the quilt come to life. I only wish . . .

    Even with everything I’ve seen so far on Jason’s Pumpkin quilt, I can’t wait to see what you have planned for the quilting.

  6. You just have the greatest ideas , but I think the visual excitement of this project is very captivating ,at least from my seat !!!

    I think that is so cool that it really does make a nice lure to get to that part faster .
    Hope you have enough apples . If not maybe you could dye some fabric .

  7. I could never be bored with updates of Jason’s Pumpkin Quiltl! It is fantastic to see the details coming to life. Love that little wren so much. Do you put the quilt up on a design wall as you work to check the color palette?

  8. Miss Peggy,

    You know I am a broken record, but it really is the details that do it. Tone on tone fabrics and DETAIL. 🙂

    I haven’t come to a plan for the quilting yet. I have to see more of it to see where it takes me. Sometimes the answers aren’t immediately obvious. I know one thing it won’t have quilted in it….FEATHERS. They have been done to death and back again. Unless they are Diane’s, I am bored with them. 😉

  9. Miss Boop,

    I am easily bored so I have to find ways of keeping me moving forward. I am not a patient person, just ask my mom. I have to discipline myself frequently to stay on task. The original reason I entered competitions was because the deadlines made me finish. I had not completed ONE applique quilt prior to that.

    I had dyed fabric a lot but gave it up because it was “cloudy”. Silk dyes up nice and bright, but not cotton and I don’t use silk (beyond a small scrap here and there). I dyed some of the fabrics in Pharaoh. I even had my own dye station set up. No more, I work with commercial fabrics now. They work better for my quilt palette.

  10. Miss Denise,

    I do not have the room for a design wall, which is probably why my quilts are better viewed up close. They are made from that viewpoint. I don’t make quilts for the wall so it has never been a problem in my opinion.

    American Still Life had never been up on a wall until I photographed it completed. Same with all of my quilts even Pharaoh. A design wall is a personal choice, if you need it you have it, if you don’t, it is never missed.

    I think if I were a piecer, I would find a design wall necessary though.

  11. Have you had a chance to try out the new Dovo scissors that you mentioned in a previous blog ?

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