Marking tools are required for several different quiltmaking tasks. Marking around templates for cutting requires a sharp, very fine-point pencil. Either a constantly sharpened No. 2 lead pencil or a .5mm mechanical pencil is recommended for this job.
Some quilters don't care what they use to mark around their templates, especially if they are marking on the wrong side of the fabric. If pens are used, be careful when sewing with light-colored thread as the thread may pick up color from the ink during sewing.
When marking on the right side of the fabric, as for some appliqué techniques, use a pencil or marker that won't show when sewing is finished. Quilting designs are also marked on the finished top and should not be seen when the quilting is complete.
Early quilters used a pencil or the tip of a needle to mark designs on the quilt top, but today there are many available products. Popular marking choices include a silver drawing pencil or a white chalk pencil.
Wash-out markers are popular with some quilters, while others do not recommend them. The advantage to their use is that the color washes out when the quilting is complete. The disadvantage is that the chemicals may remain in the fabric after washing. This could cause damage to the fabric and/or discoloration at a later date.
Whatever method you choose for marking fabric for cutting and the quilt top for quilting, be sure your finished quilt shows no evidence of these marks.