Week in Review 2022 – 01/14

A Few of My Favorite Things

Image of some various writing, marking and glue implements
A few of my favorite things from top to bottom: 1. Pentel Clickable Pencil 2. Fons and Porter refillable chalk marking pencil 3. Unibal Elite Vision pen and 4. Zig 2 Way Glue

When working in my studio there are some simple products I just can’t live without. These are the ones that never fail me. The reality is finding out what my favorite things are is not different from making art. Both require a fair amount of trial, error and perseverance. Occasionally, I luck out and the first or second thing I try is perfect and I never look back. More often it takes many, many tries until I am happy.

Image of a the tracing I will follow to quilt the diamond shape space between the appliquéd orange peels
Golden Threads paper is used to mark the quilting motif I will be doing between the orange peels.

Pentel Clickable Pencil

Hard to believe, but I didn’t settle on my favorite pencil until about a year ago. I discovered it when I started drawing every week. I love the grip, how easy it is to click for more lead, no sharpening required and because I never need to buy another pencil, just lead refills, it suits my green mentality. Note the clean, smooth line I was able to trace with this paragon of a pencil.

Orange peel shapes of the same size in a harmonious color range from white to deep plum form a traditional double wedding ring grid against a blue sky.
All 64 orange peels are officially appliquéd to the background.

Fons and Porter Chalk Pencil

When it comes to marking fabric the choices are endless. However, for something to become a favorite of mine, it must glide along the fabric, be visible when I need to see it and disappear easily. I’m not sure when I learned about the Fons and Porter chalk pencil. I’ve had the same one for more than a decade. Its only downside is that chalk only comes in white. So, when I need to mark very light or white fabric it is useless. I did use it to mark the grid lines on the background fabric. These lines were used for placement of the orange peel appliqués.

Uniball Vision Elite Pen

Nothing frustrates me more than a ball point pen. They are the bane of lefties like me. Why? Because the ink smudges and gets on my hand. This is because we write from left to right. So, when you are left-handed your hand drags across the freshly placed ink. Disaster. Love, love, LOVE Uniball Eye or Vision Elite pens because the ink doesn’t smudge or smear for this leftie. I use these for all my writing, but especially when journaling first thing in the morning. This when many of ideas, for what to work on or how to solve a technical problem that has been plaguing me, come to me. If I was distracted by ink smudges I doubt I would be able to tap into my stream of consciousness the way I do.

Overall view of Celestial Harmony with all the orange peels in place and the tracing in place to start quilting.
Celestial Harmony is sandwiched. Let the quilting begin!

Zig 2 Way Glue

See how the quilting motif paper is stuck in place? This image was taken in our photography studio (basement) on a foam core wall, so it is vertical. Yet that flimsy paper stays just where I put it. How? The magic of Zig 2 Way glue. I got my first Zig pen because another quilting friend discovered it and gifted me with one. The glue is archival, so no worries about using it on my quilts. When the glue is wet it adheres permanently, but, wait for it, if you let the glue dry on the paper before positioning it, the glue becomes like the glue on Post It Notes.

What are some of your favorite must haves?

I am linking up with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays and TGIFF.

By Gwyned Trefethen

I am an artist who uses fabric, thread and miscellany to create designs gifted to me by my imagination.


  1. Crayola washable markers, great for light fabrics, washes out. It is scary to see such dark lines all over your quilt but I do a sample first, all colours don’t react the same. I mostly use the blues. I think the F&P pen is ceramic, it’s great for temporary fine lines.

    1. Crapola washable markers do have the advantage of coming in variety of colors. Therefore, you have the full range of light to dark or yellow through purple to contrast with fabric. The downside for me is that I don’t want wash my work, since I don’t want the natural shrinkage that invariably ensues. However, this is a great tip for anyone who does wash their work.

  2. I too use re-fillable mechanical pencils — mine are Staples brand and take 0.5 mm leads. I have one in my knitting kit, at my desk, and in my studio; I even use them to mark fabric for utilitarian quilts because it washes out. (I don’t use markers on my art quilts; my techniques are quite different from yours in that area.)

    Other must-haves? Thread snips, Superior Titanium sewing machine needles (especially 90/14 size); they’re workhorses and don’t have to be changed out every time I turn around! A calculator (I often use percentages to plan landscapes, and I also need ’em to figure out how many blocks I can get out of odd pieces of fabric for utilitarian quilts). A Pitt permanent marker (“M” for medium tip) — for writing labels and/or signing my work. Good, sharp straight pins! Aside from fabric, batting and thread (no shortages there!!), that’s my list.

    1. You have quite a list of favorites, Margaret. 🙂 Thank you for bring them up. No snips, but I have a favorite pair of small Mundial scissors I couldn’t live without and calculator lives in my sewing cabinet. Thanks for sharing your favorites.

    1. That glue was a game changer for me. I forgot to mention that when I was tracing the orange peel templates onto Whisperlite, I dabbed the glue on the four corners of the template sheet. This let me secure the Whisperlite for tracing. I traced the template 11 times without needing to redo the glue. Let me know what you think, should you indulge in a glue experiment.

    1. I figure I always finish something, in this case appliquéing all 64 orange peels to the background, so linking to TGIFF made sense. Glad you liked the tool review and Celestial Harmony. This quilt actually has a deadline. Fingers crossed I will get it done on time. I keep coming up with new, time consuming ideas on how to “improve” it.

  3. You know, that Fons & Porter chalk pencil looks so much like the one I have from Bohin. The Bohin mechanical chalk pencil leads come in white, yellow, blue and pink. Perhaps the Bohin refills would fit in your F&P pencil? Also I am so intrigued by your Zig 2 Way glue. Never heard of it before but I can see how useful it would be. The orange peels look fabulous, all shimmering opalescence!

    1. When I was hunting down the link for the F & P marker I saw the Bohin line of markers. Love that they provide refills of different colors. Thanks for the encouragement.

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