Earlier this year, I was wandering around Amazon, buying some stuff, and I was looking at some of the sewing tools and I saw this fabric folding pen. Being curious, I did a search on google to see what it does. Suffice it to say, I was in for quite a surprise at what it can do. Their isn’t alot to find about this pen in terms of what people use it for, but the Youtube video gave me the idea that this pen would be perfect for applique. So I have tested it and tried it out and I can honestly say, I am in love. Seriously.
I used this technique exclusively to applique with the Oh Holy Night Block of the Week series, it was introduced during Week 2’s lesson.
Clover Fabric Folding Pen and Clover Fabric Folding Pen Liquid Refill are the pens and liquid I used, I don’t know of any others on the market, but if this catches on, I can see other companies popping up with their own versions.
This pen does just what it says it does, you simply fill the pen with water, add a few drops of the marking liquid, place the pen where you want to draw the line, squeeze lightly (not hard or a blob of water will come out all at once), and draw your line.
Sorry about the blurry image, but I thought I’d show how I add the marking liquid. In the Youtube video of this pen they show this differently, but I actually put mine in the hole of the pen, then lightly squeeze the marking liquid bottle to add the drops. You need 3 to 4 drops only. I promise, a little goes along way.
Clover touts this as a marking pen, and while it does mark, I don’t see it as a “mark” per say. However, the mark is in the wet spot, it doesn’t last long, once it dries you won’t see the line anymore, but it will still fold into the line you wanted. To remove the mark, just redo the drawing of the pen when it’s dry and it will remove the fold you wanted.
It will also remove folds in fabric the same way, just run the pen along the folded line, and iron away, it will remove the fold.
To Use This Pen for Turned Edge Applique
You won’t need a replacement bottle for along time, as the marking liquid in your pen really does go along way. In the background landscape I did for my 2016 Oh Holy Night Block of the Week, I did the entire background with the exception of the last two shapes with one fill of the water and liquid. For the last two shapes I had to finally do a refill of the water and liquid in the pen. So when I say a little goes along way, I really mean it. However, it’s always good to have an extra so when you do run out of the marking liquid, you can then pull out your refill and continue on. The pen does come with a bottle of the marking liquid.
The image shows the supplies needed. While I found this pen will fold the fabric, it is better to still use your iron to get that nice clean crisp edge. I still use a stiletto (in this case the Appliquick Tools, I love that forked edge on the one tool), scissors, an iron and a ironing pad. along with your applique shapes already ironed onto your fabric.
That’s right, no starch, no glue stick, no sticky mess.
Take your applique shape, and place it on your ironing board
After you fill your pen with the water and marking liquid, you then draw your the edge you want to turn under following the freezer paper line.
It is hard to see the liquid on this image, but it is there.
When you lay your pen down, while I don’t know how long it will take for the pen tip to dry, you should try to remember to place your cap back on so it stays wet.
Doing curves is just as easy, although a tip here, do not clip your curves until after you apply the pen, if you clip first, you have to then mark and it’s difficult to get the pen around the clipped edges, (like glue stick or starch, you should also wait to clip until after you starch or glue)
Once your finished with turning the edges you need to on the shape, turn it over and iron the top of your shape. It will lay nice and flat.
The image above shows the liquid better on the pen after marking it.
This image shows marking with clips cut after having been marked.
Tips About This Pen:
It works best on fabrics such as cotton. It leaves no stains on the fabric.
It does not work well on any type of fabric that stains with the use of water.
If your not sure, test it first.
You do not always need to squeeze the pen, once a flow of water is coming out of the pen, it flows nicely without having to squeeze. Squeezing is initially done just to get the water flowing out of the pen especially if the pen hasn’t been used for along time or it’s first time use.
When doing points on your applique, clip a triangular section out of the corner, fold the corner edge under, next remark if necessary and turn one side edge under, then mark if necessary and iron the second edge, you’ll get a nice clean point.
It’s ok if you iron over the liquid while your working, it will still fold when you go to turn under that part of your edge.
Their will be a bit of stiffness on the turned edge part only of the fabric after you iron it.
While this pen is expensive and the marking liquid refill is also somewhat on the expensive side, as I said earlier, a little goes along way, their is no messy stains after using this pen, it works immediately, no waiting around for it to dry or anything like that.
It doesn’t mark for me as easily as it shows in the video, but, it’s very easy to mark. (I had to move the pen sometimes back and forth a bit, I want to see the liquid in other words to know it’s working, so it may work easier for you.
This is the video that sold me on the product
This is Clovers video for the pen:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this lesson, and if you have one of these pens hanging around, give this technique a try, I think you will be amazed.
Let me know what you think, leave a comment below.