Monday, February 12, 2018

How to Use a Hera Marker

A HERA MARKER is a traditional Japanese tool used for marking fabric by making an indent on the fabric.It leaves no residue (no chemicals), works on any fabric weave or color, and disappears completely after quilting or washing.

Two styles of hera marker are made of hard plastic by Clover. Both styles have a sharp edge for making straight lines by pressing down and drawing across the fabric, guided along the edge of a rotary ruler. 

Press ONLY hard enough to make a mark you can see – it IS possible to mark too hard and make errors difficult to remove. (I mark a lot of background grid lines on my quilts, so I prefer this wider style; it is more comfortable to hold against the palm of my hand.)

The thin style has both a sharp edge and a pointed end. The pointed end is guided by drawing as you would a pencil, either freehand or with a stencil.

I have also used the pointed end to perforate a paper design leaving a dotted line in the quilt.

Lots of marking errors show in the photo above, but no marks were left after quilting.

* If you have trouble seeing your marks while quilting, it may help to change your angle of view.
* Make a plan on paper before beginning to mark.
* I prefer to mark my quilts AFTER basting the quilt sandwich.
* If you do not have a hera marker, you can substitute a knitting needle or darning needle for small projects. Do NOT use a butter knife, as it may leave dark marks on the fabric.

* Pre-crease applique stems and strips for ruching.
* Draw reference lines for fussy cutting.
* Crease skirt and pant hems, pleats, darts.
* Add hash marks to match up pieced curves.
* Finger press pieced seams without ironing.
* Paper folding.

Keep Stitching!
Barbara M. Burnham

(c) 2018 Barbara M. Burnham. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any kind is expressly prohibited without prior written authorization.


  1. These tips are wonderful! Thanks ever so much--I'm going to try these!

  2. Thank you - I have the wider one and now I know how to use it properly.

  3. Thanks for the information, Barbara.

  4. Thanks Barbara for sharing this simple yet very effective marking tool. No worries about leftover residue.

  5. I was wondering if the wider one was more comfortable in the hand. ThanKS for sharing.

  6. Barbara, I have a half sized Hera marker(a freebe)and use it often You have expanded my thinking on how to use it and now I will be investing in the two larger ones! Thank you so much for this useful post!

  7. Just when I needed. I have a white square I need to mark and didn't know how I was going to do it. Thanks so much for this helpful post.

  8. I need to try using again--thanks for the tips. I've wondered about using before or after basting. Just have to make sure the quilt top is as smooth as possible, I guess!

  9. Thanks for writing such wonderful article. God bless. Thanks


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