I have used a few different things to make my stitcheries and finally found something I liked.
I have tried chalk pencils. They do well, but you do have to push harder and the blue ones don't come out without soap.
I would recommend using freezer paper underneath, to stabilize your fabric.
I got two markers, disappearing ones. A purple and a pink one. They are great, until they start disappearing, lol.
If you wanted to use them for a quick design on machine quilting, but they do disappear fast.
Then I decided to use a Pitt artist pen. It makes a nice fine black line, so if you are working with black, it gets covered.
The benefit is it lasts, so you can make up your projects ahead of time and do them without worrying about the ink. The drawback is, if you make a mistake while applying it, you either have to stitch over the mistake, or redo the design.
Then I got two blue wash away markers. One is fine line, one is a small soft tip. The fine line is made by Dritz, water erasable. The other, made by DMC is an embroidery transfer pen. The fine line is nice especially for detail, but the small tip is a bit stiff. The Dmc pen has a softer tip and goes on smooth, but leaves a larger mark and I made more mistakes. But, it didn't matter, they both washed right out. All I had to do was run the piece under cold water and the marks disappeared, no rubbing needed.
This is the piece after stitching, you can see the blue marks. I used the fine line on the lettering and hive, and the soft tip on the rest.
Here is the piece, finished and stained. No marks reappeared after drying. I had that happen with the blue chalk pencil.
I got mine at Jo anns and used a coupon, so the cost is minimal. Both work great, it is up to you whether you like the fine or soft tips. The only thing I didn't have time to test was, how long do the lines last, will they stay if I make ahead for a trip and if I leave them on for weeks, will they still wash out. I guess I have to do a test on that too;)
In the Works
9 hours ago