I recently read Pepper Cory's book, Mastering Quilt Marking.
Check WorldCat for a library near you, or Amazon for more info.
One thing the author suggested was to invest in stencils to make the arduous task of quilt marking easier. In my mind, I thought, "Great! another way to spend money on my hobbies."
Well, I also believe in the idea that "Where there's a need, the Universe provides." You just have to put in your request for it to manifest. On a recent stroll through my favorite local thrift store, I discovered a big bag full of stencils for quilting and painting--probably 25 stencils for $3. What a bargain! The set included some classic stencils like feathers, cables, meandering, and cross-hatch.
Anytime I purchase 2nd-hand items from the thrift store or a rummage sale, I always feel good about having found a bargain and about the recycling aspect--saving usable items from the landfill. Beyond that, I usually start thinking about the past history of the item(s), about the owner(s) ... What were they like? Did the woman who collected all these stencils use them? Did she also find them at a thrift store, or did she collect them one-at-a-time Many have price stickers for a store I've never heard of : House of Stencils in Canada. Did someone give them to her? Why did she give them up? Did she die, or was she moved into a nursing home as her family had to pare down her belongings to what would fit into a single room? Did she just decide she no longer enjoyed quilting? Did she put them in a rummage sale herself and these didn't sell, so they were taken to the thrift store? Or was it something more glamorous than that --- She is traveling North America in an RV, and just doesn't have room for all this stuff anymore ... Maybe she decided to join the Peace Corps and is helping to plant trees, or delivering HIV/AIDS medications on a bicycle as a visiting health-care worker in Africa. I don't know ... I do know that I've got all the stencils I could want now.