Buzzings from a quilter who bumbles her way through life!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Adding Words to Fabric, Part 2

I have some more ideas about ways to add words to your projects. If you are in the In Your Words Blog Hop (January 7 - 16) you may need some ideas, but even if not it is always good to have a variety of methods at your fingertips. You never know when you might need one!  
School Glue Resist
The sample you see at the top of the page was made with a school glue resist method. It is super simple and it might just be what you need. You can see the full tutorial here, but basically, you will draw out a design on muslin, outline it with school glue, and then when the glue is dry, you brush dye inside the lines and heat set the color. After all is finished, you wash out the school glue.  
 A variation of this method was used on the scrap above. I used rubber stamps dipped in school glue to stamp out a message and when dry, I dyed over it all, then washed out the glue. You can also just freehand your words with the glue bottle spout

  Text Fabric

This apron was made with an inset of fabric with a text printed on it. Sometimes you can fussy cut to get just the words you need. You could even piece them in to look "ransom note" style!
You can also use the words on a t-shirt for text. You must first back the stretchy fabric with an interfacing to stabilize it.
 Reverse Applique
 This letter is made of reverse applique - where an opening is made in the shape you want and a background is sewn behind it. In the case of letters, such as this D, you sometimes have to add the center of the letter in regular applique. 

   Shadow Quilting
An often overlooked method is shadow quilting. You cut out your letters from bright fabric and adhere them to your background either by glue or by cutting them from a fusible product.
 You place a thin white fabric over the letters. Test your fabric to be sure you can see through it enough. I have used Batiste here. Place batting behind the entire piece and machine quilt around the letters. You can then treat it as a single piece of fabric. The sample was made into a small pillow, seen above.

    Alphabet Beads

 I did a tutorial on tooth fairy pillows a while back and one of the pillows had this string of beads across the front. You can find alphabet beads in different sizes, colors, and shapes. They can be strung or sewn on to spell out whatever you wish! 
  Those same tooth fairy pillows had another idea that you can use to add words to your project: 

   Using Your Ink Jet Printer 

You can use your ink jet printer to print on fabric or onto t-shirt transfers that can be either sewn or ironed onto your fabric. Be sure you read the directions on the package if you buy the printer ready fabric or the transfer medium. This is easy to do and looks great, but is not as durable for something that will be washed a lot. You can also iron regular fabric to freezer paper that is cut to 8 1/2" x 11" and send it through your printer to print on. Be sure you have the freezer paper well adhered to the fabric and that you send it through so that the printing will come out on the fabric. 

 Machine Embroidery
If you have a machine that does this, you don't need instructions from me. Each machine is different. But don't forget that it can be used to add text to any fabric project! 

   Paper Pieced Letters  
I don't have samples to show you, but if you do paper piecing, you probably have books on the subject. Don't forget about this method! 

 Non-traditional Methods
I just want to mention a few methods that you might consider
Text can be added with a permanent marker and can be in your own handwriting. You can find markers in all colors now! Be sure it is permanent.
You can use acrylic paint to write your text.
You can sew magazine words to fabric if it will be a wall hanging or something that will not get handled or washed.  Quilt artists do this all the time.

Okay, have I given you something to think about? I hope so! Step out of the box and do something different! Be daring! 
There are still just a few spots left in the In Your Words Blog Hop, so you can still sign up. Send me an email here soon if you want in. (You can find a link to the guidelines on my sidebar if you want to see the rules first.)
Until next time....
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  1. I love allllll of your ideas,1/2 of these techniques I had no idea

  2. A treasure trove of techniques for the hop. Thanks so much!

  3. You are just too much, Linda!! All wonderful ideas, thank you!

  4. Linda ... you already have posted more ideas for adding words to quilts than I could ever imagine. Thanks for the inspiring display ... :) Pat

  5. Oh wow...what a fun post...just loved it and you definitely gave me something to think on.

  6. Thanks for all the ideas! I will probably do raw edge applique....but still very much in the planning stages!

  7. Great post Linda. I forgot about doing a glue resist, as I have done all the other ways you mentioned at least once. Now you got me thinking about starting another project too. I am working on one project now, but so many ideas are swimming in my head about this hop that I don't know if I will get them all done!

  8. Linda you come up with the most interesting things on your blog! Wow! I am so impressed!

  9. Thanks for the extra ideas to get wordy with!

  10. SO many ideas.....thanks for posting them!!

  11. Lots of ideas!! Thanks for commenting on my WIPs Linda

  12. Wow, these are great! Thanks so much for sharing!

  13. I already know what I'm going to do for blog hop but, gee, thanks for all the wonderful ideas for other projects. I like to make ABC quilts for kids and now I know a few other ways to add lettering. (Note: My blog hop project is not an ABC quilt for kids)!

  14. Linda, I would like to join in on the fun. I have an idea to apply words on a project I need to finish by February and would be willing to share the steps I took along the way for others to see.

    On my blog, you can see a quilt back where Iappliqued words on a couple of years ago. Came out cute if I do say so myself! Let me know..... Jane

    PS: Here's a link to it if you want to check it out.


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