4 Ways to add Words to your Textile Projects and Art Quilts

I love adding words to my designs.

Maybe it’s my background as a video producer and editor, or maybe it’s the resonance words give my projects–at any rate, it’s become part of my style.nesting_tight

Lately, I’ve been working on a pack of “titled” pillows using my new favorite way to add words–stamps and fabric markers.

Here’s a pillow cover titled “Nesting” that  I’m about to list in my Etsy store.nesting_wide

I used rubber alphabet stamps and an ink pad for the rough outline of my letters, then filled in with a brown fabric marker.

Love the look–

Here it is again on my” Dive In” pillow top in progress.divein_1

And here’s another technique I’ve used for words on pillow:  Computer generated type, printed to an iron-on fabric transfer sheet.apple_wide

Easy  to read, but not really distressed enough for me.  I actually tackled this text with a  nail file to take some of the shine off the transfer.apples_tight

Method number 3 is printing with  a fine tip,  permanent marker.  I especially like the way this text looks on sheer fabric.   You need a lot of it to make the printing look like more than an accident.  In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say.garden_journal1

Finally, “found words” are my go-to method of titling.  I cut letters and words from tee shirts and other reclaimed sources, then applique them to my work.gardenmor_1

I do love the serendipity of this method.   Often, I just plunge my hand into  my stash  bin labeled “words” and see what combos come out.

So how do you add resonance to your projects?


  1. I LOVE your pillows! I’m going to try the sheer fabric-love that look. So far I have used my printer to print on muslin that I ironed to freezer paper, then fed it into the printer. I made up a bunch of wording using different fonts, saved it in “Word,” on my computer, then printed it on the fabric. This works really well, and also works good for photos. I have tried washing the printed fabric by hand, and it seemed fine. I also love the fabric pens. I’m excited to try the fabric paint I have coming from an online art store…that will be one of my new ventures with really good fabric paint.

    • Thanks so much for the great comment. I’m going to try the muslin on freezer paper since I have been buying the pricey transfer paper (ouch!) instead. I have done photo transfer with the printer. Before the the toner is dry, I use a dry paint brush to blur the image so it is not so crisp and new looking. Then I distress with fabric paints. Jacquard is my favorite fabric paint brand BTW. I am making a family photo wall hanging this way and will probably post about it soon.

      Just checked out your blog—and loved it. I’m you’re newest subscriber.

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