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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to quilt text on fabrics

I have made many quilts for people that wanted different texts somewhere on the quilt.   Sometimes a family has special "sayings" or nicknames they want included somewhere on their memory quilt.  There are several ways to go about doing this, but I will describe the way I have found works best for me.

What you will need for this project:

* A general knowledge of sewing, quilting, and free-motion
* A laptop or computer with access to the internet
* A good working sewing machine with a straight and zigzag stitch option
* A sandwiched and basted quilt
* Scissors, Tweezers, Seam Ripper, Cheater Needle,
* Good-quality threads - (details later)
* Darning Foot
* Tracing Paper, (or you can use a large phone book)

Start by finding a font you would like to use for your quilt.   Go to DAFONT.COM and type in the text you want to use in the "preview" box.   This allows you to preview the ACTUAL text the way it will look in your finished quilt.

For less starts and stops, choose a font that is cursive -  Please see THIS BLOG POST for more details on how to choose a font for quilting text.

Once you have chosen your font, you can either download it to your computer, and then pull it up in a word processor program or a program like MS Paint.   I prefer PAINT because you can easily resize it little-by-little until it fits perfectly into your quilt.

Lay your phonebook or tracing paper directly over your computer screen and trace the text with a dark inkpen.   Line up the bottom edge of the paper with the bottom edge of your computer screen to keep your text straight.

(if you are using white or LIGHT fabrics, you can lay your fabric directly on the computer screen before piecing it into your quilt, and use a thin pencil or erasable ink to mark your fabric)

Next you will take your marked paper and pin it directly on your sandwiched quilt with quilting pins or safety pins.

Now you are ready to quilt!
Quilt directly over the marked text just as you would if you were quilting and following a marked line.   So you don't have ugly knots, leave a thread tail when you start and stop a line of stitching, and you will go and bury those threads later.

Once you are done with a section of text, remove the quilt completely from the machine.  Carefully remove the paper and then bury your threads.  It helps if you have a Cheater Needle for this task.

Here is the video I made explaining this method:  

If you want your text to show up with just a single line of stitches, I recommedn using a thick thread such as Spaghetti by Wonderfil which is a 12wt but is able to go through your machine.   Use a 40 or 50wt thread in a matching color in the bobbin. ( I recommend Gutterman Sew-All Polyester)

If you don't have 12wt thread, you will need to go over the text several times for it really show up in the finished quilt.

Another option would be to use a satin stitch, which also gives the text a calligraphy-like effect.
See again THIS BLOG POST for examples of each of these options

And ya know, you COULD print the text out.  But I am cheap, errr I mean FRUGAL.. and cannot stand using expensive printer ink and paper. so I recommend just copying it directly onto your tracing paper or fabric from the computer screen.  The computer monitor makes an EXCELLENT lightbox!

To see the finished quilt go to THIS BLOG POST

1 comment:

  1. Great idea for when it's important to get the text evenly sized and spaced. I just "write" on my quilts but the letters are not the same size or equally spaced. (I've also been quilting forever!)