Lettering on Fabric

The second class I took at the Houston International Quilt Festival was called Lettering on Fabric, from Formal to Funky, by Lisa Engelbrecht. Lisa is an artist who works in mixed media and collage.

We started the class by learning some basic calligraphy, using pen and ink on paper. We practiced basic pen strokes, then moved on to letters.

lettering-1

The first picture shows some of my practice lettering. We worked from samples of different alphabets, including a gothic one, and some less formal ones.

Then we began working on making a sample book of lettering on fabric. We used cotton muslin, artist canvas, and samples of other quilting cottons. Fabric was cut or torn into strips to make pages for our book. Some of the fabric pages were painted with fabric paints or inks first, and allowed to dry.

lettering-3

Then we wrote words on the pages, using various inks, dip pens with calligraphy nibs and sharp nibs, Zig brand pigment markers, fabric paint with brushes, and so on. Some of the samples worked better than others. The fabrics that were painted first generally took the lettering well, without any bleeding (spreading of the ink or paint into surrounding fabric). The canvas suffered the least bleeding, and the quilting cottons were the worst. Inks tended to bleed more than markers or fabric paint. Not really surprising, considering how much thinner they tend to be. An important lesson from this was to do trials of any fabrics and media before doing lettering on an actual project.

lettering-4

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