How To Do Quilted Lettering


Quilting Contessa gives a step by step guide on how to do quilted lettering. Use it and share it with your most loved quilters and guilds.

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How To Do Quilted Lettering

The popularity of WORD QUILTS continues to flourish. Usually, words in quilts arrive as text on fabric or as applique letters. There are a handful of books on piecing alphabets: Stitch Your Story by Sarah Fielke; Quilt Talk by Sam Hunter; Text It! by Sherri Noel; Word Play Quilts by Tonya Ricucci; Alphabet Soup by Tammy Johnson (folk art); Alphabet Soup by Jaybird Quilts (using the Hex-N-More ruler); Alphabet Adventures by Marianne Jeffrey. PDF alphabets of all kinds (pieced, applique, and foundation paper piecing) are available on Etsy. The applique alphabets are too numerous to name, but here is a listing of Etsy designers offering traditional pieced or foundation alphabets: Kelby Sews, Right Patterns, Patch and Dot, Sew Fresh Quilts, From Blank Pages, Lori Kleiner Eckert, Daniela Patchwork, Art East Quilting Co., Ellis and Higgs.

How To Do Quilted Lettering


How about words IN quilting? Of course, with practice and good penmanship, you can free-motion stitch words into quilts. But sometimes you need a larger presence for your quilted lettering than script can provide. Wouldn’t it be nice to use all the keyboard fonts in your quilting? Here is a new technique for embellishing fonts with free-motion shading.




Select any font you like, print the letters in the size you need, and use your favorite method to transfer the design to your quilt. Outline the letter with free motion quilting.




Outline again, 1/4" inside original quilting.




Scribble (long and short up-and-down free-motions quilting) to fill in the 1/4” gap between outlines.




This step is extra fun.

Turn the tension on your sewing machine all the way up. Slowly, zig-zag back and forth, filling in the central area of the letter remaining inside the 1/4” border. The bobbin thread will create a lattice/lace filling in the font!



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Attaching individual pieces of fabric to a background to form a design.

Same As: Appliqué

See Also: Freezer Paper Applique, Needleturn Applique, Machine Applique, Reverse Applique, Shadow Applique
A spool or reel that holds thread or yarn for spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, or making lace.
A strip of fabric or pieced strip of fabric joined to the edges of the inner quilt and used to frame it.
The layer in the middle of a quilt sandwich between the Top and Backing layers consisting of wool, polyester, blends, silk, or cotton.

Same As: Stuffing, Batting, Wadding, Filler
Free Motion Quilting
Method of quilting where the feed dogs of a sewing machine are lowered or covered and the quilter controls the movement of the fabric under the needle.
Strips of fabric that are set between blocks and separate the blocks in a quilt.
An individual fabric shape joined with other patches to make a quilt block or sometimes a one patch style quilt. These may be cut from templates, rotary cut or free hand cut.

Same As: Piece

See Also: Double Nine Patch, Four Patch Block, Nine Patch, One Patch
The basic method of making a quilt by sewing many small pieces of fabric together.

Same As: Piecework
The process of assembling quilt blocks from pieces of fabric sewn along their edges to form a whole.

See Also: English Paper Piecing, Assembly Piecing, Machine Piecing, Chain Piecing, Paper Piecing, Hand Piecing
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