Printing Verses

One of my favorite things to do is to print bible verse onto quilts.  Use the Fabric Mate fabric dye pens which are machine washable and dry-able after 24 hours.  Use a disappearing ink pen (found in quilting areas of craft stores) to draw your guide lines.  Draw three lines 1/4″ apart.   Here is a printing guide for an embroidery look using straight lines.  The key here is to practice and pray a lot.  Practice first on paper, then on scrap fabric.

Once you pick out verses, enlarge them in PowerPoint using Lucinda Calligraphy 48 point.  Set your page design to 8 1/2″ by 11″ in landscape.  Cut each line of the verse and tape them together to get an idea of how long the verse is in relationship to the quilt.

Use the hand your not printing with to stabilize the fabric, kind of like an embroidery hoop as you print each letter.  The printing is done on a finished quilt.  Using the ‘verse paper ribbon’ created above, and the lettering guide, to help you with spacing.  If running ahead of the ‘verse paper ribbon’ then make printing narrower;  if  behind the ‘ribbon’, then make letters wider.  The key to remember is that this is hand printed.  It will not be perfect or consistent with machines and that is what gives it it’s charm.  If you make a mistake, keep going.  The Amish deliberately add mistakes since only God is perfect.  Even though you can wash the ink out before it sets, it is a lot of work and can erode your confidence.  Very few people will notice the mistake and will be thrilled at the care of hand printing.

Have a few short verses just in case you don’t end up where you want to.  Printing around an entire boarder using multiple verses besides a printing block on the back is very touching.  Use one color for all of the verses or change out the color for each verse.  Use a smaller simple script and print one verse and then rotate the quilt 180 degrees to print a different script.  Use different translation of the same verse when writing the beatitudes;  NIV in one direction and then ‘The Message’ in the other direction.  Have fun, and pray while your printing and you will even surprise yourself.  Make sure you heat set the ink after printing with the hottest iron the fabric can take without steam.

The verse below made a 5 foot verse paper ribbon.