Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Make a Text appliqué pattern

I love adding text to my quilts. It can be anything – a word, a name, a quote. On small quilts I’ll use a variety of techniques, but on bigger quilts I will usually appliqué my text using fusible. Sometimes I’ll draw the letters freehand, but usually I use Word to create my pattern.

You should be able to enlarge the pictures by clicking on them. My version of Word is in Norwegian so there’s a chance your screen will look a bit different.)

Open a new document and write your text.

For the rest of this tutorial the text has to be highlighted for each step.

Choose a font. Try out a few and see how you like them, you can easily change them as you go along. Some of my favorite appliqué fonts are Kristen ITC and Matisse (all capital letters). Click to see all your options, and choose one.

Choose a size. You’ll find all the “preset” sizes herebut you can also fill in any number yourself.

I have chosen size 300.

You may need to adjust the size to fit your text into wherever it’s going.

If you want your letters to be fatter, click bold.

Now you’re going to remove all that black; it makes the pattern easier to copy and it saves ink. Click that little arrow at the bottom of your text options to open a box. Click on the tab that shows the info about font types and sizes. Check the box next to Contour and OK.

Your letters will look like these.

The last thing you need to do is to mirror image the text. This may be different from printer to printer, but here’s how I do it on mine.Click print. This box will pop up. Click on the marked box

Go through the different tabs until you find Mirror image, and check the box, then click OK.

Now your text will be printed out ready to transfer onto fusible. It might be a good idea to check that your text will fit by cutting the printed words/letters apart and try them on the background. The size can easily be changed by choosing a larger or smaller font.

Layer the fusible on top of your pattern, glue side down, and trace each letter. If you’re using one fabric for the text, you don’t need much space between them.

Fuse them onto the wrong side of your text fabric, and cut each letter out. Remove the paper. Arrange your text onto the background. 

Fuse it in place with a hot iron (check the packing of your brand of fusible) when you're happy. Appliqué or quilt them as you choose.

If my text is long, I will usually delete any multiple letters.

To make sure I get the correct number of each letter, I’ll spell my way through the text and mark the letters on the pattern sheets until I have the full text.

Have fun!


  1. Thank you, Nina! I am just about to attempt adding some words to a quilt which is intended to be used. I want it to be soft, and not stiff in places, and wonder what type of fusible you use. thanks so much!

    1. I usually use Vliesofix from Vilene which is the most common brand here.