Today I inked a poem onto the front of my Chinese Poem challenge. It's one of many translations of the poem which inspired the design. Here you see part of it, applied with a black Pigma Micron pen size 1.
Now before you rush to compliment me on my penmanship, you should know that I traced from a computer generated copy using a font called Echelon. I printed a mirror image onto freezer paper so that I could iron the freezer paper to the back of the quilt top.
The freezer paper stabilizes the fabric so the pen has an easier time gliding over it. The letters in reverse are now the right direction as light from underneath illuminates them.
Sometimes I use a window as my light box. Other times I use my clear acrylic surround for my sewing machine. The space between two of the legs is just wide enough to slip my portable Ott lamp between. It lies flat under there and provides a strong yet not glaring light.
I'll let this sit overnight, then heat set the ink before layering it for quilting. I like the Pigma pens because the ink is archival and permanent. They come in many colors and tip sizes to produce everything from a very thin line like here, to wider brushstroke-like ones.