I grabbed one of my dad's old shirts and slapped down a good coat of gesso. I knew I wouldn't use the fabric for anything else with those stripes running down the cloth.
Once the fabric was well coated with gesso, I drew the basic shape of a dove into it.
I also drew swirls into the background.
I can't remember what I used to make the lines but you can use anything like a dried-up biro or an embossing tool or a screw driver.
I was even able to wash the fabric without it taking the gesso off - I had to soak off the paper I'd used to protect my table top and inadvertently discovered that you can also image transfer with gesso onto fabric.
Once the gesso was dry I used Inktense blocks to colour the image. I'm not sure if the Inktense is permanent on top of gesso but I'm not planning to wash this piece again.
Now the piece can be stitched into.