Natalie Chanin's Alabama Stitch Book is just fantastic; I was so very excited to learn to do her reverse applique stitch technique last year and I've used it over and over again.
Here's a new example: a rubric for my friend Clareann, whose name is so frequently misspelled. Now, all you have to know is the shape of Co. Clare, Ireland (from whence her family hails), and you can read the tee: it's kind of like a nerdy joke and a super secret code all in one. =)
just for perspective: made on a lightweight summer tee from the Gap, in purple with dark-teal printing, green stitching thread, and orange backing.