Anyway, armed with cheap craft paint acrylics and fabric painting medium and a few stamps and stencils, off I went, and below are the results.
Pillow #1, painted (before I got the fabric medium) and stenciled and stamped, on the front only. It's a little stiff, but the paint was applied lightly.
Pillow # 2 same paints, mixed with medium, and applied more thickly. I also added a little water to the mix, to make it absorb into the fabric. Used a stencil or two here and made an unholy mess in the upper corner. So, thinking more paint would only make it stiffer, I decided to make a patch.
Cut and raveled a square, and began randomly stitching lines and circles--still getting comfortable with my old sewing machine, Then I sprayed the patch with water to dampen it and dribbled acrylic inks on it and sprayed some more to move the ink around. Stitched it on with more lines and circles, and I quite like it.
The back of pillow #2, decorated with stamps and brushed on inks.