Yes if you want to envelope text you can use text warp (a script by Saulgoode)
The downside is you can only create rectangular shapes with it.
Filters>Distort>Curve Bend will do it also.(but with a bit of distortion). After you distort the text do an alpha to selection and edit>clear.
Now do a selection to path and stroke that path.Then fill in the text with whatever you want.
Curve Bend between paths may work also.Though i do not think it works as well as curve bend.http://registry.gimp.org/node/19214
In Inkscape this can be done by following the directions in this HeathenX screen-cast video. http://screencasters.heathenx.org/wp-co ... ep060.html