Friday, November 10, 2006

Photos on quilts

Chalicat asked about how I would get photos into a quilt yesterday. So here is my (hopeful) explanation. Note it is hopeful because I have not yet tried it and don't know how good the results will be.

First, you take your fabric. You wash and dry it to get all of the yucky potential residues and what-have-you out of the fabric (apparently some manufacturers put stuff on the fabric, I'm assuming to make it drape prettier or give it a softer hand or whatever). Then, you use a product called Bubble Jet Set 2000 to totally soak the fabric. You hang it up without rinsing it or wringing it and let the fabric dry.

Then once it is dry, you can cut it. You cut it into a size your printer can handle, probably roughly 8.5 by 11. Then you iron a piece of freezer paper to the back of the fabric, and give it a final trimming so that it is nice and even on all sides.

Now that the freezer paper is on it, the fabric is stiff enough that you can feed it through your home computer inkjet style printer. Print your picture on to the fabric, then peel your fabric off of the paper when dry.

Last but not least, you need to wash your fabric photo in a chemical that will attract and remove extra dyes so when the quilt is washed later the extra dye doesn't run and ruin the quilt. I chose to use a chemical called Synthrapol. I picked it because I can use it in the first step to also remove the chemical treatments on the fabric. But there are other types you can use.
Ta-da! Once the final wash has occurred and the fabric is dry it is ready to go. There are products you can use that will iron on to the fabric, but I really felt the quilt would have a much softer hand and a more professional look if the fabric itself is dyed instead of a top layer that is just fixed to the fabric with heat.

I sure hope it works. I bought both chemicals from Dharma Trading and freezer paper is readily available at the grocery store, though you can also buy it in 8.5 x 11 sheets to make the work a little easier. All you need in addition is fabric, and I bought my white muslin from Keepsake Quilting. Oh, and also the chemicals must be pretty noxious because there are lots of warnings about using it in a well ventilated area and wearing gloves. Wish me luck!


  1. Wow. That is alot of work! I hope it turns out well. I bet it will. It's going to look awesome! :)

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Zegi!! :) I hear ya re house is a mess...but I still don't accomplish much in the way of "done done" quilting. ROFL