Many see a quilt as a blanket to put on a bed, we quilters know better. A quilt is love that brings comfort in so many ways. One way I bring comfort with my quilts is by making memory quilts using t-shirts, clothing, and photographs.
The memory quilt I’m showing you this week was made as a Mother’s Day gift for Delfina. It measures 58½” x 72½”.
Here’s a list of all the great tools I used to make this quick and easy quilt.
Important note: Read today’s post prior to starting.
Other essential materials for this week’s project:
- 20 digital photos
- 1⅓ yards [1.5m] white fabric (read today’s post prior to getting fabric.)
- 2¼ yards [2.0m] for lattice work (or use scraps to add a variety of colors to the quilt.)
- ⅝ yard [0.5m] for binding
- 3½ yards [3.25m] for backing
- 1 double size batting
When selecting the fabrics for this project, consider using the recipient’s favorite colors. I used aquas to frame the photos and a blue which has a hint of aqua for the lattice, as these are Delfina’s favorite colors.
The first step in creating this quilt is to transfer the photos to fabric. I transferred the photos to a document I created using a word processing software. Once the document was created, I played with the photo’s size, by this I mean I enlarged the photo as big as I could. Normally one photo per page. If the photo was of poor quality or low resolution, then I didn’t use a whole page for one photo.
When the photos and documents were ready to be printed, the fun began.
Printing photos on fabric can only be done using an ink jet or bubble printer. DO NOT use a laser jet printer.
Here are two ways I transfer photos to fabric.
1. Using the OLFA 12½” x 12½” square ruler, cut 20 – 8½” x 11” rectangles of the Sew Easy freezer paper.
2. Cut 20 – 8½” x 10¾” rectangles from the white fabric.
3. Press fabric rectangles onto the freezer paper leaving a ¼” space at one end. Do not center fabric on the freezer paper. The purpose of leaving a ¼” of freezer paper is to simply make it easier to feed into the printer.
4. Print photos to the fabric. When printing, I always do a test print first to ensure all is working well. Also, I don’t change any of the printer settings.
5. Separate the freezer paper from the fabric.
6. Heat set ink by using the iron’s hottest cotton setting. I do this step on both sides of the fabric.
7. Trim fabric with photo to the desired size.
Important note: Ensure you follow every step in Method 1 prior to printing multiple photos. I’ve had photos where the ink didn’t set properly and came out when washed. I don’t know if the issue was the fabric, the iron not hot enough or the batch of ink. Now when I use this method, I use it for a project that will not be washed.
I also use fabric sheets that are already prepared for ink jet printers. The fabric is a bit thinner with a backing to make it easy to feed in the printer. Ask the local quilt shop for these specialty photo sheets.
Once the photo is printed and the backing removed, the fabric is ready to be trimmed.
Both methods are great. However, with each method, remember to test, test and test.
The idea to print photos on fabric can be nerve-wracking the first time you attempt it. The important thing to remember, as I mentioned earlier, is to test.
Having the right tools makes the whole process easy. Today with the help of the OLFA 121⁄2″ Square Frosted Acrylic Ruler and Sew Easy Freezer Paper for Quilting and Applique, I was able to cut and trim as needed.
I look forward to coming back tomorrow to show you how easy it is to border each photo. Have a great day!