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redsjaw@yahoo.com Posted: Tue, Jun 9 2009 8:08 PM

I am designing a keepsake quilt using photos.  Any feed back on printer photo fabrics would be greatly appreciated.  I have not used any and would love to know what has and hasn't worked.  Thanks!

Jan

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Joyce K. replied on Tue, Jun 9 2009 11:09 PM

Jan, I recently did a photo quilt for my Dad's 80th birthday. I've used two brands...Jacquard and June Tailor. I had good resuls with both brands. The one thing I learned is to be sure and use the same brand for all the photos. The cloth sheets from brand to brand can feel slightly different and the colors from your photo can print entirely different from one brand to the next. So just to make sure your photos all look the same, use the same brand of cloth sheets for all photos. I used the sew-in type and even though I could have sewn them into my fabric block, I chose to use a product called Wonder-Under to help adhere the photo squares to my fabric block. The photo cloth sheets also tend to fray so I thought the iron-on adhesive to the back side of each photo would help make them withstand all of the handling during the quilt construction. I used a satin stitch around the perimeter of each photo but be sure you use a stabilizer under the fabric, otherwise your fabric around the photo will draw in too much and ithe edges won't be smooth. I'm sure there is probably an easier way to attach photos to a fabric block, but I sort of just came up with my own method. It worked great and I was very proud of how the quilt turned out. Hope some of the tips here help.

Joyce :-)

P.S. (I didn't think to include a pic of the photo quilt I did, so I've opened my post up to edit so I could add a pic. I was very happy with the end result. I haven't been quilting all that long so this was quite an accomplishment for me. It's hard to see in the photo but in each corner I appliqued the words, "Brother", "Husband", "Father", "Friend". The family's reaction was the icing on the cake. Everyone loved it. I'd love to see pics of photo quilts from others.)

Joyce -- She who dies with the most fabric isn't sewing fast enough!!!!

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I haven't tried any of the photo fabrics, but have made my own using Bubble Jet Set 2000 & BJSet rinse.  I get about  16 sheets (8-1/2" x 11") from each yard of 45" fabric.  I buy 200 count bleached & unbleached muslin.  A bottle (32 oz) of BJSet2000 will do about 3-4 yards of fabric.  Very cost saving, but time consuming.

You first soak the fabric in the BJSet2000, following the easy instructions.  When dry, press with a steam iron and then iron onto freezer paper.  I don't cut the size until after the fabric is on the freezer paper..I then mark and cut the sheets out.  I don't cut more than I need at a time.  If I only need one sheet, I cut out two (you usually screw one up, or at least I do).  The sheets cost me under 30 cents each..so I don't cringe when i have a bad print.  At $2-3.00 each, I'd give up printing on fabric.

I use an HP ink jet printer (any brand with at least 1200 x 600 resolution will do) when I use the BJSet sheets.

I bought an HP Color Laser Jet printer last year.  I find that I can print easily onto plain 200 count muslin (with freezer paper backing) and heat set the print when finished & it washes beatifully.  The trick is to make sure you use as hot an iron as possible & a pressing sheet over the print..press, don't iron.

The older color laser printers worked ok..but the newer ones have an improved toner..and the color is really good.

I buy my BJSet2000 from Dharma Trading, Inc.  http://www.dharmatrading.com

Excellent prices & they have several brands of fabric printing sheets, some even on rolls.

Marge

Littlefield, TX

Margie Campbell
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Happy replied on Wed, Jun 10 2009 6:52 AM

I have use use the printed treasure before and it works good

Happy

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I used the Bubble Jet and made my own and it worked fine but I think for all the trouble I would just buy readymade next time...just my $.02.  I would like to get a printer that uses pigma ink for my photo printing & I think it would work better on the photos for quilts as it is a permanent ink.

 

Good luck with your project, I'm sure it will be beautiful.

 

Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy & sorrow, stitched with love

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Great tips!  I really appreciate all of your input.  I may have to try making my own like Marge and Spudgrandma.  I have a large project with lots of photos.  Joyce, I had not thought about the differences in the brands.  That was food for thought.  I will test some with my printer.  Again thanks and if you think of something else please let me know.

Blessings,

Jan

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Your welcome Jan and I hope you will post a picuture when you are done.

Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy & sorrow, stitched with love

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Plse do post a photo when you are done.  Also, if you have any questions, and if I can help, I will.  Just let me know, either here or at my email of margecam52@valornet.com

It's a great way to display old photos in a way that allows you to use the end result, either as a wall hanging, or to cuddle on a cold evening.

Marge

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Joyce,

I love your quilt.  I would think your daddy was overwhelmed when he saw it.  Great choices of colors, especially the border. 

Kathy Patterson, Fort Worth, Texas

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What a beautiful quilt Joyce, I'm sure it willl be a family treasure for many many years. A true labor of love.

Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy & sorrow, stitched with love

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Beautiful Quilt!  I love the colors...you did a really nice job on it.  How did you quilt it?

Margie Campbell
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Joyce, what a beautiful quilt!  You did a wonderful job and I am sure your family was delighted.  That inspires to continue on with my project.  thanks for sharing your quilt.

Jan

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Joyce K. replied on Thu, Jun 11 2009 7:50 PM

Hey Marge....I free hand machine quilted the stippling and meandered around the border, sashing and quilt blocks. The rest was mostly stitched in the ditch. I didn't want the quilting to overpower the pictures, which in my mind were the focal point. The quilting process is what proved the most challenging, because I wanted something that would enhance it but at the same time not detract from the photos. The other thing I learned in the process of quilting around the photos was not to fill those areas too tightly with quilting. If I did too much, the photos tended to poof out. I've seen some quilts where the quilting was done on top of the photos but my freehand quilting isn't good enough yet and I was afraid of ruining the photo, so I kept my quilting to the block area surrounding each picture.

Joyce -- She who dies with the most fabric isn't sewing fast enough!!!!

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Joyce

I do meander over the photos on fabric, using mono/poly .004 thread.  If the customer does not want the photos quilted, I add a layer of batting (cut slightly larger than the photo) behind each photo, this is quilted down using a tiny squiggle stitch (my straight lines are not all that straight..squiggling makes it look like I intended it to be a bit off).  The squiggle outline holds the batting down, and helps fill in  the photo so it does not sag later on.

If the photo is over 5x6, you almost have to quilt in on it a bit, or it sags later, no matter if you add extra layer of batting or not.

Marge

Margie Campbell
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Joyce K. replied on Thu, Jun 11 2009 10:45 PM

Marge,

Good tips. I did manage to keep my photos to about 4 x 4 and since I satin stitched around the perimeter, I added stabilizer to the back of each photo. The stabilizer gave each photo some durability. I was afraid they would feel too stiff but much to my surprise they didn't. I did look on the internet at some sample photo quilts, read some tips and found a few articles before diving into the whole process, but for the most part I just used my creativity to do what I thought would work best. Perhaps after the quilt has been hanging for awhile I'll discover where I went wrong and what not to do for the next one....lol.

Joyce -- She who dies with the most fabric isn't sewing fast enough!!!!

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