Build Your Own
Photo Quilt or Memory Quilt
Part 2 - Photo Transfer

We are in progress with building our Photo Quilt or Memory Quilt. And now it is time for

Transferring Your Photos to Fabric (two options)

  • Transfer Sheets,

  • Pre-treated Fabric

You will need an inkjet printer for both options. (Not a laser printer as they get too hot)

Transfer Sheets

For this method, you print your photos onto Transfer sheets, and then iron them onto your photo quilt fabric. Most craft stores and big box stores like Wal-Mart or Sears sell Transfer Sheets on to which you can transfer photographs using your ink jet printer. Transfer sheets usually comes in a packet of ten to 20 sheets, and it costs around 15 to 20 dollars. It also comes in transfers for dark or light fabric. Dark fabric transfers are usually a little more expensive. Transfer sheets comes in a standard size of 8.5 by 11 inches.

The transfer sheets are fed through you ink jet printer and the image is printed on the sheets.

READ the INSTRUCTIONS that come with the Transfer Sheets.

Note: If you only have hardcopy photos (already printed on photo paper) for your photo quilt, you can attach them to a sheet of printer paper (like with tape), and then use a color copier to copy the pictures onto your transfer sheets. You’ll want to set the copier to copy in reverse so when you iron the transfer onto the fabric, it will show in the proper direction.

After you have transferred your pictures to your Transfer Sheets, follow the instructions on the package for adhering them to your fabric. Do Not Pre-Wash your fabric prior to transferring, as the image will stick better to new unwashed fabric. You’ll then iron the images on the Transfer sheets to your photo quilt fabric using a steam free iron.

Pre-Treated Fabric
The second method is to purchase or make your own pre-treated fabric, then using your inkjet printer, print right onto this pre-treated fabric. And here’s how:

Purchase pre-treated photo transfer fabric at most fabric or craft shops. The best that I’ve seen are: Color Textiles, Printed Treasures, June Taylor and Miracle Fabric Sheets. Basically they will work with all types of inks and all have a fairly high thread count.

If you want to read in depth about printing on fabric, I encourage you to read this article by C. Jenkins Chemicals Company.

Quality Tip: One simple solution to prevent fabric jams is to make sure the edges of the fabric is pressed to the paper backing before printing. If you accidentally pulled the paper backing away from the fabric simply use a house hold iron and re-adhere it to the fabric.

Make your own Pre-treated printable fabric.

For this you will need two solutions:

  • Bubble Jet Set 2000, and
  • Bubble Jet Rinse
  • Cut your fabric sheets to standard paper size of8 ½ x 11 inches.
  • Soak all your fabric sheets at one time in Bubble Jet Set 2000 solution. (Follow the instructions on the Bubble Jet Set bottle). You’ll end up hanging the sheets or lying them flat on a plastic covered table to dry for about 48 hours. Again, follow the instructions on the Bubble Jet Set 2000 bottle.
  • Now you are going to stabilize your fabric with some wax paper so it will feed through your ink jet printer.
  • Take household wax paper and cut it into the same
    size sheets (8 ½ x 11 inches)
  • Note that the wax paper will want to curl up, so you can press it under a large book for a day or two to straighten it out.
  • Get a smooth cutting board or similar surface that you will iron on. The normal padded ironing board may be too soft to do this next step.
  • Place the wax paper shiny side up on your smooth hard surface
  • Place your 8 ½ x 11 inch fabric sheet on top.
  • Using an iron on the cotton setting, carefully iron over your fabric until it is complete adhered to the wax paper. Tah-dah! You now have a stabilized fabric ready to print on.
  • Now set your ink jet printer on a setting that allows for heavier paper.
  • Place your stabilized, treated photo quilt fabric in your printer tray, or run it through your printer manually. Make sure if you are using a printer like most HP’s that feed in on the bottom, and send out on the top of the same side of the printer, that you pay attention to the orientation your page has to be in. Usually the side to be printed will be face down with the top going into the printer first.
  • After printing allow it to dry for about 30 minutes.
  • Next remove the wax paper and wash on Gentle or Delicate cycle in your washing machine using Bubble Jet Rinse. This will help to set the print making it more permanent. Again, check out the instructions on the Bubble Jet Rinse bottle for any additional specifics and precautions.
  • Voila! you have your photo quilt printed fabric sheets.

    To Photo Quilt - Memory Quilt Building - Part 3

    Memory Quilt Photo Quilt button Part 1 memory quilt photo quilt button part 3

    Return from Photo Quilt to Quilting home

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Quilt Type# of ShirtsApprox. Size*Price
Wall Hanging957" x 57" or smaller$225
Lap1245" x 60"$250
Twin2060" x 90"$300
Full/Double3075" x 90"$350
Queen4290" x 106"$400
*Size may vary slightly. Other sizes may be available upon request

Photos provided in the .JPG format will be printed on white fabric sheets and incorporated into the quilt for $10 per 8x10 photo. If desired, you may put 2-5x7 photos or 4-3x5 photos on one sheet. Each 8x10 sheet counts as one square.

Note: Brothers-Handmade works with one Quilter (Linda) for these T-shirt quilts.

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