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Thread: Photo quilting

  1. #1

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    My name is Shirley and I was wondering if you have ever done Photo quilting and if so do you have any tips. I want to do some stuff with photo quilting. Thanks

  2. #2
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    I assume you're talking about transfering phots to fabric, then using them in a quilt?

    I don't use photos, but I do design and print my own fabrics if I can't find exactly what I want for a project. In fact, I'm getting ready to print some up today.

    My first recommendation would be to buy Bubble Jet Set. It's a chemical that treats fabric so the ink from your printer becomes almost completely permanent. So much less expensive than buying packages of pre-treated fabric sheets. Just make sure to use 100% natural fibers. I usually just use white muslin - prewashed in hot, hot, hot water and rinsed at least twice.

    I've never had much success with the iron-on transfer method. I suspect it's most likely because I'm doing something wrong, but since discovering BJS, the point is moot. :-)

    Most of my projects have faded by a shade or two in the first few washings, but that's all. I've heard the photo inks are even more colorfast when used with the BJS. Guess I'll find out today.


  3. #3

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    Is that the same as a bubble jet printer?

  4. #4
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I've heard of that bubble jet set, I think it's a treatment for your fabric so you can run it through your printer. I've bought some pretreated sheets but haven't tried them yet. My husband has some really pretty chickens and I've been taking pictures of them to use in a quilt for him. I left my digital camera outside and of course it rained that night so I'm using a regular camera and have to get them developed, then will scan onto my computer and print. In my head it's a really neat quilt, sure hope it comes out that way. I can follow patterns and directions really well but have never done my own design. Maybe in a few months I'll post my progress.

  5. #5

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    I have done 3 quilts with the photos on them. I am now doing a pillowcase for 2 of my granddaughters. I use the Bubble Jet Set on 200 ct. muslin. It works great. I use the "large label makers" to stick the muslin on, so they will go through the printer with no problem. Then I let them sit for about 24 hours before I rinse, dry and they use them. You need to use an ink jet printer to print out the pictures with the bubble jet set. I've heard if you have a laser printer, you don't need to use the bubble jet set, but I could be wrong.

  6. #6
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    I'd also heard laser print was permanent on fabric. I ran a sheet of untreated muslin, ironed to freezer paper, through my color laser. The toner rubbed off onto my hands; the rest washed right out in plain water. I haven't yet tried pretreating the fabric. Bubble Jet Set isn't recommended for laser printing, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that it does work. Another product I plan to try is Retayne.

    For now, though, I'm sticking to BJS and my inkjet printer. I used Retayne once on both 100% cotton and a poly-cotton blend. I was surprised to find that using it full-strength provided the least success. I had to fiddle several times with the ratio of water-to-Retayne to find the one that worked best for each type of fabric. Naturally, I forgot to write anything down, so I'll have to get another bottle and start over. It'll be worth it, though. The most successful test prints barely faded at all in the first wash and have remained colorfast through several subsequent trips to the washing machine.


  7. #7
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Both terms refer to the same technology.

  8. #8

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    Do you mean you treat your fabric with Retayne instead of the BJS? I don't like using the freezer paper with the fabric. My corners never stick good enough. That's why I got the large label makers. I've used one of those for over 25 "sheets" of fabric.

  9. #9
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    I've used both chemicals to treat fabric. I tried the Retayne first - several years ago - before BJS came onto the market. Once I found the right ratio of water-to-Retayne, the results were vivid and permanent. I think it also worked on cotton/polyester blends. Unfortunately, as I said, I forgot to write down the formula. I plan to try again because it costs about half as much to use as BJS.

    Actually, I plan to experiment with the Dharma brand of a Retayne equivalent. If it works, it'll cost only 25% as much as BJS. I should have it in about a week. I'll let you know how the experiment turned out.

  10. #10

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    Thanks, please let me know. I love doing the photo quilts. I've also made little picture books for my grandchildren with their pictures in them as well as, mom, dad and others. The kids love them

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