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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

  11. #11
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    PatriceJ I would like to hear more about designing your fabrics

  12. #12
    Donna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    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.
    Did you heat set it before you rubbed or washed it? I thought it was permanent also but had to be heat set with the iron first. This is good to know, thanks,

    Donna

  13. #13
    Member Sharon A's Avatar
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    This was a great discussion and I am very interested in learning how to do the pictures on fabric for quilting since taking pictures and printing them is also one of my hobbys, I would love to be able to do family wall hanging for my girls. I have a Lexmark 3 in 1 and it prints awesome pictures. Would love to learn how to make the quilts using the kids pictures. I have written down what you all have said about it so far. I did'nt realize you could fuse material to freezer paper, I have a large roll from my husbands deer hunting. Can't wait to try it. Thanks so much for the information.
    Sharon A

  14. #14
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    before I heard of all these nifty alternatives to the expensive ready to use printer fabric sheets , I bought some. I tried them last night, the sheets worked fine but I can't make my program do what I want to do to my pictures. I had it zoomed in and croped like I wanted it but it printed just like the original. Wasted 30 minutes.
    Grrrrrr

  15. #15

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    After zooming and cropping, you may have to save the picture before you can print it the way you want. Not sure, but I've done that and it's worked. Print it on regular paper first to see if it works for you.

  16. #16
    Senior Member mary705's Avatar
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    I haven't used the fabric sheets I bought yet, but I did wait to buy the packages when I had a 50% off coupon to use at JoAnns. Gotta love those coupons, and I use them whenever I want to buy a new ruler or template too

  17. #17
    Senior Member mary705's Avatar
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    I finally used the fusable fabric sheets. Use a piece of fabric or pressing cloth over the top of the printed piece. The instructions did not say to, but when doing it the way they said, it left the little marks that are on my iron. Luckily I had more fabric sheets and the photo saved in my computer.

  18. #18
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    IF YOU USE THE FREEZER PAPER METHOD DO YOU SEW IT WITH THE FABRIC OR PEEL IT APART FIRST?

  19. #19
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    take the paper off

  20. #20
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    I tried the full sheet labels this morning. I love it. So much quicker and sturdier than freezer paper. If I am running low on money, freezer paper is the way to go. I bought my labels from Office Max at $10.49 for 25 sheets and someone said they are reusable. I am in photo printing heaven!

    If you are using freezer paper, remember to follow bottle instructions, they have to be washed in either Bubble Jet Rinse or original Woolite. The guy from the company that makes BJS told me Woolite was ok. I hand wash so as not to get to much fraying.

  21. #21
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy
    PatriceJ I would like to hear more about designing your fabrics
    I was making a quilt some years ago using some fabric prints I just loved. I hadn't bought enough of one and couldn't find more anywhere. I used Corel Draw to combine several of the graphics that come with the program. The result wasn't close enough to the fabric I'd bought to use as a substitute, but I have been able to use it for a lot of other projects. (As to the quilt that started the whole thing ... I just settled for a smaller one.)

    Since then, whenever I need something I can't find - or can't find for a reasonable price - I just fire up Corel Draw and create something myself. I never have to worry about buying too much or - worse - running out. I print what I need as I need it. It's especially handy when I want to use the same print on several differently colored backgrounds. I'm working on a Grandmother's Garden using nothing but fabrics I've printed myself. Little calico flowers. Same flowers, but different color backgrounds. Because the print usually fades at least one shade - even using Bubble Jet Set - in the first wash, the quilt will already look like an antique when it's done.


  22. #22
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    Patrice, thanks for answering, I was afraid you didn't see my request. I don't think I have corel but do have a draw program if I can figure out how to use it. I work 12 hours a day so I don't have a lot of time to mess around on the computer when I get home. (I'm at work now) Shhhh. Anyway I have a chicken and I think she would make a beautiful piece of fabric, I tried taking a picture and blowing it up but it got too distorted. She almost looks like she's wrapped it a brown and tan paisley print. I'm making a quilt and using photos of some of our chickens and thought if I could make some fabrics to match it would really set it off. Well maybe next time.
    kathy

  23. #23
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    If you email your photo(s) to me at [email protected] I'll see what I can come up with for you. No charge, no strings attached. Just to see if I can turn them into something you can use.

  24. #24
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    Patrice, you're a doll. I'll bring them with me tomorrow and send them to you.
    Your new pal,
    Kathy
    lol

  25. #25
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    Ok Patrice, the ball's in your court.

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