Have you ever considered using photographs as a means to personalize a quilt?
There are products on the market that allow you to use your own home printer to print directly onto special fabric sheets. You can print any photograph from your computer onto these fabric sheets. Once you’ve done that you can use the fabric like any other and cut it, stitch it into or appliqué it onto a quilt.
There are several points you should consider before printing your photos onto these fabric sheets.
- Check the size of your photographs. The fabric sheets generally come in the same sizes as paper that can be fed through a printer. Make sure that your photograph is not bigger than this size. You may need to take the photo file into some photo manipulation software to do this.
- Look at the contrast levels in your photo. If your photo is very dark or very light you may not be able to see it well once it prints onto the fabric sheet. Again using photo manipulation software can help with this. It may also help to make the photograph black and white. This allows you to easily see the contrast.
- If you plan to stitch the photograph into a patchwork make sure you leave plenty of seam allowance around the photograph. Don’t just leave the traditional quarter inch as this doesn’t leave any room for error. Give yourself at least half an inch, just to be sure.
- If you are using a fussy, patterned fabric around the photo consider adding a border around your photograph before printing. Most photo manipulation software will allow you to add a border around your photos. You can add a narrow border before printing to give the outline of the photograph definition. It’s easier to do this before printing than it is to stitch a narrow strip of fabric around the photo.
Now don’t just assume that because cameras take rectangular photos that you have to put rectangles into your quilt. Why not think outside the square and unleash your creativity? You can fussy cut around a photo printed onto fabric. In the same way that you might fussy cut around a print on a quilting fabric to create an appliquéd scene you can create an appliquéd scene around a photo.
I take photos of children’s faces and print those onto fabric. At Imagine That Quilts you can see how I use appliqué those faces onto bodies and create imaginary scenes around them. My nephew becomes a pirate, my niece a fairy. This makes a highly personalized quilt. These quilts are loved and adored by their recipients!
So why not give it a try? Follow the directions provided with the fabric sheets and make some quilts that are truly unique!