Photographic images can be printed onto fabric without having to buy expensive commercial inkjet fabric sheets. The resulting fabric can be cut up and pieced into a quilt in a variety of ways. The images can be used very literally--portraits of family members, for instance, for a family tree quilt--or in a more abstract way. The resulting quilt can be like a fabric photo album, or simply referential, evoking a sense of time or place that might not be otherwise possible with store-bought fabrics.
Step 1: Materials
100% cotton fabric: white for printing, fat quarters for squares, 2 yards for backing and binding.
Batting 36 x 48
Bubble Jet Set 2000
Bubble Jet Rinse
Large lasagna pan for soaking tray
Cardboard to make a template(s)
Paper and pencil to draw diagram
Large piece of thick felt
Computer, inkjet printer, printer paper
Disappearing ink pen
Sewing supplies such as scissors, thread, rotary cutter, healing mat, cutting guide, seam ripper, iron, ironing board, sewing machine, pins
Step 2: Choose your photos, then your fabrics
I wanted my quilt to be about the desert--specifically where my parents live. So I took a walk around their neighborhood with my camera and photographed shapes, colors and textures that said something about their desert community, including cactus, palm trees, mountains and sky. Back at home, I also went through my photo files from past visits to find images that were important to my parents, included them, or that added to my collection of desert shapes, colors and textures. I then printed my favorite photos onto paper (about 9 per page) and took the pages to the fabric store, to select fabrics that would complement and enhance the photo images.