Photo Quilt Part 1: Getting Started

I’ve been trimming the photo sheets today, and wow! it is back-breaking work. I need to give my back a rest for a bit, so thought I’d fill you in on some things I’ve already learned regarding photo quilts.

Getting Started:

1.  Printing your photos. We purchased fabric photo sheets by Printed Treasures at our local quilt shop. The fabric is adhered to a piece of paper so that they can go through your ink jet printer. The fabric quality seems great. Select your photos and crop them bigger than your finished size (see Number 4 below). Then, hand-feed each photo sheet through the printer and print all the photos. Set the photos aside to let them dry.

2.  Removing paper backing. AFTER your photos are completely dry (instructions say 1 minute) slowly peel the paper backing from the fabric panel.

NOTE: This is where I had a little trouble. I don’t know if it’s because my photos sat for 2 weeks or maybe the adhesive on the paper gets old, but some of the paper backing was really hard to get off. As in, some of the paper is still there! I don’t think it’ll make a difference in the end, but I had to pull quite hard on some of the panels.

3. Rinsing the panels. After removing the backing, you’re going to submerge the panels, one at a time in a low dish and let cool water run over it about 1-2 minutes. (I set my 9″ x 11″ dish across my sink at an angle and let the water run off.) I didn’t notice any extra ink coming off. Again, maybe that’s because they sat for 2 weeks.

I then laid the wet panel flat on my sweater drying rack to air dry overnight. They dry pretty quickly. I then touched them up with an iron to get the crinkles out.
4.  Preparing the photos for sewing. Here’s where I learned the biggest lesson… Between removing the paper from the panels and rinsing, the fabric will distort a bit. That means, that my photos aren’t perfectly square anymore. So the lesson here is to give yourself plenty of PHOTO space for trimming and squaring up. As you can see above, I have plenty of white space, but what I need to have is space within the photo to crop so that no one’s arm or head gets cut off. I actually have one photo that needs to be reprinted so that the two little girls on the ends won’t have a seam through the middle of their faces.

Photos are trimmed, my back is rested and I’m ready to start sewing!

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