Some weeks ago I shared with you a wedding anniversary photo quilt I was making, and I mentioned that I had experienced some difficulty getting the printer ink to set on the fabric. I have now managed to resolve that problem and I wanted to share what I learned. But first it has been rather remiss of me not to show the finished photo quilt so here it is.
Showing the close up first. You might have been thinking that photographs on fabric will be grainy and ill-defined, but actually you can get some very clear pictures by choosing a tightly woven fabric and making some adjustments to the photograph in a photo editor.
The background fabric is a white on white, you can just about make out the pattern if you squint. I chose the colour to tie in with the wedding theme. Similarly the red thread used to define and ‘frame’ the photographs, is a similar shade to the red in the bridal bouquet and bridesmaids dresses. I used a polyester wadding, so it can be washed without fear of shrinking. The backing is just a plain calico (muslin) fabric. For the quilting I obviously was not going to stitch through the photo’s themselves, instead I have stitched in the ditch around each photo.
This is a wall hanging. It’s finished size is 84cm X 71cm (33 X 28 inches). Here is the full view.
So back to the issue of getting pigment ink to set on fabric. When I began printing photographs on to fabric a few years ago I followed one of the many tutorials out there, which directed me to use a product called ‘Bubble Je Sett’. Bubble Jet Set is a liquid that the fabric is soaked in prior to printing, it then enables dye based ink jet printer ink to ‘bond’ with the fabric. This process also produces a fabric that can safely be machine washed without the photo fading away. This was the method I had used very successfully for years. Continue reading