Photo Quilting Hints
Every printer is different. Learn and experiment with the different functions and settings on your home printer. Always test-print a page on plain paper before using photo transfer paper.
Many companies make photo transfer paper. I use and recommend EQ Printables in individual sheets or on the roll. I also like TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) and ExtravOrganza for a silk look.
An alternative to commercial photo transfer paper is to prepare your own with PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric and a product called Bubble Jet Set. Place your fabric in a small dishpan and cover with Bubble Jet Set. Soak for five minutes and then let fabric drip dry (do not squeeze). When dry, iron and then trim to 8-1/2” x 11”. Iron the treated fabric to a piece of 8-1/2” x 11” freezer paper. Trim any threads hanging from the sides of the freezer paper before feeding into your printer. Let rest for 15 minutes after printing and then remove the freezer paper. Rinse with cool water to remove any surface ink.
I prefer to use a 60/8 or 70/10 needle for my machine stitching. Use a ¼” seam allowance and backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam. Use a press cloth when ironing on photo transferred images and press seams open.
Before beginning to quilt, study the finished quilt top and look for major design lines. My work flow is to first quilt all straight lines using invisible threads or a very fine silk thread that matches the background, accentuating key elements. After all straight lines are quilted, I loosen tension (on both the sewing machine and yourself), drop the feed dogs, and free motion quilt.
Don’t forget that negative space can be used very effectively in photo quilting.
Faces are best quilted sparsely following facial contours.
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