Thursday, 30 September 2010

Photos on Fabric

I took my completed college embroidery samples book to my quilt group meeting on Tuesday evening and several members were intrigued by this one. It's really very simple - a photo printed on fabric, applied to a background with fusible web, then stitched. The stitching adds detail and colour, as in the sky. I've used this technique before, for example for this bag which I designed for my City and Guilds Diploma:
I bought pre-prepared fabric sheets called 'Miracle Fabric Sheets' which are available from Rio Designs here in the UK and work out at £1.50 a sheet. There are several other brands available and you can get different qualities of cotton and silk to print too.

The fabric is mounted on paper so it can easily feed through a home printer. I did edit the background of the flower photo in Photoshop Elements and made the colour more intense before printing but the picture of Mount Grace Priory wasn't enhanced. The fabric should be pressed after printing to set the ink then you simply peel off the paper and can use it as normal. It remains soft and supple unlike T-shirt transfer paper which to me feels  rubbery and stiff.

There are lots of books available about using printed photos in quilts. I have this one which I think has lovely simple but effective ideas:
Unfortunately it seems to be out of print now but you may be able to find a second hand copy on Amazon or other sites.

I've uploaded a slideshow of all my embroidery samples which are mostly mini quilts on my Textile Techniques website.


  1. Beautiful. I've only done a bit with photos on quilts. You've certainly inspired me with new ideas. I'll start planning another project now.


  2. Really like the purse. I've found that the best source of Out of Print books in the US is the local library. Most of them will do an intra-library loan - you get the book for 30 days for the cost of postage. I've only had three books in 7 years that they couldn't locate for me.

  3. That is something I would like to try, I do like taking photos of buildings and nature.


  4. Love the idea. Very creative way to take places and things I love and create a stunning piece of artwork.