There is a co-worker who is leaving our workplace at the end of February, and I decided it would be fun to make a quilt for her that would include photos of everyone she has worked with in her years with us. I tried two different ways of applying photos to fabric, detailed below.

I added photos of some co-workers’ spouses (and one dog, that she routinely dog-sat for when her owners were away) to get an even 6 x 6 photo grid: 36 blocks at 2 inches square. The photos are not as fuzzy in real life as they appear here…

Although Rita loves colour, the quilt called for a simple black and white layout. The quilt will be 60″ square, with a hanging sleeve in case she can’t bear to use it as a quilt. Here is the final design:

I now have some quilting design decisions to make- quilt it myself, send it out, what should I use for backing? Borders? I’ll post again when I’ve got this done- I only have a month for this!

Photos to fabric:

I tried two ways to apply the photos. I had laid the photos out so that I would only need to print two sheets, 18 photos per sheet. The first was printing onto EQ printables cotton sheets. I am not a “do lots of test-printing on paper first” kind of girl, so the images from my first printing came out way too light. The next attempt was better, but I found the finished product too stiff for my taste. The cost of each sheet worked out to about $3.00.

My second technique invoices Avery 8 1/2″x 11″ labels #06503. I cut white, pre-washed quilting cotton to the same size, removed the backing of the label, and stuck it to the fabric. It ran smoothly through my inkjet printer. I then let it dry while I researched how to prepare the finished product so it would not fade. After cutting the individual blocks and stitching them together, I sprayed on a thin film of transparent Airbrush Medium to the surface. This did stiffen the fabric quite a bit, but it was still softer than the EQ sheets that I had tried. These labels were half the price of the above sheets,so it is definitely something I will continue to play with.

If you have tried other techniques that you are happy with, I’d love to hear about them!