Using your Printer to Print on Fabric

I started quilting in October of 2000. When I think about my quilting then and now, seems like I have become 300% better. :-) (At least now I can come up with my own designs.)

I quickly found out, thanks to the quilting.about.com forum, that you should put a label on the back of all of your quilts.

What is a label?

Good question. Well, a label can be of any size, shape, pieced, or just plain muslin. This goes on the back of your quilt. Ask 10 people where and you will likely get 10 different answers. So, this is where I put my labels. You are facing the quilt, you should be able to turn over the bottom right corner and see the label. So, that equates to putting the label on the bottom left corner when looking at the back of your quilt.

Now, what do you put on the label? Another good question. I don't know what the "official" items are to put on a quilt, but I saw once on Simply Quilts that you should at least put the date, the maker's name (include maiden name if applicable), and the origination of the quilt, (i.e. what city the quilt was made in.)

What I add to the label:

  • For baby quilts, the picture of the baby, if available.
  • " " " , baby's name, date of birth, weight/height and full name.
  • The occasional little "quote" or diddy that relates to the quilt.
  • If the quilt is being made for a contest, or challenge, I put that info, as well as materials used, on the label.
  • Anything else I want to at the time.

How do you print on the label?

Now you may be thinking, that sounds really good and all, but how do I actuall print on the fabric. The answer is, many ways. I will list some of them now:

  • Using Pigma pens, which are permanent, used for fabric, and do not generally bleed. Often, they must be heat set with a dry iron.
  • Using crayons. Yes, children's crayons. You can write directly on the fabric with the crayon, and then using many layers and sections of paper towels, use an iron to melt the wax out of the crayon allowing the dye/pigment color of the crayon to stay.
  • Use an embroidery module sewing machine.
  • Use hand embroidery and/or cross stitch.
  • Use fabric paints and/or markers. (follow manufacturer instructions for setting these dyes.)
  • Use a laser printer to print an image (via digital means or photocopy) onto fabric. (If you are lucky enough to have a laser printer.)
  • Use an inkjet printer and iron-on transfer image paper. (The end product will be stiff and have the same affect as those t-shirt iron-ons of the past.)
  • Use pretreated fabric sheets such as those made by June Taylor.
  • Use Bubble Jet Set 2000 treated fabric and your inkjet printer.

Whew. Didn't realize there were so many options did ya? So, what do I use you ask? I use Bubble Jet Set 2000. This is a formula, (has formaldehyde in it, so make sure you wear rubber gloves) that you soak your fabric in for just five minutes. (I usually do 30.) Then, you let the fabric drip dry, either hanging up or by laying on towels. It will become stiff. You then simply iron it onto some freezer paper, or use a glue basting spray and put it on an actual piece of copy paper, and put it in your printer, just like paper.

I will go into further detail on this last option, as that is what I use. The other options have their place, but I prefer the Bubble Jet Set 2000 option.

Go to information about Bubble Jet Set 2000.

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