I have only printed on fabric a few times. The first thing I had to learn was that you need an ink jet printer, not laser. You don't need anything fancy. Most people want to get rid of theirs because the ink is so expensive. I got one for free through FreeCycle. You could check things like Kijiji also.
Printing on fabric is not waterproof unless you find specially treated fabric that will hold the ink even through a wash. I have never printed for a quilt, but I have printed for art or postcards (things that won't get washed). One way you can do this is to cut a piece of freezer paper the size of a printer sheet. You then lie the fabric onto the waxy side of the paper and press. The heat will temporarily met the plastic, causing the fabric to stick to the freezer paper. People use this method for applique. One you are done, trim the fabric perfectly to the size of the paper. Now you have a sheet that you can feed through your printer (hopefully) without the fabric getting caught or jammed. PLEASE be careful if you are trying this, and make sure your fabric is completely stick to that paper! Then press print.
|printing a photo I took of my black-eyed Susans from the garden in the fall.|
Then what? Well, I did some free motion stitching to outline this one. It made a striking effect.
You can also free motion stitch in coordinating colors. This is a photo I took of a columbine.
I then printed it onto fabric, and stitched it to create a postcard.
|I'm happy how this one turned out! Beads in the center for embellishment.|
If you are worried about things smudging, I've sprayed the printed fabric with this. It helps to keep the ink from smudging onto your hands while you sew.
|spray it outside or in the garage. POISON POISON|
How about you? Have you ever printed images onto fabric? What is the most permanent way you have found? Do tell! We would love to learn from you. Share your tips or links to useful webpages below. It's like take a penny, leave a penny.
Thanks so much!