Spring has well and truly arrived here in Dubai and the mercury is on the up again and it’s that time of year when I change over to my uber light weight duvet.
It was while I was stuffing it into its cover that I became distracted by the oversized labels that IKEA insist on appending to anything textile from: sofa covers and curtains to soft toys and tea towels, and took a closer look at the care label.
I thought about the labels I put on my quilts for posterity and future quilters’ interest and it occurred to me that in order for my work to survive the 50+ years I mentioned before they need to be looked after properly. The recipients of my work are not necessarily quilt savvy in their care so I wondered about appending my own care label.
So, full of excitement I set off on my mission to make a care label for my kid bruv’s quilt only to find that I have one printable sheet left in the packet.
“Curses”, I thought, I’m saving that for another project.
It was while I was fingering the fabric sheet, pondering another trip out to the shops and the hideous cost of another pack (it never is just one thing… you know what I mean) that I had a light bulb, palm smacking head moment…..
Why don’t I make my own printable sheets? Surely it can’t be that hard?
Guess what? It isn’t – it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Wanna know how? Then read on, if not, park your self here and take a peep at the photos 🙂
Welcome back Dear Reader
So, to make you own printable fabric sheets you will need:
An ink jet printer (mine is a Canon MP250)
A piece of prewashed close woven cotton. I used calico* just slightly larger than A4 (or whatever your paper size your printer uses)
A piece of freezer paper, again just slightly larger than A4 (or whatever your paper size your printer uses)
Rotary cutter and ruler (or what ever you like to use for cutting)
* prewash your calico on a hot wash to shrink it down and draw the fibres closer together. Washing also removes any sizing or finishing that may be present on the fabric.
DO NOT use fabric softener as this will adversely affect the ability of the ink to adhere to the fabric.
1. Iron the calico nice and smooth and flat. Use a fine water spray if necessary to help iron out any stubborn creases, just be careful not to scorch the fabric. The smoother the fabric the better the result will be.
2. Then take your freezer paper and lay it over the calico shiny side down. Using a warm, not hot, iron press the freezer paper onto the calico. Freezer paper will stick to the calico forming a fabric/paper bond. Make sure it stays nice and flat.
Then let them cool.
3. Using a piece of A4 paper as your guide, trim the bonded calico/freezer paper to size.
You are now ready to print onto your calico.
Place your bonded fabric into the printer feed. Make sure it is in the correct way up so that the ink jets onto the fabric. A quick way to test this is to mark a sheet of paper on one side and check which side the printer prints on 🙂
When you are happy with whatever you what to print on your fabric, set the printer to print on standard, not econo fast and not photo quality. Fast printing will not deliver enough ink for the fabric to absorb and photo will deliver too much and saturate it causing the image/words to bleed into the fabric.
After printing set your printed creation to one side to dry for at least 15-20 minutes.
I personally like to leave mine to dry over night.
The next thing is to peel off the freezer paper and gently soak the fabric in tepid clear water to allow any excess ink to be released from the fabric.
I have to say that I have yet to have any ink run out from my fabric at this stage.
At this point I’m usually quite impatient to get going with my labels so I then lay the fabric between two tea towels and dab then damp dry.
Then I use a warm iron on the back side of the fabric (not too hot otherwise the fabric will scorch and all your hard work will be wasted) to dry it out and make it lovely and smooth. The warmth of the iron at this stage also helps to set the ink in the fabric.
Voila, you are now ready to cut your label to size ready for your quilt.
This idea can be extended into making photo journal quilts, bags etc etc
Your imagination is your only limit….
I’d love to hear from anyone who has tried this or has any other ideas.
Experiment and enjoy.
Lots of love
PS If you’re short of image ideas and want some inspiration I love this website http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.ae/