Auction Season

on Feb 10, 2008 in Quilting | 18 comments

Mr. E’s teacher quilt, posted two years ago, an excellent example of time flying!

The series of posts I did on that quilt get a fair number of Google visitors. I can tell it’s school auction season because I’m starting to get e-mails requesting help. Time for a round up post.

I did four posts about the construction of the quilt above:

  1. The Beginning’s of Mr. E’s Teacher Quilt
  2. Layout & Construction
  3. Machine Quilting
  4. Finished Quilt

Common questions I receive are:

How did you transfer the kid’s artwork onto fabric?

There are 4 choices:

  1. The easiest approach would be to use fabric paint or permanent markers and have the children create the artwork directly on fabric. This could be drawing on the fabric or making prints on the fabric with stamps created by the kids. No post processing required!
  2. Color copying the artwork onto transfer paper that is then ironed on to fabric. I’ve experimented with these products in the past and don’t find them acceptable. Transferring the image takes an extremely hot iron and the results can make you pull your hair out (incomplete transferring of the image). The image is actually a thin layer of plastic that is adhering to the fabric. Not very pretty when viewed closely. It also may not wear well if the quilt is used. You also must deal with mirror imaging any letters.
  3. Bubble Jet Set. This is a wash that you soak the fabric in, let it dry and then print the image onto the fabric using an ink jet printer. The wash makes the ink jet image permanent and washable. Preparing the fabric can be a fair amount of work. I’ve had mixed results using freezer paper as a stabilizer, intermittent jams when the paper separates from the fabric. When I do treat my own fabric I use full Avery label sheets as a stabilizer, these never separate and I can keep my sanity.
  4. Pre-treated fabric sheets. The fabric comes in pre-cut sheets ready to be fed through an ink jet printer. Printed Treasures was used for the Mr. E quilt. I’ve recently been investigating Color Textiles. Several art quilters have recommended their products, their prices are lower than Printed Treasures and they offer a wide variety of fabric types including silk. You’ll pay for the convenience. I designed the size of my images to fit four to a sheet.

How do you print the image onto fabric?

First step is to scan the artwork. Process the scanned image in a tool like Photoshop where the image can be re-sized and the colors made more vibrant. Print the image from the photo processing software. The fabric backed with a stabilizer will feed through the printer.

What type of ink jet printer do you use?

I have an Epson Stylus C88+ printer. I think more important than printer brand is the settings used for printing. For a well saturated image, set the printer options to ‘Best Photo’ and experiment with the Advanced options. Turn the Brightness, Contrast and Saturation levels up so that the image is sharp and clear.

More questions? Leave a comment and I’ll add to this post.

Inspiration Links:

If you’ve done an auction quilt for your child’s school or teacher, please leave a link in the comments.

2/23/08: Wowza!!! Kathy York’s auction quilt is spectacular! Don’t we all wish we could bid on that one.

2/27/08: Charlene sent me this photo of a quilt she made with a group of 10 year olds for Project Linus. They used Tsukineko inks, the colors are so vibrant!