The making of a photo quilt – Attempt 2

Well I’m back with my next attempt at printing onto fabric.

A friend of mine, Sammy (she has some fantastic blogs on here, you should check them out!) told me a way she prints photos onto fabric so I thought I would try it and share it with all of you.

There is a product on the market called Dylon Image maker, it’s a way of transferring images onto fabric but instead of using the method on the tube Sammy has her own method. She prints directly onto the fabric (if you are new to this then see my previous blog and it explains how to use freezer paper so that the fabric can go through a standard home printer)

The next step is to paint the image maker onto the printed image which then acts as a sealant to stop the ink from running or fading when washed. Sammy tried painting it directly onto the image but found that the ink kept smudging. So to combat this she painted image maker onto the back of the fabric, covered it in cling film and used a rolling pin to push some of the image maker through the fabric. She then left it to dry and once dry she was able to paint the image maker onto the front of the fabric without any smudging.

Once this is then dry the fabric and its image is safe to pop in the washing machine and it will not run or fade.

Now this all sounded great to me but I wasn’t keen on having to first paint the image maker onto the back then wait for it to dry before doing the front. I decided that if the main problem was the ink smudging because it wasn’t fixed or set then surely I could soak my fabric in my homemade fixative (see my previous blog again) and then the ink would hopefully be set enough to eliminate smudging. With that in mind I set about putting it into action.

Following the homemade fixative method I soaked the fabric and then allowed it to dry. Once dry I ironed my freezer paper onto it, trimmed to A4 size and printed my picture onto the fabric. For more in depth directions on this I am going to direct you yet again to my previous blog ‘The making of a photo quilt – Attempt 1’

I left the printed fabric for about half an hour to ensure the ink had dried then I squeezed some of the image maker into a bottle cap. I decided to use a bottle cap because I didn’t want to squeeze out too much and be left with a load of the image maker and nowhere to store it. (Mind you I did need to keep refilling my bottle cap!)

I then grabbed a paint brush and started brushing the image maker over the printed fabric.

A little tip here: put clingfilm under the fabric to prevent any of the image maker soaking through onto your worktop.


The image maker is quite thick, a bit like glue I suppose, so it wasn’t a quick job to do and I needed to ensure that the whole of the image was covered so that when I washed it I wouldn’t be left with a faded patch. On the plus side the ink didn’t smudge whilst I was painting it on so my fixative did work for that!

Once the whole image was covered I left it to dry. I was a bit worried as it was white where I had put too much on but it all dried clear.Image

Then it was ready for the wash! And just like Sammy said the image did not run or fade and it looked exactly the same as when I first printed it.

Success at last!!

Below is a close up of the finished image, i wanted to show you all that once the image is covered with the image maker it does make it shiny and glossy once its dry.


Now for the downside – when I retrieved the fabric from my washing machine the image maker had gone back to being white in places and feeling slightly tacky/sticky to touch. Now although it did dry clear again and once dry didn’t feel tacky/sticky there are two things that worry me. These are:

A: It did get pretty creased in the wash and because of the nature of the image maker you can’t iron over it, meaning on a quilt it would be difficult to iron the creases out because unlike clothing or a cushion cover you can’t just turn it inside out to iron it. I did try putting a tea towel over it and ironing it but the creases seemed pretty stubborn!


B: This is the main reason I won’t be using the image maker method to make my final quilt: because the fabric came out feeling tacky/sticky I’m worried that with so many images being covered in it and with each image being so close together that whilst in the washing machine the images may start to stick together. I haven’t tested this theory so it may be absolutely fine and not stick together but I don’t have enough time or material to test it out first.

If I had been putting just one image onto something I would definately be using this method and I will be keeping the image maker close to hand for any other projects I think up………… A single photo on a cushion cover springs to mind! But for my mums double sized photo quilt I will be carrying on my search and another blog is on the horizon.

Happy crafting everyone!

Cavern of craftiness is not associated with any brand.

This is supposed to be a spice rack but I thought it would be useful for keeping my pins in and I love that the pots are magnetic so when I drop any pins I just waft a pot around and they stick to the bottom!!

I stuck some sticky back hooks that I got from the poundshop to the side of my shelves for hanging my glue gun, got gem wand and heat gun on as well as a couple of other bits!



Hi, I am a mother of 3 who loves sewing and more recently papercutting! I mainly make papercut cards but also do some gorgeous cuts that can be framed. My favourite quote at the moment has to be: Don't be creative!!

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Posted in Nichola's Tutorials, Sewing
4 comments on “The making of a photo quilt – Attempt 2
  1. ella says:

    Amazing! x

  2. Great tutorial Nichola, thank you! I love the idea of using the soaking method first and then printing, i’ll give that a go next time around!
    I’ve never had an issue with the image maker becoming gooey again after its been washed, so I wonder if maybe it could be that the pre soaking method causes a reaction somehow?! Or it could possibly be the residue from the waxed paper creating a bit of a barrier? I don’t use it I use regular printer paper and a Pritt stick hehe!
    My tips for this method are to use as little of the image maker as possible so that fabric still looks and feels like fabric when it is all finished. If I need to iron over the fabric I just treat it as a transfer and use either a thin towel/piece of fabric or some grease proof paper to protect it. And finally be aware that although the printed fabric is a fantastic idea and truely personalises your creations – it can cause cause damage to your printer if you are not careful so please check through both of Nicholas tutorials before trying this!
    Sammy 🙂

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