Monday, March 24, 2014

How To Add an Image Onto Fabric Using Your Ink Jet Printer

Today I wanted to share with you how I printed the squares for my I Spy quilt that I shared last week.  (See it here.)  It was really easy to do, but I have to say that I was so nervous to try it.  I started by making a sample square and ran it through the wash a few times because the last thing I wanted to happen was for all the printed squares on my quilt to fade after I put it in the wash once or twice.  When testing my sample this was the only time I ever pulled something out of the washer and hoped that the mark was still there!  I was so relieved to see the print still looking dark and crisp--no fading at all.

Here's how I did it:

Cut an 8.5" x 11" piece of fabric and freezer paper.  Iron the fabric to the freezer paper using a synthetic setting on your iron.  You want to make sure the fabric is good and stuck to the freezer paper, especially in the corners.  If you use too much heat and pressure with your iron though you will not be able to remove the freezer paper later.  Remember doing a sample test never hurts.  After you've ironed your fabric and freezer paper together it's ready to run through your printer.  Before printing I went to my printer options and selected "professional quality" so that I would get the darkest, best print possible.  Then I printed it just like I would a normal sheet of paper.

Once printed, separate the fabric from the freezer paper.

Now you'll want to heat set your image.  I used a high heat setting with no steam.  The idea is that you want to evaporate any moisture from the ink to make the image set.

After that I cut out my printed fabric into 5x5 squares to use for my quilt.

I think they turned out perfect!  Nice, dark, clean sharp printing!

And here's my quilt all done!  These little I Spy squares really added a nice touch to this fun quilt.

Have you tried printing on fabric before?  How did it work for you?


  1. what a super creative idea! Checking this out from life created Tuesdays!

  2. Very Interesting! I am currently working on an I Spy quilt....but I hadn't thought about putting blocks like this on the quilt! I figured someone would just look and choose the item to tell others to "spy". I will give this some thought! Thanks so much for the idea!

  3. OOO, I love it when I find a new idea, my mind starts to whir as to how I could use it! I am amazed it goes through the wash ok, how exciting, oh the possibilities. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  4. this is such a great method! Two questions for ya: does it stay on through washings and can you print colors and do they stay on.....?
    Cute quilt too!!!
    “hugs” Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

    1. Crystelle, I did make a sample that I ran through the wash and the ink didn't fade at all. I haven't tried colored ink but I don't see why it wouldn't work. If you try it let me know how it turns out!

  5. i've always wanted to try this. thanks for the tutorial.