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How to Make a Photo Quilt

written by: A. Jitesh•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/30/2009

A photo quilt, also known as a picture quilt or a memory quilt, makes one of the most loving and personalized gifts for friends and family. It's also a wonderful way to permanently embed our most loving memories in a usable and practical fashion. Learn how to make your own personalized photo quilt.

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    Supplies - What You Need to Make a Photo Quilt

    • Photos
    • Printer
    • Fabric paper or T-shirt Transfer paper
    • Fabric in multiple colours of your choice
    • Needle and thread
    • Sewing machine
    • Pins
    • Rotary cutter, ruler, pencil
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    Theme the Quilt

    Have a theme and a design. Themes could be your wedding, your son's first camping trip, your daughter's graduation or any memorable household event. Try to make the pictures tell a sequential story, much like a comic book.

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    Have a Design in Mind

    Next plan a design. The most common design is alternating squares of images and plain coloured fabric. Other shapes and designs can be tried out, restricted only by your creativity. Plan out the number of photos you want to have and cut out those many squares of fabric for printing the photos.

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    Preparing the Photos

    Choose the highest resolution photos that you have. You may touch them up in any image editing software before you print. You then have to print them onto fabric, using an inkjet/bubblejet printer at a resolution no less than 300dpi. A laser printer would not give good results, so make sure you use only an inkjet printer. A detailed tutorial on printing photos on fabric is given here. Try not to exceed a size of 6" to 12" for your printed fabric sheets.

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    Choose a Colour Scheme

    The colours scheme can make or break the beauty of your quilt. Choose the right colours to go with your theme and the photos. Have a colour in contrast to the fabric on which the photos are printed and matching either the background or certain prominent elements of the photo.

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    Preparing the Quilt

    Cut out squares of coloured fabric to put in between the photos.

    Iron out each piece of the fabric. Lay them out as you want the final design to be, on a design board, or even on a clean floor. You may add additional coloured pieces of fabric in the gaps to give an abstract feel.

    Once satisfied with the layout, proceed with piecing, batting, quilting and binding just like you do for any other block quilt.

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    A photo quilt makes for a perfect personalized gift for your loved ones. The quilt may be used over the bed, laid over a sofa or couch or hung on the wall.