Easy Image Transfer Techniques for Photo Quilts and More

This summer has hardly begun, and it's already been a busy one for my family: graduation, a college orientation trip, camp drop-offs, and even a few hours of gardening.

image transfer techniques with citrasolv
Transferring an image to fabric with Citrasolv is one of several
image transfer techniques described in In Stitches Vol. 11.
Art by Jane Davila.

As a result, I've been snapping pictures right and left. Mostly they end up on Facebook, but I'd like to think some might work their way into my fiber art.

There are several ways to use digital imagery in your quilts. You can:

  • Create a portrait quilt by using fabric pieces and thread to "paint" the features, shadows, and highlights of the person from the photo.
  • Use pictures from your trip to the seashore or the country as inspiration for a landscape quilt in a realistic or stylized way.
  • Print the photos using an inkjet printer onto prepared fabric or transfer paper and use the image (or several) to make a photo quilt.
  • Transfer your photos onto fabric using gel medium or other wet transfer method. (Note: These methods are for art quilts and other fiber art that will not be washed.)

In the new edition of the interactive eMag Quilting Arts In Stitches, Vol. 11, Editor Jane Dávila reviews several different photo printing methods and image transfer techniques, including a very simple one using Citrasolv® Natural Cleaner & Degreaser:

1. Print an image in reverse onto plain copy paper using a laser printer (or toner-based copy machine).

2. Cut the copy paper around the image, and place the paper face down onto the fabric you have chosen.

3. Dab a small amount of Citrasolv onto a foam brush. Apply the Citrasolv to the back of the copy paper, holding it tightly or taping it down to prevent shifting. The Citrasolv will immediately saturate the paper, and the image will appear on the fabric. Only a very small amount of Citrasolv is needed-just enough to moisten the paper but not soak it.

4. Burnish the back of the paper with a bone folder or spoon to transfer the image. Be sure to work on a smooth surface to ensure a crisp transfer.

5. Remove and discard the paper, and allow the fabric to dry before using it.

In Stitches Vol. 11 is full of ideas, tutorials, videos, and slide shows to help you turn you photos into beautiful quilts and fiber art creations. Download it now, and start creating with photos and fabric today.

P.S. What's your preferred method of turning photos into quilts, and why? Leave your comment below.

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2 thoughts on “Easy Image Transfer Techniques for Photo Quilts and More

  1. Hi, if you go to the Citra-solv website , they have loads of information on using their product for image transfer. I am sure there are videos too. I used it to make image transfers in a book I made for my degree show. I live in Scotland and had trouble getting it here at short notice, but it was worth it. It works brilliantly with words, just remember to print a mirror image……… apart from computer fonts, scanning your own writing, or old letters and then printing them out works brilliantly.,…
    Oh , to answer your question, if I remember rightly, you iron the transferred image to fix it, but please check that out, my memory has been known to play tricks….