As age and wisdom sneaks in each year, my sentiments towards gift-giving are becoming hard-core ‘Sheldon‘ous. Sans registries (a concept which I appreciate in theory but am wistfully thankful is not prevalent in India), on most occasions – I have absolutely NO clue what to gift anyone anymore.
When the best friend got married a few months earlier, as a gift – I gave her ‘advice’. (weirdly, she hasn’t called me since).
Gifting vouchers apparently lack the personal touch and I am tired of guessing dress sizes, hobbies or god forbid wondering if a particular ‘showpiece‘ will be appreciated.
Finally, the arts-&-crafts bug kicked in and I had an answer to combat all lack of ‘personal touch’.
In a random spurt of wanting to be more self reliant, I had bought myself a new sewing machine. Married into a large family, we have plenty of models and faces for a family collage. So when it was time to gift the younger sister something special, a photo quilt seemed like a great idea. Except that, photos look the best on a wall. Hence, a photo-wall-mosaic seemed an achievable target.
An after effect of a recent wedding in my family, I had a LOT of left over ‘blouse pieces‘ – a strange gift concept prevalent hopefully only in Indian (or maybe just Maharashtrian) weddings. Bottom line, I still have a lot of multi colored cloth pieces which served perfectly for my quilt target.
The next challenge was printing on the cloth. A lot of internet tutorials later, I went with a ‘tip’ someone had mentioned in the comments (Cannot find the link now. :(). Nevertheless, this method is easy, cheap and does not need ANYTHING special including no-freezer-paper (we don’t get that here in India at a decent price).
So here go the steps:
What you need:
- Normal A4 paper
- Large multi-colored pieces of cloth
- Ink Jet Home Printer
- Computer with photos to print
- Glue stick
- A larger cloth as quilt background
- A thicker cloth of same size as background to act as base
- Make square pieces of cloths of different colors. (The cloth pieces should be slightly larger than print area) but still within the A4 paper boundries
- Keep your image to print on an A4 word document. Try printing a draft version on a rough A4 paper to see if the sizes match the cut cloth pieces
- Print few A4 papers with the picture borders (so that it helps us place the cloth pieces correctly)
- Once done, on one of the A4 papers with the printed picture border, lightly glue the area to be printed & place the cloth within the border.
- You can choose to starch the cloth pieces before (but i was lacking time as usual).
- Iron over the cloth and paper (keep a layer of cloth between the iron and our paper+cloth). DO NOT iron directly on the glued cloth or paper.
- Ensure the top of the A4 sheet is free of cloth so that the printer feed is directed as normal
- Once the A4 sheet with the lightly glued cloth moves as one, insert in the printer and print! The effect is amazing!
A test sample – on a old white cloth (slightly starched)*
- Energized by the sample piece, I went ahead to organize my photos and colors.
- My best part of quilting is rearranging the cloth pieces to the right kind of pattern. I also wanted to ensure my photos were spaced out – group photos spread evenly among individual snaps for equal population distribution on my mosaic.
An attempt at arranging my mosaic colors
- Once the photos and their corresponding colors were decided, it was time to print! Steps 1 to 8 were repeated for each cloth piece and the quilt began to form.
Once printed, I re-looked at my pattern and made final adjustments to the collage:
- Once all the pieces were printed, I heavily referred all quilting tutorials to sew the rest.
- The cloth pieces were stitched together first.
- Then came the right purple background and the foam background which was an old baby blanket which were stitched on my cloth collage one line at a time.
The final product below (with family photos blurred)*:
P.S.: I am all for Amazon gift vouchers if anyone is wondering about gift ideas for me.
*Also, if you want a peek at the un-blurred pictures, drop me a message with your email & I will share the same.