Family Mosaic Quilt – Fabric Printing

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:

  1. Normal A4 paper
  2. Large multi-colored pieces of cloth
  3. Iron
  4. Ink Jet Home Printer
  5. Computer with photos to print
  6. Glue stick
  7. A larger cloth as quilt background
  8. A thicker cloth of same size as background to act as base


  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Print few A4 papers with the picture borders (so that it helps us place the cloth pieces correctly)
  4. 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.
  5. You can choose to starch the cloth pieces before (but i was lacking time as usual).
  6. 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.
  7. Ensure the top of the A4 sheet is free of cloth so that the printer feed is directed as normal
  8. Once the A4 sheet with the lightly glued cloth moves as one, insert in the printer and print! The effect is amazing!img_20160927_201414
                                       A test sample – on a old white cloth (slightly starched)*


  9. Energized by the sample piece, I went ahead to organize my photos and colors.
  10. 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 
  11. 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:

  12. 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.

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