Printing Quilt Labels (part two)

Okay. Fabric is dry! Labels are designed, what’s next?

Initially, I rip the pieces of fabric larger than I need them. To get fabric through a printer, it needs some stiffness, so you iron it onto pieces of freezer paper. You can use the grocery store variety, but a better idea is to buy some stiffer stuff that is pre-cut to 8.5″ x 11″. I iron the fabric onto the freezer paper, making sure the bubbles are smoothed and then rotary cut the edges to fit. I like doing this so the edges are tidy for a smooth ride through the printer. If you have threads hanging off, they may get tangled in the printer…. not a good thing! Be sure to check for threads or cat hairs on the front of the fabric, as they will get in the way of the ink. I print labels when Peter is around so that he can help if it gets stuck in the printer.

Ta da! It worked! I am always relieved when the paper/fabric comes out of the printer without snarls! The fabric ironed to the paper often curls and it can be hard to feed it through the printer.
The top of the sheet did get bent a bit and the wording is a bit smeared, but I am okay with that.

The next step is to let the fabric dry for 30 minutes and then use the finishing solution. It’s called Bubble Jet Rinse. I use a Pyrex pan with sides for this part. The instructions on the bottle have quantities for doing a washer load, but I generally fix one or two sheets at a time. I put about a cap full of the solution in the pan and add cold water. Then, with your lovely plastic gloves on, you swish the fabric through the chemical water for 2 minutes. This is so the unfixed ink moves off the sheet and doesn’t adhere to it. Then I dry the fabric on the towel outside again. This step adds more time to the process, but I think it is worth it. In for a penny, in for a pound!

The final step, of course, is to hand sew the label on the back of the quilt. Then it’s time to wash the quilt and admire the finished product!!!

If you are interested in buying the supplies, Pro Chemical is having a sale on them. They also carry paper that is treated and ready to print, as do many quilt stores and even some office supply stores. Another source for these supplies is Caryl Bryer Fallert. She carries the nice freezer paper sheets and has written a handy little book about printing on fabric. She has made many quilts with printed images on them.

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