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Photos, patchwork, and scrapbooking = cute quilts

Updated on March 16, 2016
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Quilter, author, tutor, and columnist, Jan T Urquhart Baillie has been sharing her passion for quilting for more than 30 years.

Have you lots and lots photos?

Are scrapbooking and patchwork two of your hobbies? Combine the two into one, and make cute little scrapbook style quilts to keep, or to give as gifts to someone really special.

Love to include them in your quilts? My late second husband took hundreds of great landscape pictures of our wonderful Australian outback, coastline and rainforests. He also had a knack of getting good candid shots of our children and grandchildren.

I decided to use several photos to make little quilts, scrapbook page size or nearly. I wrote a book in 2003 about combining scrapbooking with patchwork, called A Moment in Time.

Read about how I do this.

Choosing the pictures

to use for the little quilts

I had the best fun looking through all the photos and remembering the times they were shot.

Paul was besotted with Harriet and the feeling was mutual, so there were quite a few pictures of Harriet.

I finally settled on some taken when Harriet was about 18 months and Ariell was about 18 months. They were delightful, these two little cousins, my grand-daughters.

The idea was to have a main photo and some supporting photos to tell the story in pictures. The jounalling tells a bit more in words, and the title is like a page headline in a magazine. Embellishments add to the scrapbook feel of the quilts.

Choosing the fabrics

from the pictures

Just as in scrapbooking, choosing the fabrics to act as the paper, the embellishments to help tell the story, and the way to present the journalling, were part of the process.

My page layout experience and my quilting expertise made the task fairly uncomplicated.

In scrapbooking, you choose the photo and take your cues from the colours in there, and from the subject matter of the pictures.

In quilting, you usually make a quilt based on a room's colour scheme, or a fabric that you love.

So the photos were my colour inspiration, and what was happening in the photos gave me ideas for the layout and embellishments.

The palette consisted of a pale blue print with green and yellow butterflies for the 'page' background, yellow, pink gingham, pale pinks and blues for accents.

The colour scheme came from the blue and pink jacket Harrilil was wearing, and her bright yellow gum boots, prominent in the main photo.

Two of the pictures - Paul took that day

Getting the photos onto fabric

Using special printer fabric

For this quilt, I used Canon Printer Fabric® which was quite expensive, but gave a great result. There are many products that are excellent on the market now.

After scanning the photo into the computer, I printed it on the fabric, following the explicit instructions that came in the packet. Nowadays, most of your photos will be digital, so you won't have to scan them.

The instructions are simple and if you follow them exactly, your results will be wonderful. I have used both of the products below and they both produced beautiful, clear prints. The setting process differs slightly from product to product, so you must read and follow the method for the one you have.

Then I used these fabric prints just as I would any quilt fabric.

Laying out the design

and writing the story

Using the main photo as the focal point, I played with the design until I was happy.

Next I framed the printed fabric images with small log cabin style framing in colours from the pictures.

I wrote the words I wanted to say in the computer and printed them on some of the fabric also.

The journalling


"Concentrating hard, Harriet — at 18 months — shows

she can use her bottle to fill a spoon, or play some

music, while Ariell looks on.

A big smile of triumph at Bap (behind the camera) Forest Lake 1993"

Bap is what they called their grandfather, Paul

Embellishments are key

in scrapbooking

Scrapbook pages are decorated (embellished) with all sorts of fun things which enhance the story aspect of the pages.

So I chose butterflies to 'fly' around the design to echo the background fabric butterflies, while my title was to be a baby's bottle, because that was what the story was about.

I made a foundation paper pieced baby bottle and wrote on the side in Setacolor® dye pen to use as my title.

Ready to go.

I'm a BIG Girl Now - by Jan T Urquhart 2003 (20in x 18in)

Did you like the idea for scrapbook quilts?


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