How to Make Homemade Photo Quilts

Updated February 21, 2017

Photo quilts make great gifts or even memory piece for yourself. Give photo quilts as gifts during the holidays or for celebrations such as marriage, anniversary or graduation. Photo quilts can be used as a traditional blanket or hung on the wall as a decoration. These quilts are unique; no two quilts are made the same because of the creator's craftsmanship. Throw in elements that are personal to the recipient. Use favourite colours, and pictures through the years to make a memory book collage on the quilt.

Choose your photos. Use photos that are high quality close-ups, either those that can be taken from your digital camera or scanned and then altered. Upload your photos onto your computer. Enhance pictures so that the colour will be vibrant when you print them. Use a photo editing software to eliminate "redeye" or glare from lighting. Crop and resize photos so that they are all the same size and resolution. Resolution is the element that determines if the photos will look grainy or not.

Buy photo transfer fabric sheets from your local crafts store. These transfer sheets will allow you to print pictures from your own printer and transfer them onto the fabric sheets. Depending on the programs that you have on your computer, you may want to buy a kit with a program that will help you to do the transfers and that comes with the transfer sheets. Make sure that the transfer sheets are compatible with your computer and printer. Transfer the photos from your computer to the sheets following the directions that are provided with your kit of sheets.

Cut your fabric squares so that they are the same size as your photo squares. Determine how many you will use in your quilt. For example, make each square 6 inches by 6 inches. Allow for seam room so either enhance the cut to 6 ½ or 6 2/3 inches or plan for smaller squares. Alternate photo squares with solid squares. Or make a frame with the solid squares and place all of the photo squares next to each other.

Use your sewing machine to sew the squares together. Sew each square with a ½ inch or ¼ inch seam. Sew the squares in the pattern that you have chosen. Some people choose to make a border for the quilt while others merely want a quilt that is all squares. After you have sewn the squares together, put a layer of batting on the backside of the squares. Batting makes the quilt warm. Place the back of the quilt on top of the batting. The back can be solid or squares as well. Pin the layers and sew the edges so that the quilt is sealed. Use a basic or more decorative stitching depending on your preferences.

Things You'll Need

  • Photos
  • Digital camera
  • Computer and printer
  • Fabric sheet kit
  • Sewing maching
  • Batting
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About the Author

Crystal Lassen hails from Kansas City, Mo. and has been a book critic since 2008. Her reviews have appeared on the Publisher's Weekly website and are largely concerned with current events. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing from The University of Kansas.