The first quilt I made was classed as a memory quilt for my mother-in-law. She has short term memory loss which we thought was getting worse si it seemed like an ideal gift for her 80th birthday. The first quilt i made included photos of her four children when they were young and a few photos of her with her deceased husband. Mum was delighted with the quilt and everyone commented on it.
I decided to create a heritage quilt for myself. This has my family tree photos. Myself as a child with my mother, father and grandparents. The key to a quilt combining scrapbook principles to a media of fabric is the photographs. Its rare to have a scrapbook page without photos do how could a heritage or memory quilt not have photos.
The technology for getting photos printed is now widely available. From printing onto canvas bags or t-shirts from your local supermarket; to specialist paper fabric to print at home.
I have tried a few of the home printing options. In the UK, the main pack available is labelled as Print at Home fabric available from good patchwork retailers or online. The process is to make sure you have a clear photo to print on a good home inkjet printer on a normal setting. From experience, using a photo setting on the printer floods the fabric with too much ink. Once printed, the paper vacking is removed and the fabric gently rinsed in cool water to remove excess ink then left to dry. Once dry its ready to sew with and can be lightly laundered.
The print at home brand is a good lightweight fabric for quilting although it may proove to me too lightweight to sew with some of the better quality patchwork weight fabrics. Another option is the EQ printables fabric. It is slightly more expensive but a tighter weave and a heavier weight fabric which results in a clear photo print. There are specialust companies which can print a length of fabric to your own design. In the UK the new company Be Fab Be Creative provide an excellent range of fabric types for printing as do Spoonflower.
I my quilt I only wanted small scale printed fabric so it was more economical and satisfying to print it myself at home. I included prints of some ephemera. The rest of the quilt was made from a charm pack and two jelly rolls from the fabulous Tim Holtz new fabric collection Ecclectic Elements. This fabric range is typical of Tim with stamped images, old labels, tickets and old paper ephemera. They went fabulously to indicate the transience of time with the family history.
Hopefully my children will want to keep this quilt when I am not around and it may just be the start of a family heirloom quilt.