My Experience Using Fabric Sheets

Hi Everyone! Thanks so much for your nice comments about the applique I showed you in my post yesterday. I really want to learn this technique so I plan on trying more projects. Raw edge first, then needle turned.  Baby steps… J

Today I want to talk about the fabric sheets I used to make Jen’s quilt. I have the flimsy finished and am getting ready to baste and quilt.

Jen's Photo Quilt - Flimsy Finished

Please forgive the crappy picture. The sun was beautiful in the morning but of course I didn’t have the top ready. Then it started to cloud up because we are expecting several days of rain. And then the wind picked up. I’m just happy to have managed one decent full size shot! But I digress…..

When I decided to make this type of quilt I had no idea what brand of fabric sheets to use. I was limited to what I could find locally because of the time frame. I found the June Tailor brand at JoAnn:

Juen Tailor Fabric Sheets

I chose this brand because there were 25 sheets in this package and I knew I would need just about that many. Dritz also makes fabric sheets, but the instructions for prep and care were on the inside of the package. This packaging has instructions on the back so I knew what I had to do before I left the store. I liked that.

The instructions say to set the print settings to print plain paper and normal quality. After printing a sample using the ‘normal’ quality, I felt that using a ‘Better’ or ‘Best” quality setting would print the pics more crisply so I tried that. This is what I got:

Better quality on Fabric sheet

….a picture that stopped printing before it was done. See how it didn’t finish on the bottom? (I used the pic in the quilt anyway – it’s such a great picture of Jen.)

Because I was using my laptop, which is really old, it probably was a memory problem. So for the other pictures, I resized them smaller and printed them at the ‘Better’ quality setting and they worked fine.

Fabric Sheet Printed

After the pictures are printed, the backing paper is peeled off and they need to be ironed with high heat, no steam. Then they are given a cold water rinse and ironed dry again. This is to make them colorfast. Even with all this, the instructions say the sheets can only be washed in cold water on a gentle cycle or by hand and no detergent. These are not to go in the dryer. You might not want to use these on a quilt that will get a lot of use.

I am a bit disappointed in the feel of the fabric sheets. The packaging states this is 100% cotton fabric and is “ideal for sewing”. My experience so far is that they are stiff and the material feels nothing like fabric. I also tested a spare piece to see how it would handle if I needed to rip a seam. The needle leaves big holes and there is no hiding that. So there are a few seams in the top that I would have fixed but I left them because I didn’t want those holes.

I will not be quilting over the fabric sheets because of the hole issue. My plan is to just stitch in the ditch around them. Maybe a less dense quilting design will keep the quilt a bit cuddly. I’ll let you know how that works out!

If I have another project in the future I might give the Dritz brand a try to see if they are any different. I had even considered doing the transfer sheets, like for t-shirts. But I was worried about how much wear an iron-on could withstand. I really would have liked a softer drape in these ‘fabric’ sheets. But overall, this quilt is pretty much what I wanted. The family will love it and I am glad to have a way to show my love and support.

Now for a windy outtake shot, just because. 🙂 I’m happy it didn’t blow out of the tree!

Flimsy Finish

Linking up with Needle & Thread Thursday

 

 

 

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About Beth

I'm a wife, mother of two, and lover of all things crafty. I love to cook up new things in the kitchen and in my craft room, and sometimes get "licking the spoon" mixed up with "licking the fabric"!!
This entry was posted in 2016 Quilts, Applique, New Project and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to My Experience Using Fabric Sheets

  1. Paige says:

    Beth, I have used the June Tailor ones before for quilt labels and I know exactly what you mean about them being stiff. It is quite difficult to hand sew through the fabric. I have used the regular cotton ones from EQ and there is no comparison, they are much more pliable.

  2. Joanna says:

    I’ve used a different brand of printable fabric and had the same problem with the holes and that was just on small pieces (like a label)! I had a label on the back of the quilt and had to unpick some quilting which of course ended up being over the label. Washing definitely doesn’t help hiding them as it does with regular quilting cotton because it’s almost like it’s punctured the fibres too much. Maybe it would cover up over time more, but I don’t know since I don’t wash my quilts over and over when they end up sitting the cupboard lol.

    Another issue I found with them is that they seemed to pick up the loose dye in the wash as well – even with colour catchers. I had a label on one quilt with red binding and the label ended up tinged pink (the red dye is nowhere else on the quilt, and I’d also used colour catchers). A couple of others seemed to go grey/darker as if it picked up the colour of dirty water through its wash cycle.

    I still have most of my sheets left and am unsure what to do with them. At least label wise for me, they’re probably best for minis or something like that.

  3. Kate says:

    The quilt turned out beautifully. If you want a printable fabric with good drape, I can recommend the Premium Cotton Lawn printable sheets from the Electric Quilt Company. I’ve used those in multiple projects. They survive multiple washings very well and are easy to print on. I use those for all my labels and in the last couple of photo quilts I’ve made. They are not cheap, but EQ does put them on sale every now and again.

  4. Shasta says:

    Thank you for this review. I’ve always wanted to use photos in quilts, but so far, I haven’t experimented with it, so this is all good to know.

  5. Thanks for the review of the sheets, Beth. I have always been curious about the feel or hand of the fabric. I guess I have never been too afraid of big “holes” if I wanted to seam rip; a wash has always been the magic fix for that for me. Especially now that I long arm quilt – those are some big needles and when thread breaks or a bobbin runs out, I put extra holes in a quilt. It hasn’t been an issue to date… but when it comes to the quality of a fabric, I can see the extra concern.

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