Great-Grandma Betty’s Picture Quilt

For Valentine’s Day this year I made my grandmother a quilt featuring pictures of all her beautiful great-grandbabies.  She had lived on the east coast with most of her family for decades, but in the summer of 2009 she decided to move back out to California to be with her sons.  This is also where she spent most of her child-rearing years.  We all miss her on this coast and I thought surrounding her with the images of love would be a sweet reminder that she is still in our hearts.

I started with a pattern by Mary Hicky called “A Blue and Yellow Basket” from the quilting book “From the Heart”.  Obviously I changed the colors to ones that reminded me more of Valentine’s Day, but the pattern was just so darling.  I also added a few extra rows so I would have enough hearts for each one of her SEVENTEEN great-grandbabies.  The total came to 18 hearts, and in that last one I put a dedication and a date.  I know in the coming years the number of great-grandchildren will probably grow, so dating the quilt seemed prudent.

There are many different kinds of products out there to transfer photos onto fabric.  I have had limited success with the kind you iron on.  Eventually, no matter how carefully you treat the fabric, the image flakes off.  About a year ago I was told of a new way to transfer photos.  You can purchase actual sheets of fabric that images can be printed directly onto from a home ink jet printer.  The best part is these images, once treated (either in a simple water bath or with a hot iron) are permanent.   

For the large quilt I made for my husband I used Ink Jet Fabric Sheets by “The Electric Quilt Company”.  They are quite expensive at about $6 a sheet when you need enough pictures to cover a queen-sized quilt.  So far, the fabric pictures on his quilt have stood up quite well to daily wear.  For my grandmother’s quilt, which she can use (but probably will just display♥), I went with the “June Taylor, Inc.” Sew-In Colorfast Fabric Sheets.  They are a little less expensive at $3.50 a sheet, but hold up well under a less wear and tear. 

The best part of making this quilt was finding all the pictures of my beautiful nieces and nephews and cousins.  Mostly, I got the photos off of Facebook (which is a little creepy when you think about it!) so this quilt will come as a surprise to most of my family members!  I hope you have enjoyed seeing it as much I as enjoyed making it.♥


I have always loved the process of transforming pieces of fabric into quilts. For years I collected scraps, just to be sure I'd have the right piece for the project at hand. Eventually, as my skills progressed, my hobby grew into art. I moved from simple quits, to 'landscape quilting' and then eventually onto portrait work. I am new to the art field and am self-taught, learning from my mistakes as well as from my successes. I create my images using only fabric and thread. I remain true to this limitation for two reasons; first, I love the challenge of finding new ways to depict ever more challenging subjects. Second, fabric work remains my true love. I enjoy the hunt for fabrics; where other artists might blend oil paints, I love finding that perfect shade or pattern for a specific need. I refer to my style as "gestalt impressionism" for one needs to take a step back from my pieces to get the whole picture. My view point changes by what is influencing me at the time. Recently I've begun to focus on the journey of the individual. I enjoy working on portraits of people whom I feel have lead interesting lives.

Posted in Sewing
One comment on “Great-Grandma Betty’s Picture Quilt
  1. Mom says:

    What a wonderful project,Mom will be so pleased!

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