Saturday, March 17, 2012

printing on fabric - even harder (part 2)

Some of you have probably seen the first post about my printing photos on fabric earlier today.  Well, that was just the beginning...I thought I had things under control but I was wrong...

My printer, lovely thing that it is because it can scan, copy and print, and the ink cartridges don't leave you missing a limb to replace, decided that it was going to refuse to suck the fabric-taped-to-cardstock into itself except for a few inches today.  Causing a "paper jam" that even when the paper was removed, wouldn't clear from the "printers and faxes" option on the control panel.

So dig and find the owner's manual - on CD - to figure out how to clear that.  No info.  Not on that, but plenty on how to clear a paper jam.  I can SEE THROUGH the printer - there is NO paper there!  It's NOT jammed.

Find a phone number for tech support: charges may apply if your printer is no longer under warranty.  Thanks.  NOT helpful.  Also, not calling.

Figure out that rebooting the computer will allow it to recognise that there is not, in fact, a paper jammed anywhere.  (But by this time, kinda wanting to jam a paper somewhere.)  This takes around 20 minutes to accomplish.  Each time.  Repeat about 4 times.  Make up new naughty words while waiting.

For extra giggles, print a "test page" even when there's a "paper jam" but that doesn't clear the paper jam, nor does it allow me to print anything else.

So I decide maybe the paper is too thick.  Never mind that it allowed me to print 4 pages using this method previously.  That was another day.  And because the computer is "smarter" than I am, I can't tell it that the paper is thicker than normal paper, it just knows.

And then decide to try a method I found on YouTube while researching the technique.  You can watch it here.  (Boy I hope that link works - considering how my day with the computer is going, it probably won't.  My apologies if you get porn instead.  That wasn't what I intended.)

Basically, tape your fabric to paper and run it through - but not the whole page.  I did a few trials and tweaked it a bit, but here's my method.  The photos are all printed and I'm crossing my fingers that the Bubble Jet Set won't just rinse the photos out of the fabric instead of setting them's just been one of those days!

#1. Paste photo from editing program into Word.  Adjust size.  Center on paper.  Print using "draft" and "black cartridge only" options.

The print quality isn't so good, but that doesn't matter.  We're just figuring out approximately where this thing will print later.

Do this downstairs at the computer.

#2.  Cut a piece of treated fabric a bit larger than your photo and place it over the printed photo.

Do this upstairs in your sewing room.

#3.  Tape it to the paper, over the photo.  I taped top and both sides after finding that my printer was catching one edge as it went over and then stretching it wonky without the other side being taped as well.

I cut my tape for the sides in half the long way to save on tape (I'd already been to Wal-Mart once for tape and waited in line about 45 minutes because everyone else was already there buying green shirts with stupid, er, clever, things written on them and had no desire to go back).  And because it fit on the page better.  (My green shirt has my college logo printed on it and I already owned it.  No pinching, please.  My undies are also green, in case anyone cares.  So were the flip-flops I wore to Wal-Mart.)

Note that this step is best performed the same day you trim your fingernails to almost nothing.  Makes prying that tape up off your cutting mat SUPER easy.  (And I took that photo with my left hand while cutting with my right hand and I still have ALL my fingers on BOTH hand still attached!)

Also done upstairs in the sewing room.

#4.  Print the photo again.  This time in color, using the photo setting.  With the fabric taped to the paper that you've prepared, of course.  Make sure you've got the right side down.

Do this downstairs at your computer.

Repeat until you've printed about 30 photos.
No need to go to the gym today. 
You've done the "Stairmaster" the old fashioned way.

This may be my last photo quilt.  Now that I've figured it out, I feel bad to abandon the technique, but it was quite the hassle.  I probably could have moved some supplies so I wasn't running up and down the stairs, but that would make SENSE!

So there you have it, photos printed on fabric.

If this doesn't work for you, I take no responsibility for that.  Try at your own risk.  (Yep, a disclaimer.  'Cause I had enough trouble and I don't want yours.)

Now it's dark.
Far past dinner and I haven't eaten yet.
I think popcorn for dinner and a movie and kitties snuggling sounds perfect.
Here's to hoping the technology of DVDs likes me better than printers.

Happy quilting (and St. Patrick's Day),


Colleen said...

Wow! what an epic journey you have had. BTW have you heard of spoonflower? They will print anything on fabric that you upload. You can have them print photos-multiple at a time. They print on Kona fabric and other weights. I have had them print labels for me multiple with photos in them. I have also toured the plant where the fabric is printed.

canuckquilter said...

Oh dear. Enjoy your popcorn and DVD! You've earned them.

Ruth said...

What an ordeal! But, now you will have a wonderful quilt with pictures! I printed one photo on fabric once and that was an ordeal enough for me. I don't know if I will ever do another one. Maybe if we get a new printer sometime that is better than the one we have. And just think of all the exercise you got!!

Marsha said...

Wow, so frustrating but you stuck with it. I'm glad you got your pictures printed and now you can start the quilt. I have only printed on fabric once, it is a label and that was challenge enough. Enjoy your quite time!

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

You are such a sweet person to go through all of that trouble - I sure hope that it is appreciated! Now you know why BOB and I don't do "requests". And I would bet that you wouldn't have had to make the quilt at all if you had asked the "requester" to provide you with the photos ALREADY printed on the fabric. ;))

Beth said...

I think if I mke a photo quilt I will buy the Printed Treasures or EQ sheets that are all ready to just print on.
Hope the DVD and kitties were stress free.

LynCC said...

Oh, no!!! Aww - I'd have been making up new bad words, too. ;D Love your humor - good thing you had all that stair work going to counteract the blood pressure effects of printing problems! Bless your heart.

Windsom Winds said...

Wow! I knew there was a reason I had resisted doing a photo quilt. Thanks for helping me justify it. Glad they all came out in the end and you get to move on to the enjoyable part of actual sewing.