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Scrapbooking in Fabric

This is an article I wrote for Creativity{unbound}, which is a totally awesome site! There is lots of inspiration and there are tons of great instructions, including a tutorial on needle felting! So, be sure to check it out!

I was a scrapbooker before I was a quilter. So, it's no great surprise that my quilts often resemble scrapbooks. Here is a 12x12 quilt I made for my Mother:

It's one of the very first quilts I ever made.

If you're interested in making a fabric scrapbook page, I highly recommend Bubble Jet Set. What is Bubble Jet Set? From C. Jenkins' (the manufacturer's) website:

You simply soak the fabric in the Bubble Jet Set solution for 5 minutes. Allow to dry. Then iron treated fabric to the shiny side of freezer paper. Once this is completed simply feed fabric through your printer exactly like a sheet of paper and you are done! This is a new product that allows you to print directly on fabric with an ink jet or a bubble jet printer. Now you can create your own fabric sheets with your personal computer and printer. This revolutionary idea allows you to take all of your art work, favorite posters, family photo's and apply them to fabric. The permanent images on fabric will allow you to create quilts, mouse pads, cup holders, shirts, curtains, flags or any fabric ideal you can image. In addition, you can create these images on fabric while maintaining the true texture and feel of the fabric. Unlike transfer products, Bubble Jet Set 2000 will not leave the fabric stiff or coated with a plastic film.

If you don't want to go through so many steps, you can either buy pre-treated sheets of fabric and print on them or transfer sheets that allow you to iron on a printed image. You can find a wide variety of these here.

You can print photos, text, digital scrapbooking elements, and anything else you can think of!

If you're not going to wash your fabric and/or you're not worried about the printed image being permanent, you can run any fabric or ribbon through your ink jet printer (do not try it with a laser printer or copy machine as they use toner rather than ink). Just be sure to affix your fabric to freezer paper so that it will run smoothly through your printer. Here is an example of a fabric book I created using this technique:

I incorporated lots of scrapbooking supplies and techniques into this book. Fabric books are easy to make and lots of fun. If you'd like to give it a try, there are numerous instructional books available now. You can see a list of some of them here. I have read the first one on that list, Fabric Art Journals, and it is an incredibly inspiring book filled with easy to follow instructions and tons of inspiration. I highly recommend it!

If you want to start smaller, think about incorporating some sewing or sewing supplies into your paper pages. Here are some examples of pages that do just that:

Notice the quilted flowers and the felt flowers on the page.

The background is needle felted. This could almost be a quilt rather than a scrapbook page.

This is a notebook I altered. I stitched the title as well as several decorative elements.

I hope these examples have inspired you to try mixing sewing and scrapbooking!