Instructor's Lesson Plan For
The Photo Transfer Handbook: Snap It, Print It, Stitch It!
By Jean Ray Laury
Notes To Instructors & Shop Owners
As photo transfer continues to be more accessible, easier and increasingly
popular, you may want to include classes on this process in your shop
offerings. The Photo Transfer Handbook is full of ideas for classes, from the simplest pillow to more complex quilts. There are many examples in the book of doll faces, vests, t-shirts, wall panels, quilt labels, and quilts that have been made using photo transfers.
Almost every quilter (from the most traditional to the contemporary) will be
captivated by the process of putting her own photos onto cloth. Quilters are
all going to be making these quilts, so they might as well make them in your
classes. Most people feel more comfortable with some guidance, especially on
the first projects.
Materials To Stock
The book includes sources for all the materials needed. Directions are clear
and easily mastered. The following are materials which you could stock for
- Fine woven cotton, white (a 200 count is great)
- Smooth white and light colored cottons
- Inkjet transfer papers
- Transfer papers for the color laser copier (bringing your own transfer
paper to the copy shop can affect the price they will charge for your copies)
- Small ironing pads to use when making transfers
- Irons with no steam vents
- Patterns for vests, quilts, panels, etc.
Ideas for Classes
The Photo Transfer Handbook is loaded with inspiration for many classes. You will think of dozens of others as you become more familiar with the boundless possibilities for photo transfer!
Quilts - Photo quilts using either the local copy shop or an inkjet computer printer. Quilt classes can be broken down into interest groups, such as graduation, wedding, new baby, commemorative, birthday, holiday, and anniversary.
Pillows - With friends and families, pets, homes, vacations
Travel vests - Use transfers of photos taken on trips or holidays
Clothing - Jackets, shirts, vests, ready-made t-shirts, and sweatshirts.
Keepsake or memory pieces - Use old photos
Dolls - With the faces of your children, nieces, grandchildren, friends, quilting group, or neighbors
Nature prints - Incorporate photocopies of leaves, flowers, or herbs into wall hangings, panels, clothing, etc.
Quilt labels - For your own quilts or for old family quilts
Class Hints for Shop Owners and Teachers
- Reserve an ironing pad in your shop just for photo transfer. Rectangles
of plywood (about 8" x 12") which have been covered with a thin pad of
flannel or fleece and then a piece of cloth can easily be recovered as
necessary. (I just staple the fabric to the back.)
- Check out the local thrift shop for an old iron that has no steam vents.
The tiny holes made for the steam can sometimes interfere with the heat
transfer of a print.
- Reserve an iron or two to be used only for photo transfer. Keep
sole-plate cleaner on hand. (One student will likely iron one wrong-side
up!) Identify which irons are for fabric ONLY.
- Keep a collection of small photo transfer images on which students can
practice to help them feel at home with the process.
- Remember that practice is essential. Our quilting improves with
experience, and so does the transfer process.
- Demonstrate transfer samples onto a variety of fabrics (sheers, heavy
fabrics, textures, white-on-whites, stripes, colors) so that students can
see how they work.
- Display your students' work as they finish it, as this creates further
interest in the classes.
Lesson Plan for Transfer Class
No matter how simple the process, most people enjoy having guidance for
their first projects. I suggest a 3- or 4-session class, and the lesson plan
which follows is general.
Student Supply List
The Photo Transfer Handbook: Snap It, Print It, Stitch It! by Jean Ray Laury
Bring some photos you'd like to use
Think about ideas for the color range in which you prefer to work
Scissors for paper and fabric
Fine white cotton fabric for transfer
Assortment of colored fabrics
Session 1 Activities
- Show examples of photo transfers. Familiarize students with the projects
in The Photo Transfer Handbook.
- Students select projects. They can choose anything in the book, or let
students choose from those projects with which the instructor is most
- Discuss the methods available (color laser copier or inkjet printer), and
demonstrate the process of transferring with each.
- Discuss each project in terms of the number of photos needed, changes in
size that are required, etc.
- Carefully review what students need to do before the next class, such as
how many transfers are needed, how to place them on a sheet, what to
- Discuss fabric needs, and help students with selection of color
Session 2 Activities
- Have irons and pads available for doing the transfers. Do a review demo
of the transfer process.
- Have students do their own transfers. Trim the papers before
- Students cut patterns or draw templates for their selected projects. (Or
the instructor can provide templates or patterns for class use.)
- Assist students with assembly of blocks.
- Instruct students in the vinegar rinse (for the inkjet).
- Give directions for pressing. Remind students not to set a hot iron on
the transfer itself.
Session 3 Activities
- Students bring their completed blocks and lay out their quilt tops.
(Check each students layout before final assembly is begun.)
- As students assemble their quilt tops, remind them to avoid setting the
hot iron directly on transfers when pressing.
- Students who are machine quilting can get started. Those who are hand
quilting will want to decide on a quilting pattern that avoids sewing over
the transfers (or keeps it to a minimum).
- Remind students to sign and date their work.
- Announce additional classes you teach on photo transfers.
- Set up a "reunion" date when students can bring in their finished works
to share with other class members, or set up an exhibit of their work.
World Wide Quilting Page * Artists & Teachers * Jean Ray Laury