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It’s approaching final exam time and my daughter, Eleanor, asked me to send our dog to her. After laughing about how I would poke holes in a box and do just that, I thought of a way I actually could comply with her request. A little research turned up a post in Elsie Larson’s style blog A Beautiful Mess—her easy-to-follow description of transferring a photo to fabric using Liquitex Gloss Heavy Gel Medium. Many years ago, I was doing the same thing with a specifically-named photo transfer medium made by the Plaid company that suddenly disappeared from the marketplace (this seems to happen to me a lot). Back then, I used my inkjet printer and thought nothing of it. Now, however, every set of instructions I found specified the use of a magazine photo or a laser printer. I decided to go ahead with the process using my inkjet printer with the Liquitex medium as a sort of experiment.

It worked beautifully. On the right is a photo of the image being uncovered with water and a bit of gentle scrubbing. I transferred the picture onto muslin, cut it out, and stitched it to a piece of vintage cotton gingham before embroidering some additional details. I cut out a piece of vintage floral cotton for the back and stuffed him firmly with cotton batting. He’s only about nine inches tall but I’m hoping he gives Els a little lift from home as she heads into the last weeks of the semester.

I’m curious about the laser print injunctive in the photo transfer directions I’ve seen. Transferred to muslin using an image from an inkjet printer, this little dog felt smooth, almost rubbery. I’d like to try this changing some of the variables to see if I can get more of the underlying fabric to show through but, all in all, I’m very happy with the result.

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