I stole them. Well, I stole some of them from facebook. Yes, again this year, I was a super-stalker and snagged photos from relatives fb photo albums to complete my Christmas project. (Warning, if you do this, the photos will not be high enough quality to enlarge them. Facebook compresses photos to save memory so enlarging the photos will make them grainy. If you plan to make them the same size or smaller, they are fine for most purposes.) I also scoured my photo albums to find photos.
[Want to save photos from someone else's facebook album? Right click on the photo, choose 'Save As', name the photo and save it to your computer (I usually make a folder on my desktop for easy access). The photo is now 'yours', but beware of really stealing an image to re-use, I'm sure someone could get sued for something like that in today's sue-happy society!]
After I found the photos I wanted to use, I spent a good amount of time on Picnik (which you should be using for easy free photo editing!) cropping photos, fixing colors and exposure, and softening the edges of all the photos. I wanted them to fit into the quilt window and not have a distinct edge for uniformity. Some photos were so old I couldn't fix all the yellowing without messing up the overall color, but that's part of the charm, I think. Like this gem from Gramdpa & Gramma's wedding 54 years ago, that's my mom in the middle:
Then I threw them in a Word document, four photos to a page, and printed them on our HP inkjet printer at home, in mirror image. This is the product I used:
I was really pleased with this product! Previously, I've had iron on sheets that immediately peal at the edges or don't seem to really bond well to the material. Not so with this, this was great! The transfer papers almost melted right into the material and the photos were very clear with no bleeding. I will use this product again for sure.
I was really excited to give this gift. (It really is better to give than to receive! What? Cheesy? True.)
I love how Grace was almost as excited as I was to see Grampa receive his gift. You can see her in a couple photos above, just unable to stay back. =0) There may have been a few tears and a nose blown.
Everyone stopped to check out the quilt on the pool table, finding pictures of themselves and absent family members.