Project took more than 80 hours to complete.

By Rich Wicks | Panora Times

Connie Baker of Panora found a unique way to preserve family history, through a mix of technologies old and new.

“My mom passed away in November of 2017, and she had seven siblings,” she said. “They were all of Danish heritage, and my grandparents came from Denmark on ships with their families when they were young. I got started going through my mom’s old pictures. I actually found my grandparents’ wedding picture from 1912.”

That’s when Baker came up with the idea of creating a heritage quilt. She has been quilting for 35 years and found a way to incorporate many of the photos into a quilt. Beginning in the spring of 2018, she started working on her project.

“I just started getting some of the pictures rounded up, and then I had them enlarged to 8 by 10 size,” Baker said. “Then I ran them through my printer with this special cotton fabric that my husband found on the internet. It prints on the cotton, and you peel the back off of it, and you can sew it right onto your quilt.”

The product she used is called “inkjet printing cotton sheets,” which Baker said comes in 8.5 by 11 inch sheets. She added that, if the care instructions are followed, the photo quilt can be laundered just as with any other quilt. Baker was pleased with the crispness of the photos on her completed quilt.

“Even though I had to enlarge some of the photos, it was amazing how well they turned out. They weren’t grainy or anything,” Baker said.

According to Baker, the entire project took more than 80 hours to complete.

“It turned out really nice. I was really happy with it,” she said. “Every summer, we have a reunion with all of my cousins. I had taken it to one of the reunions right after I had made it, and everybody loved it.”

Because of the overwhelming positive reaction to her heritage quilt, Baker decided to tackle an even larger project.

“This February, I decided to surprise my 12 cousins and make some more of those for the reunion,” Baker said.

Recalling the scale of the project, Baker said, “I worked on the additional 12 from February until I finished them in the third week of May, and I was working on them pretty steady almost every day.”

As a result of all that hard work, Baker was able to surprise her cousins at the family reunion in early June.

“I was very busy, but it was worth it,” she said. “I made them all cry when I pulled them out.”