Quilters often ask me which Inkjet printer they should buy for Inklingo.
From 2006 until recently, I was confident with this advice:
You can choose a printer based on your primary need and it will be fine for Inklingo.
If Inklingo is your primary need, you can just buy whatever is on sale.
You do NOT need special ink or a special printer, thanks to the way I created Inklingo.
If you already have an Inkjet printer, you are all set. If you only have a laser printer, you can add an inexpensive Inkjet and have two printers connected to your computer at the same time.
By printing a test page, you know which of the pages are safe to print on fabric with YOUR printer. Ordinary Inkjet printers all print “custom page sizes”—at least they did until recently—so we can use fabric efficiently and make better quilts faster.
From the beginning, it was my intention to design Inklingo to be accessible to everyone—no extra equipment, nothing expensive required.
Ordinary fabric, ordinary ink, ordinary Inkjet printer, ordinary freezer paper.
Exceptional ease of use. Exceptional precision. Exceptional quilts.
Simple. Elegant. Economical. Useful. Love the lines. Quilt more!
REVIEW OF CANON PIXMA FOR INKLINGO – FIVE STARS!
I bought a new printer last week and I love it for Inklingo! It looks like this except than mine has a monkey sitting on it.
Canon says ALL of their Inkjet printers and all-in-ones support Custom Page Sizes. Hooray!
She loves it.
Mine is a Canon Pixma MG5420. (Monkey not included.)
There are several similar Pixma Inkjets and they all look like this.
So far, I love it for Inklingo!
- The ink washes out easily.
- It is very easy to set custom page sizes.
- It is very easy to load paper/fabric.
- It prints on fabric without jams.
- It is more compact than my last HP printer.
- It is quieter than my last printer.
- It was on sale for only $74 Canadian.
Features of MG5420 that were not important to me:
I connect with a USB because I can, so I did not bother to install the wireless feature.
- It does not include a USB cable, but I already have several extras.
- It includes fax, scanner, copier which I don’t use, so I have no opinion on those features.
Every time you replace an ink cartridge it is necessary to print a test page to see which colors of ink in YOUR printer wash out.
The test prints all 20 colors used by Inklingo at the same time.
All of the details for printing an Inklingo test page are in the Top Ten Tutes (tab above).
This printer passed the test!
I pressed the same way I would press a quilt block and then rinsed the fabric in the kitchen sink. There is a tiny trace of color 50 left, but it does not show on the other side, so even it would be safe. All of the other 19 colors washed out completely.
NOTE You must test on YOUR printer—even if you are using the same model.
They are always playing around with ink formulas, so it may be different next time.
Almost all Inkjet ink will wash out completely immediately after it is printed, but for a true test, we need to press first because our quilt blocks will be pressed.
SET A CUSTOM PAGE SIZE
I will be surprised if you need the step by step instructions under the Support tab on the website.
All you have to do is enter the size you want to print in the Canon print dialog box.
It is easy to insert your custom size of FP/fabric in the tray too.
The paper tray is shallow but it is easy to pull out and re-insert with one hand.
Slide the guides to hug your custom page size. This page is 6.75 x 9.75.
One hand on the gray guide (top red arrow) moves both guides together. Perfect.
The print side is down, so the fabric is down and the FP is up.
The tray is not deep, but it is deep enough to hold 15 or 20 sheets of fabric at a time.
It won’t print custom page sizes longer than 14 inches, which I used to be able to do, but it is rarely required and you can always print two shorter sheets instead.
Click to play the video. (47 seconds)
HOW TO CLEAR A JAM?
I’m beginning to suspect that this printer was designed by a woman. LOL
I printed a few dozen sheets of fabric without a jam.
However, for the purpose of my review, I wanted to see how difficult it would be to clear a jam.
After many failed attempts to create a jam (LOL), I deliberately used a sheet of fabric/FP which had not been ironed on both sides. If there was any unwashed fabric in the house, that might have been a good way to get a jam. (See Print on Fabric Best Tips in the Top Ten Tutes, above).
I had to feed the “bad” sheet twice before it FINALLY jammed, as desired!
To my absolute delight, the jam was easy to clear.
Since the ink had not been pressed yet, I was able to rinse the fabric in the sink to remove every trace of ink, dry the fabric, and re-use it.
The back of the printer opens easily with one hand and there is another piece inside which lifts out easily so you can see deep inside. It was easy to put both pieces back correctly. The top-front lifts up for another view inside.
Everything is accessible. The instructions in the user manual (automatically installed) made it easy to see what to do.
Even though I have only had to clear one jam, I am confident that it won’t be a problem, especially since jams are rare if you follow the tips for printing on fabric in the Top Ten Tutes.
1. I have not used it long enough to know how much ink it uses.
The price of ink is not very important to me because Inklingo uses such a tiny amount of ink, but if you do a lot of non-Inklingo printing or photos, it might be important to you.
There is a display on the printer showing how much ink remains in each cartridge.
2. Allow an hour for setup. All of the steps are simple, but there are a lot of them!
- Easy to follow pictures
- Imported the custom paper sizes I created on my last HP Inkjet
(Monkey says that is a friendly thing to do.)
- Installed a user manual that I can find just by searching for Canon on the Windows start button
3. There were several similar Canon Inkjet printers in the store and they all looked like this one. I don’t really know what the differences are, but this one was on sale and has several 4 star reviews online. Sold.
One of the other Canon Pixma Inkjets might be better for you if your primary need is something other than Inklingo, but the nice design of the paper trays, software, etc. is the same.
Please be sure to check the “Top Ten Tutes” tab (above) for more of our best tips for using Inklingo.
The Print Checklists will keep you organized and make the printing easier.
BEWARE OF HEWLETT PACKARD INKJETS – NO CUSTOM SIZES ANYMORE?
Unfortunately, someone at HP made the decision to stop including “user defined” or Custom Page Sizes in the software of most of their printers. The hardware is capable of it, but the software is not. Until recently, they always included the ability to print custom sizes in the software, but something changed.
The ability to set whatever size we want is important for Inklingo, because it allows us to use the fabric efficiently, without waste.
In November 2012 I updated the FAQ under the Support tab on the website with a warning about HP. At that time there were only two all-in-ones with software to support custom page sizes.
From my first computer in 1998, I have always preferred HP printers. Not any more.
When I realized what HP was doing, I told Russ I thought the company was in trouble. It just so happens that their stock is way down. Maybe they have not been listening to the needs of their customers. Maybe we should buy stock in Canon. (No affiliation. Just a happy Canon customer.)
MORE WEDNESDAY TUTES
You can catch up on our Wednesday Tutes:
- EIGHT Wednesday Tutes for Pieced Hexagons
- FOUR Wednesday Tutes for Double Wedding Ring
- Wednesday Tute for Kaleidoscope Stars
We’re working on something new, so please subscribe to to get an email when we add to the blog (top of right sidebar).
See you again soon!
Linda & Monkey
New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.
$10 Coupon! 7 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook