Printing Digital Photos on Fabric – Min PPI & Pixel Size

One of the most asked questions at quilt shows is: How do you know if your photo is large or good enough to print on a photo block? This can be such a confusing conversation as photos come from so many different sources, but I think we have a simple solution to answer this question!

When using digital photos to print Photo Quilt Blocks, the minimum PPI (pixels per inch) should be 150-300 pixels per inch. 300 pixels is top photo quality. However, you can have 150-200 pixels per inch when printing photos on fabric and achieve a beautiful photo block. A minimum pixel size of 600 pixels is the recommended smallest pixel size to print on fabric, and 600 pixels is equal to a four-inch photo. In order to know what dimensions in inches your photo will print, take the pixel size on your photo and divide by 150. This will give you the MAXIMUM dimension you should print this photo in inches. When using a photo you have saved from Facebook or Instagram, the photo may be a web version (small and grainy) and not print well but look amazing on your phone. You can take a screenshot of the photo on your phone and increase the pixels and size of the photo. You will now have a photo of the appropriate size to submit to be printed on fabric, and you will have more options for sizes to print from this photo.

Follow along as we look at the different ways to look at the size of your photos, how to download photos from Facebook and Instagram, and how to figure (yes, math 🙂 what size your photos can print and be gorgeous!

What Size Should My Photo Be to Print a Photo Block?

The size that your digital photograph needs to be printed on a fabric photo block is “sufficient pixel dimensions to be able to meet the required pixels per inch requirement “(usually 300 ppi) at the dimensions of the printed image. 300 ppi is photographic quality. For printing on fabric, 150-300 ppi are typically suitable with camera quality and personal preference playing into what is “good enough”. To simplify, this means if you have a digital photograph that is 1500 x 1125 pixels, you can print a photo fabric block that is 5″ (1500/300) x 3.75″ (1125/300) without losing the quality of the photograph. If you print with 150 pixels per inch, you could print this same digital photograph 10″ x 7.5″. The smaller the photo, the more pixels per inch make the photo sharper, whereas on a large photo from a distance, a less dense PPI number (150) is fine. Many confuse dpi with ppi, when all that really matters on the digital printing side is the ppi(pixels per inch).

I have gathered and summarized this information from this website: All About Your Digital Photos. If you want to geek out with me and learn more, make sure to visit their website!

To work this backward, you multiply the size photo block you need by 150 ppi to get the minimum pixel size you need the photo to be for the size block that you want. In the example below, your photo will need to be a minimum of 1200×1500 pixels to print it as an 8 x 10 photo.

Below you will find the measurement in inches of the size you want your block in the first column.

In the second column you will see the number of pixels you need at 300 ppi (photograph printing quality) and the third column is the number of pixels you need at 150 ppi (fabric printing lowest ppi acceptable). Your pixels on your photo need to be between the numbers in the middle and last columns, and you are good to print any of the sizes on your Photo Quilt Block!

For example, if you want your photo block to be 4 inches, make sure the pixels on your photo are between 1200-600 pixels.

How Do I Know What Size My Photograph Is?

Professional Photos

First, let’s talk about professional photos such as wedding photos, graduation photos, and family photo shoots. Anything taken with a professional camera would fall into this category.

I have never seen a professional photo that you couldn’t print any size without excellent results. At Photo Quilt Blocks, you can print sizes from 3×3 to 18×24. A professional photograph is going to have enough size and pixels in it that you can print it any size you like at Photo Quilt Blocks.

To see what size your photo is on your laptop or computer, right-click on the photo and then choose properties or resize (or something similar, depending on your computer) to see the dimensions of your digital image.

iPhone Photos

If you have an iPhone, follow these steps to see what size your photograph is:

  • Go to Photos
  • Choose a photo that you want to look at
  • Swipe up on the photo to see the dimensions of the photo
  • Based on the chart above, you can decide what size you can print your photo!

How to Print a Photo Quilt Block From a Facebook Photo

Saving a photo from Facebook on your laptop computer

If you have permission to save photos from someone’s account on Facebook, here is how you go about doing that on your computer:

  1. Navigate to the photo page where you want to save a photo on Facebook
  2. Right-click on the photo.
  3. Click on “save image as”.
  4. Save on to your laptop or computer into a folder where you can access the photo when you are ready.
  5. After you have downloaded the photo, navigate to where you saved it on your computer.
  6. Right-click on the photo.
  7. Choose properties, resize, or whatever setting lets you see the size.
  8. Make sure the photo pixels are large enough for the size block you want to print.

This photo is 2048×1536 pixels. So the maximum size you would want to print this photo is 13″(2048/150) x 10″(1536/150).

Saving a Photo From Facebook with Your Phone

If you have permission to save and use a photo from Facebook, here is how you do this on your phone:

  1. Navigate to the photo you want to save.
  2. Hold down on the photo with your finger.
  3. Click on save as when it pops up.
  4. Save to your camera roll.
  5. Navigate to the photo in your PHOTOS.
  6. Swipe up and look at the pixels of the photo.
  7. Below on the left, you can see the size of the photo saved is very small.
  8. If the photo is too small for your needs, take a screenshot of the photo.
  9. Now navigate to that photo in your PHOTOS.
  10. Below on the right, you can see that the pixels are much larger, and you can print much larger photo blocks with this photo! All the messy extra stuff you can crop off when you are loading your photo on the Photo Quilt Blocks order site! Photo Quilt Blocks website lets you do the cropping as you order your photos AND adds your seam allowances!

Saving a Photo From Instagram with Your Phone

If you have permission to save and use a photo from Instagram, here is how you do this on your phone:

  1. Navigate to the photo that you want to save on Instagram.
  2. Take a screenshot of the photo.
  3. Navigate to the photo in your PHOTOS folder on your phone.
  4. Swipe up and look at the pixels of the photo.
  5. Take a look at how large we can print this photo:

The maximum size we would want to print this photo is 8.6″x18″ without losing clarity.

Now, I know some of you may be looking a little cross-eyed after reading all this, but here is the good news: at Photo Quilt Blocks, we throw a red flag if we see a photo not cropped correctly or a photo that is blurry, or any other problem that would bug us if we were on your ordering side. We are a small company, and we like to take care of our customers like family. So we make sure you are getting exactly what we would want to receive!

Type in a quick comment or question if you have any! We love hearing from you!

Happy quilting!

May your stitches and photos continue to tell tales

of love and laughter, and keep your memories alive!


Lori McCroskey is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to quilts, projects, and gifts created with photos printed on fabric. She also has a business where you can have her print your photos on fabric for you! Inspired by her love for sewing, scrapbooking, and family, Lori has a passion for capturing memories in useable gifts, quilts, and crafts that get your photos off your phone, out of the album, freed from a frame, and into memorable keepsakes that your friends and family will treasure. Learn more about Lori here!

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