A few weeks ago, I started a series on Shape Shifter Rubbings. Before we jump into Lesson 3, Here’s a quick recap and links back to the first two lessons.
In Lesson 1, I showed you how to make a multi-color rubbing by cutting a shape from a piece of paper, then using both the shape and the “not shape” as a mask.
In Lesson 2, we took a look at two variations on the Shape Shifter rubbing by rotating the rubbing plate and trading out for a different plate before adding the second color to the rubbing.
Today, we’ll take a look at making Shape Shifter Rubbings on a larger piece of fabric. Ready? Great!
Go Big to Create Fabulous Yardage
First of all, don’t panic when I say “yardage.” Compared to the samples we started with, a fat quarter of fabric is “yardage.” What I’m talking about is making a large enough piece of fabric for your project – nothing more. Now that we’re clear on that, let’s get started.
Materials: If you want to duplicate the fabric I made in this tutorial, you will need:
- 1/2 yard dark purple fabric
- Floral Fantasy Rubbing Plates
- Leaves Rubbing Plates
- Iridescent Paintstiks: Light Gold, Orange, Watermelon, Pink, Magenta, Purple
Step 1 – Cut Shapes From Paper
The first step is to cut a bunch of shapes from a large piece of paper. I wanted to paint a half-yard of fabric, so I cut circles from two large pieces of freezer paper using Olfa’s Rotary Circle Cutter.
If your cutouts are a bunch of different sizes, you may want to mark the cutouts and the openings with letters or numbers to make it easier to match them up.
Step 2 – Position Paper On Fabric
My next step was to place my big piece of “swiss cheese” freezer paper over my fabric, shiny side down.
Step 3 – Press To Adhere Paper To Fabric
Because I was working with freezer paper, I used a warm iron to adhere the paper to the fabric.
Step 4 – Make Paintstik Rubbings Inside the Openings
Here’s where we get to the fun part. I chose one of my favorite plates from Floral Fantasy for the rubbings inside the circles. I wanted something bright, so I chose Iridescent Paintstiks in pink, yellow and orange tones.
Step 5 – Remove The Paper
After adding rubbings to all of the openings, I peeled the paper off the fabric. I still had plenty of fabric to paint to fill my half-yard, so I repeated Steps 2 through 4 until my fabric was filled.
Step 6 – Cover Painted Shapes With Paper Cutouts
Our next step is to cover up everything we just painted. Rather than using an iron to “stick” the shapes to the fabric, I sprayed the back of all the circles with sticky spray. (Be sure to let the spray set up completely before pressing the shapes onto your fabric.)
Step 7 – Add Rubbings Between The Shapes
Time to add the background! My initial plan was to add the background in various shades of green, but I decided to go subtle instead of bold. I chose Iridescent Purple and the fern design from the Leaves Rubbing Plates for my background. To fill my fabric, I started at one end, then kept moving my paper circles to the next area of fabric until I was done.
Step 8 – The Big Reveal!
After you paint the background, it’s time to peel off the paper shapes to see your fantastic fabric! I really like the way this fabric turned out. It’s definitely a great candidate for my next handbag.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to make some larger Shape Shifter Rubbings of your own? If you have any great ideas to share, leave a comment. I love to hear from you.
Clearly written instructions, great photo backup. Thanks for a new project.
Do you have to let the initial paint dry before you cover it up?
Hi Mary, I don’t wait between layers. My hands get pretty messy, but I really don’t care. Just make sure the sticky spray has set up on the paper shapes before you press them down on a painted area. If it’s still “wet” it can stick to your fabric and make a gooey mess.
Virginia O'Donnell says
I can’t wait to try this and share it with my friends in my art quilt group. Keep sending the good ideas, Shelly.
Deb mohr says
I was wondering which side of the circles was considered the back for the spray adhesive. I’m guessing the paper side.
Hi Deb, I sprayed the shiny side, but it really doesn’t matter if you are working with circles. If you have an irregular shape, spray the shiny side or it will be backwards as compared to the first step.
Mary Quackenbush says
Wow! This is your prettiest one yet, Shelly! They just keep getting better and better. Guess I’ll just have to clear the other craft project off the dining room table to try this. Thanks for sharing.
Juanita Robinett says
Wow! I’ve hand-painted several pieces of fabric with Dye Na Flow and Setacolor. Can’t wait to try a variation of this. Juanita
Jo Ann Huhn says
I love your ideas. I have been thinking of painting fabric for a quilt. I gotta try this idea.
Wow! I love the fact that you can work on a dark background and have such a good result. I will have to save up for some plates. P
That’s the beauty of the the iridescent paintstik colors, Pam. They always show up beautifully on dark fabric.
JUST ONE BIG WOW!!!!!!!!!!
Loved the technique
Margaret Hartman says
This project is just beautiful!! I would love to learn how to make this fabric project. It’s all new to me, but I want to learn. I’ve never used any of your items. I have wanted to learn to dye some fabrics to use in my own quilts. I love your work, it’s awesome!
Thank you Margaret. Read back though the posts that are listed in the links for a good idea on how the Shape Shifters work. If you need a good reference to get started playing with paintstiks on your fabric, get a copy of my Paintstiks on Fabric book. It’s the best how-to primer for getting started.
I’m a newbie to your site and can only say WOW !
I love paintsticks but need to find a U.K.supplier of your rubbing plates.
Look forward to the nest ‘hands on’ !
Welcome to my world, Sandra. I hope you enjoy the site.
I really enjoy discovering all your techniques and tools new to me!
Actually I am working hard on deconstructed screen printing with reactive dyes ,but I ‘am certanly planing to mix Kerr Grobowski tutos and yours.
It’s was so lucky for me to “fall” on your webpage while looking for somebody else!!
Being french,living in Spain,there some words I don’t get.By deduction I beleive I finally get the meaning…like freezer paper,blocks…However thanks a lot for opening new windows!
Thanks, Jacqueline — and welcome to the community!