The thing I love best about teaching is not what I teach my students – it’s what they teach me. During a class I taught at Houston Quilt Market several years ago, one of my students showed me a new way to make a muti-color Paintstik rubbing. I call these Shape Shifter Rubbings – and I just know you’re going to love them!
It was definitely one of those “V-8” moments. You know, the one where you whack yourself upside the head and say “Why didn’t I think of that?” Fortunately, I’m not proud and I recognize a great idea when I see it. My only regret is that I didn’t write down the name of my student, so I can’t pass on the credit for this brilliant idea – but I can share it with you, none the less.
Shape Shifter Rubbings
This is a super easy concept that anyone can do. All you need are a few simple tools.
Tools & Materials:
- Craft Knife or other cutting tool
- Cutting mat
- Cedar Canyon Rubbing Plates
- Shiva Paintstiks
Step 1: Cut shape from paper
I have a bunch of squares of freezer paper left over after a printer made a mistake on our Design Magic templates. So I use these whenever I make templates for painting. You can use freezer paper — or plain paper.
Trace a shape on your paper and cut it out with a craft knife. If you have access to an AccuCut or AccuQuilt cutting system and dyes that you like, you can really make good use of them here. (My local shop has a large version of the AccuQuilt system and graciously allowed me to use some dyes to cut a pile of templates for my class. Thanks, Dawn!)
Keep the shape (the cutout) and the background because you will use both in the following steps.
Step 2: Place fabric over sprayed rubbing plate
Choose a rubbing plate from your collection and spray the top with sticky spray (404 or KK2000). Lay your fabric over the plate and press the fabric onto the plate to secure it. I’m using one of the Op Art Rubbing Plates for this example.
Step 3: Spray back of paper and adhere it to the fabric
Spray the back of the cutout and the background with sticky spray so that they will adhere to your fabric. (You can’t use an iron to adhere freezer paper for this technique because it will melt the rubbing plate.) Position the background on fabric and press with your hands.
Step 4: Make a rubbing
Using the side of a Paintstik, make a rubbing to reveal the image from the rubbing plate. Start from the edges of the opening in the paper and work in toward the center.
Step 5: Remove the background
Peel the background paper off the fabric, and you have a rubbing with an outline shape that perfectly matches the shape you cut from the paper. Slick! Do NOT remove the fabric from the rubbing plate just yet.
Step 6: Finish the rubbing
Lay the paper cutout over the painted part of the fabric, sticky side down. Press gently onto the fabric, just enough that it does not shift easily. Choose a different color Paintstik and finish the rubbing. Start at the edge of the cutout and work away from the cutout.
Step 7: Reveal the Shape Shifter Rubbings
Here’s the fun part. Peel the paper cutout from the fabric and admire your fantastic Shape Shifter rubbing! I think these are totally cool and I hope you agree.
Here’s a sample that I made from another one of the Op Art Rubbing Plates.
You don’t have to confine yourself to making just one shape at a time. If you look at the sample on the left, you’ll see that I used 3 smaller circles with one rubbing plates.
I’m really excited about these Shape Shifter Rubbings. I can see a ton of possibilities here, like changing rubbing plates before painting the background and rotating the rubbing plate before painting the background. I’m definitely making a list so I don’t forget as things pop into my head.
What about you? Have you got ideas to add to the list? Post a note in the comments below and we can compare notes. I’ll bet you are every bit as creative as the student that taught me this technique – and I’m ready to learn something new. Help me out!