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!
This is DEFINITELY something I’m going to try once I get my materials unpacked! I LOVE it!!!! =)
We’re going to have some fun with this, Leanne. Wait till you see what’s coming down the pipe!
Judy Immel says
I really like the looks of this technique. I plan to try it soon.
Liz Villemarette says
I love it and will try it really soon.
Kim Boyd says
I can see lots of possibilities using this technique. Can hardly wait to try the “what if’s” popping in my brain. Thanks so much for sharing this!
Terri Laycock says
This looks fabulous and I can’t wait to try it. Can just imagine how quilting by hand or machine around the shapes will texturise it even more. So glad you shared it 🙂 Thanks
What a great idea! And the thought of using die cuts and other stencils just shouts for action – well done that student!
This is a terrific idea! Speaking of handbags, the stuffing is showing on mine and with this idea and a whole lot of quilting I see a shiny new handbag to start the new year. I think the Christmas break is going to be busy:)
Great idea, Debbie. Actually, we’re going to do a “Shape Shifter” Handbag Challenge for the Cedar Canyon Community. I can’t give you the details just yet, but it will be fun!
Sandra Weimer says
Very cool! I want to try this!
Just a big “THANK YOU” to all fabric artists for all your innovative ideas that I have found so exciting to apply to my mixed media efforts……mraz
You are so welcome, Mraz. I’m glad you find good stuff here on the blog.
Mary Helen in OR says
I’m happy to review previous posts. I know you will love your “new” eyes. My surgery was so easy and recovery so wonderful. We are truly blessed to have this science and technology available to us. My Mom talked about “Blind Granny”. Stay well. I hope all the changes at Cedar Canyon does not include a dirth of blogs from you. I’ve been following for so long you are part of my life!!
Thank you so much, Mary Helen. I appreciate your warm words. I have no intention of quitting the blog writing. It has become so much of a habit that I’m not sure what I would do without it. I will take some time off here and there so I can spend more time with my sweetheart, but I’ll be here sharing the fun in the studio. 🙂
Thread Fancy says
I love when someone comes up with these endless ideas.
Yup! I felt very blessed to have that student in my class to give me a whole new direction to explore. She gave me a tremendous gift.
ANDY CLEMMER says
I’m thinking about this idea on simple shirts, shorts or other grandkids cloths, making them one of a kind and special. The possibilities are endless.
Best wishes or your recovery!Just think, relaxing means time to come up with new ideas and projects. ANDY
That’s a grand idea, Andy. The best thing about clothes for the grandkids is that we don’t have to stress over perfection. They’ll grow out of the clothes or wear them out before we know it! 😉