BCQuilter's Weblog

A play date – colouring and painting with friends.

Posted on: 12 April 2009

I was visiting with a quilter who is new to our area.  We got to talking about this and that, and I mentioned the Shiva Art Paintstiks.  She said she had some, but didn’t know what to do with them.   I told her about my Stencilling and Painting workshop that I attended.  We both decided that we would like to pursue using the paintstiks.

While visiting at another Quilter’s a few day’s later, the topic of the paintstiks came up, and it was decided the three of us would set a date, and we would spend it playing.   What a day we had!

Nina brought some hand-dyes she didn’t much like.  With a few stencils, and home-made rubbing plates, she made some very pretty pieces.

I forgot my camera, so wasn’t able to take photos!  I was going to bring it, but didn’t have it ready to go, and completely forgot about it, when it was time to leave for the play date.

Shawn got very creative with the paints and the rubbing plates.

It was hard at first, just “letting” go, and allowing oneself to “play”.    Once I got used to the idea, of just trying this or that, without having an end in mind, it was much easier.  The day was meant to see what the paints could do, and what we could do with them.

I took three Fat Quarters with me – a yellow tonal, a blue tonal and a pink tonal.

I started with the yellow fabric.


I used one of the rubbing sheets that was in the package with the paintstiks when I bought it.  I learned several things on this day.  The first… be sure to press your fabric before painting, because you cannot do it until much later after the paint dries which could be up to 7 days, depending on how heavy it is applies.

I used the yellow iridescent paintstick first.  I rubbed the paintstick across the fabric which was on the rubbing plate.  I liked the definition it added to the fabric.  I then used the orange iridescent paintstik.  I used a stencil brush before I did the rubbing, and I liked the way it softened things.

I did the same thing with the red… except for the last rubbing on the right.  I didn’t like the way the red turned out.  The last piece I rubbed and then used the stencil brush, and I like the definition of the way it turned out.  (Or I have this completely backwards, and I rubbed and then stenciled on the orange and the first 2 red).

The next piece of fabric I played with was the blue.


Three of these techniques are rubbings, and one is painting.  The top one is using a rubbing plate.  I tried to stencil a small dog over it, but I think waiting until the first layer dried (which takes 24 hours), would have been best, or a larger stencil.


The second technique is using a ripped piece of pressboard (cereal box).  It is then moved along, and different colours of paint are applied, to get an overlapping soft effect.  I quite like this effect, and will probably use it on a larger piece of fabric to add dimension to it.

The third (orange, yellow red) paint, is using a home-made rubbing plate.  Nina had provided a few.  This particular one was made with craft foam.  It reminded me of tiger stripes, so I played with several colours to see what I would get.

The last one is another home-made rubbing plate.  It is craft sticks (match sticks) glued onto a piece of bristol board.  I used two shades of green for a different effect.

The last piece of fabric, the pink one… I really experimented on.


One of the neat rubbings we discovered was decking samples.   A small piece of wood, painted with deck paint.  It gave a really neat effect.  Not so much on my pink piece, the paintstik had begun to dry over, so I ended up with little knobbies of paint.  I also tried one of the decorative leaves I had brought (the brown smudge on the upper left).  The leaf did not have enough dimension to rub through.  I then tried a colour experiment.  The centre and right rubbings on the top are of the same rubbing plate, but with two different colours of pink paintstik.   In real light, they look like a brown and a beige.  I then used a plastic stencil and stenciled the meandering flower over top.

The middle section was a lot of fun.  You may need to click on the photo to see the detail of the rubbing.  This was made from an 8″ piece of cording.  I taped either end, and laid it down.  Rubbed with one of three blue paints or a white.  I would then lift an end of the cording, and rearrange it.  I think this would be a really neat look with a longer piece of cording and a larger piece of fabric to work with.

The last third of the fabric was more playing.  The yellow dots were from a piece of embellishment that had rhinestones.  I turned it over to see if I could get some of the detail, but all I got was dots from both sides.  It seems that I have chopped off some of the photo, well it was chopped off at time of the photo, not the editing after.

I used an orange and rubbed over a chain.  It didn’t really show up too well.  The “brown” shape just under the blue is the rubbing of the chain.  The chain kept moving under the fabric as I rubbed, so some of the detail is smudged.

The lower right hand corner is a rubbing of fern leaves.  I added some red and yellow to highlight the spines of the leaves.  This was an experiment to use several colours to bring out an image.

Now I have to wait several days to use the fabric.  After the first 24 hours, the fabric is dry to touch, but the paint requires anywhere from 3 to 7 days to cure (depending on the thickness of the paint).   Then it requires heat setting.  To do this, I will use a Press cloth, and just press with a dry iron.  Then it will be ready to be used in some project or other.  Maybe I’ll just sandwich it, and use it for quilting practice!  *Grin*

If you have a piece of fabric that just isn’t doing it for you anymore, why not play a little with the Shiva Art Paintstiks and add some dimension to it.   Before you apply paint to a finished project, or to a piece of fabric you want to use in a project, play and test it first with your rubbings.  I also suggest try your rubbings with paper and pencil.   If I had used that theory, I wouldn’t have ended up with a brown smudge on my fabric…. but that’s okay… I was learning and playing.

I have since visited one of our discount stores and have stocked up on all sorts of things to create rubbings and/or stencils with.  My goal is to create a useable piece of fabric and to use it in a project!

My challenge to you, is to try using a different medium on a project or fabric, and see if you like the results.   Take the time to play… let every thought escape, and just do it!



4 Responses to "A play date – colouring and painting with friends."

awesome idea! Now I know I could do this if I got hold of the Paintsticks. I could use my Fiskars texture plates!

Wow! Amazing! Look at all the different effects you have achieved. My favourites are definitely the less defined ones such as the cardboard, decking timber and cord. It’s definitely worthwhile playing with a new technique to see where it takes you.

Have fun!…Ann 🙂

What great fun, and the possibilities are endless! The rubbing plates on the yellow fabric have a lovely Morrocan feel to them.

Nice one Alice! 🙂

Alice it looks fantastic. And a play date for creative people. What a wonderful idea. I my steal it and have one with friends.
Keep the ideas coming.

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