BCQuilter's Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘quilt

Do you recall – hmm, seems I have been revisiting several past blog entries.  *giggle*.  I have been wanting to make a quilt using the 3-D NIne Patch blocks as mentioned in this blog entry.  I’ve been working on it, as a leader/ender project, and have now more than enough 3 patch units to start making the 9-patch units.

I don’t know if many of you have organized your scraps… or do you even keep them?  Well, I’ve been making a dent in the 1½” strips and bits I had… err, well, I though it was a dent, but I think they reproduce when we are not looking!

I decided that I was going to count the dark and light 3 patch units I have made thus far.  Are you ready for this. Here are some statistics of this quilt.. even before I have started making the blocks!

  • Size of block 8″
  • Number of blocks in quilt 80 ( 8 x 10)
  • Number of pieces per block 45
  • Number of 9-patches required – 240
  • Number of dark 3 patch units required – 480
  • Number of light 3 patch units required – 240
  • Size of each 9-patch unit – 3″
  • Size of each 9 patch square – 1″
  • Number of pieces for quilt before borders – 3600
  • Number of unfinished light and dark 3 patch units – haven’t counted
  • Nmber of 1½” strips and bits – too many – hmm… maybe a log-cabin quilt in the future

Sure is a lot of stats for a quilt that has only just begun taking shape!  LOL.  Oh, and before you ask… no I have not kept track of the hours, now wouldn’t that have been an interesting statistic!

I had cut some fabric to make a mock-up of the block, to see how it would look, and possibly to figure out how to put it together.  Okay, the putting it together part didn’t happen at that time.  Here are a few ideas for the mock-up.


And just in case I included the black and white of the above photo:


After I had started piecing light and dark pieces together, the idea occurred to me, that going completely scrappy for each part of the 9patch may be a bit much, so I played with the idea of scrappy, but each block would have all the same dark patches, and all the same light patches.  I did like it, but I liked the scrappiness better!  Who knows, maybe a smaller more planned scrappy quilt may come later. – I don’t think so!  LOL


When I was getting close, or at least my zipper plastic bags were getting somewhat fuller, I thought I would stitch up the mock-up, and figure out how to put the thing together.  Little did I know how many set-in seams there were going to be!!!  OH WAIT… another statistic

  • Set-in seams per block – 12 (I think)
  • Set-in seams for the quilt – 960!! (I must be crazy!)


Don’t look to closely, the small setting triangles are not put on properly.  Something I am going to have to work out!  The set-in seams for the mock-up are far from perfect, but I did figure out how to construct these blocks.  I’m a bit aways before I will be constructing the whole block, but who knows, I may get tired after stitching several hundred 3patch units together, and I may get some blocks going after I have a pile of 9-patch units ready.

You know, I probably should take a break from all this piecing and get some quilts finished, or I’m going to be buried by quilt tops!  To be honest, last week I decided I was going to take a quilt that has been sandwiched for 18 months, and quilt it today at my quilting group.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t very well prepared, and I just grabbed the two totes for the 3D 9-patch quilt.  Okay, I totally forgot about the quilting!  That’s okay, because if I hadn’t taken the 3D 9-patch with me today, I wouldn’t have come up with all those statistcs.  OH!  I may have miscalculated or miscounted, and I’m okay with that.  Maybe I should edit the above statistics to read “Approximate”!  HA!  I’ve just written it here, so if you have read this far, you found a surprise!  *giggle*


Food for thought –  Have you changed or updated your blog recently or at any time?  I’ve been wanting to, and well, today I did it.  I’m not sure about the theme I have chosen, but it is good for now.  I’m not too keen, that I cannot include a photo of some of my work in the background.  My DD#2 suggested I should learn JAVA so I can write/design my own page.  If I had the time, to sit down, I could figure it out. (I do have a computer programming background)  Its just having the gumption to do so, and the time to do so.  Tell me your thoughts on this new layout.


So here I am!  Not much news on the quilting front, actually not much news on any front!

Thank you to Ruth, for giving me the much-needed boost to write.  I promised a little while ago, that I would share what I did with the label for the “Memories of Maui” quilt.  The photos have been sitting on the disc in the camera for, well lets just say, long enough!

Do you recall when I first started this quilt?  My first blog and photos of the “Hawaiian Quilt“.  I did a “close-up” (although I must admit, revisiting it, it is not much of a close-up).  I mentioned, I think, of having a bit of fun, and including some of the backing fabric into the blocks.  It made a meandering path of footprints from the bottom of the quilt to the top, on the left side of the quilt.  It was very clever of Shawn to include in the quilting footprints travelling up the quilt as well.

When I was delivering the quilt to Marie, she sent it back home with, and asked if I would do the label.  The plan was just using a piece of muslin, writing out the particulars, then stitching a border around the muslin using the fabric that was used for the binding, and the inner border.  That was the plan!

As I drove home a completely different idea took place.  I couldn’t get it out of my head.  I drew it out on paper.  Erased.  Redrew.  Erased again.  Redrew.  I did this a few times, until the design was just right!  Then I realized, I was going to have to figure out some way of transferring the idea from paper, to fabric!  What was I thinking!  My drawing skills are not the best, and I had to think about it for quite some time, on how I was going to take the design from paper and transfer the idea to fabric.  LOL.  I should have taken some photos of the drawings.

I have not done much machine applique, and again it was one of those things, I just jumped into without giving it too much forethought!  Its amazing what you can achieve, when you don’t think about it too much, and do not let your intimidation take hold.   I decided I wanted to use the satin stitch for the applique.  Of course, that made it so much easier!   I’ve used the satin stitch on other things, besides applique, so it was “easy”.  Did I mention that I don’t think applique is easy?  I know it needs more practice.  I just haven’t found much I wanted to do, to achieve the practice.

Oh, I had considered using my embroidery machine, but again, I haven’t had much practice with it either, and I wanted to use the KIS principle.  Keep It Simple

Here is the label!  I was so surprised, when I realized the fabric lined-up with the backing.  I turned it over and used the ladder stitch to stitch the label to the backing.

I traced my foot.  Have you ever noticed that tracing a foot, looks a lot different then a footprint?  I really didn’t like the shape, so I cleaned it up a bit.  I cut out the muslin foot print, and pressed a piece of freezer paper, so I could do the writing.  I had darkened the lines on some lined paper, and transferred those to the “dull” side of the freezer paper as a guide when I wrote the label information.  I cut a piece of Pellon Wonder Under and traced the foot outline, and applied it to the muslin.  I cut out the foot shape.  I then appliqued the foot shape to the fabric using the satin stitch.  I had decided to use the backing fabric to ‘hide and blend’ the label to the backing.

I have to mention this again, but I was so surprised that I could line up the label with the backing fabric to “hide and blend” the label even more.    I was very pleased with the results.

Marie was so tickled.  I had told her I kind of lost the little toe, and that someone had suggested I create a toe ring.  She said she would have loved that!  Oh well, if I had asked her, it wouldn’t have been a surprise.  I really enjoy making labels that are not “square”.  I like the whimsiness of using different shapes.

And I haven’t done this for a while!  Here is my challenge to you, if you choose to accept it!  If you have not made a unique shaped label, I challenge you to do so on a quilt.

Now for a personal update:  I am doing okay.  My 6 month scans were all clear.  It seems that I have chronic pain.  I have found that this has been very draining, but I am now taking medication so I can function.  I didn’t realize how debilitating pain could be.   I have been off work since the middle of December.  I just found it had become too much, and I wasn’t doing anything but working, even at only 3 days a week for 4 hours a day, I was resting when I wasn’t working.  I realized this is not what I wanted to do.  I needed more than just working in my life.  I think what brought it all to a head, was when my DD#2 really wanted to do some craft things with me for Christmas, and I just didn’t have the energy to do it.   The look of disappointment on her face broke my heart.  She understood, but I didn’t.   I am now working up to doing things I like.  I meet once a week with a quilting/sewing group.  That exhausts me too, but at least I am having fun!

I had my one year anniversary of my diagnosis.   I survived the week.  As a year ago, it was a week-long experience.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to react.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought, but I think I prepared myself to look on the bright things.  At the Living With Cancer Support group they told me to celebrate and I did.  I made up for missing my birthday last year.  I hadn’t really thought of it at the time, but yes, I was diagnosed two days before my birthday.  I celebrated with 21 family and friends with a pot-luck dinner.  A friend (who has the same birthday as me) of my father’s had stopped by and asked what they could bring.  I had invited him and his wife to join us.  He plays in a band (bluegrass and country music), and asked if I would like them to play at the birthday party.  I was honoured, and told him I would love that.  The music was fabulous.   One of my friends from out-of-town gave me a book “Choosing to Smile” written by three British Columbian women about their lives with cancer.  The book was inspirational.  I didn’t know if I really wanted to read someone’s story about cancer, but I am glad I did.  I laughed, and I cried.   I hadn’t realized it, but for my journey, I have also chosen to smile.  And I will keep smiling.  Recovery is taking longer than I expected, but I am at this point in time, cancer free.  I am so thankful and grateful for all of you!  My “Hug Quilt” is on my bed, and every night I goto sleep with it tucked around me.

I have put together a project which I will be working on at my sewing group.  I just realized, I started this project two years ago.  It was a Leader/Ender project, and now it is coming together.  I am hoping to have all the blocks stitched together this week, which means another photo-op, and another blog post!


In the fall of 2007, I was asked by our local quilt guild program committee to teach a Bargello class in May 2008.   My goal was that anyone can do a bargello!  So I created a class called “If I can do a Bargello, you can too!”

The technique I used was inspired by Blue Meadow Designs – Cori and Myra.  They had done a quilt called Rhapsody in a McCall’s Quilting Magazine  April 2007.  My first Bargello, which is in the header on my blog was made using their design.  Although I did change-up my colours a little, to make mine blend more.  Back to the class.

I wanted to have the guild members spread their wings a bit, and design their own bargello, so I did a lot of reading and looking up all about Bargello quilts.  I even think I have a page with links somewhere here on my blog.   Some members didn’t like this idea… they just wanted to follow the pattern… umm… there is (was) no pattern).

Bargello designs on graph paper.

The above photo represents the two final designs I had chosen.   You start with a simple curved line, and then shade it in using the squares to represent your design and the fabric.  I decided on the bottom design for the quilt.  In my design, one square was equal to one inch.  I marked the grid so I could easily find measurements.   Perhaps now that I have this second one finished, maybe I’ll think about making a larger one, with a more complex design… hmmm… not yet, got some other things going that need to be done first.  Oh, the ideas that are swirling around right now.

So I played with my own designs, and in doing so, somewhere along the line, my eldest daughter asked if I was making it for her, so I asked her what colours.  Pink, Purple and Lime Green.   Well, this was going to take a little, as I had no pink what so ever in my stash.  So I spent a few months gathering some pink fabrics.

When you are choosing fabrics for a bargello,  it is a good idea to have a larger selection than you expect.  Some colours and values may not quite work like you expect.   And yup, you guessed it, I used the B&W setting on my camera and took some shots.

First arrange the fabrics in the strata you think will work.  Then take a photo.

First selection of fabrics

Sometimes cutting one strip of the fabrics and taking a photo will help clarify the colour way.

Final selection of fabrics cut into strips.

The method I used is the “tube” method to create the segments.   You sew your strips together.  Then sew them together into a tube… the one on the far left to the one on the far right.

Tube Segment, before unsewing.

Then using your design, you cut your strips based on the design.   You may want to number your fabrics, so as you cut, you can then unsew the connecting pieces based on the design to create the one-up, one down curve.  For example strip #1 would have piece #1 at the top.  Strip #2 would have piece #2 at top, and piece #1 at the bottom.  You then stitch the segments to the next segment.  It is important to keep organized here, as you wouldn’t want to sew strip #1 to strip #3.

Strip sets laid out

Depending on the size of your quilt, and how the design works out, you may need to unsew some of the extra strips, and fill in gaps. So all your strips are the same length.

Segments stitched together.

Some bargellos are made where the seams are aligned… this can be difficult, and may require a lot of pinning.  I chose to offset the seams, and it worked really well.

One of my biggest challenges with making quilts is trying to find a quilting design.   The movement of this quilt makes me think of “flight”, and that is what I wanted to use.  I had actually quilted some of it, and did not like it at all, and took it out.  A friend of mine suggested I bring it over, and she suggested using butterflies, and such.  Ah ha!   My DD#1 likes dragonflies… so I added a few of those, and a ladybug or two as well.

And here is the finished quilt.

And I had to include a couple close-ups of the quilting.

The above photos shows a dragonfly in the corner of the inside border.  In the outer border, I tried something I hadn’t done before.  Twin needle stitching using a decorative stitch, and two shades of a purple thread.

Here is the detail of a butterfly with a few “loop-de-loops”.

Woohoo!  I can cross another one off of my List of 10.    And just as an update – the circle play is currently being quilted.  I’m having fun with this one too.

Ohh… and I thought I’d share a photo of our not so small any more kittens.  Smudge and Thunder.

Smudge is in the foreground  Thunder is laying on top of her in the background.  He is completely black except three white whiskers on the left side.  We’ve had them for about 6 months now, and this is a rare moment that they are actually in one place.

It has been several months since I presented the finished quilt to the recipient, and I thought that as my hours are dropping in the next few weeks, that I should write something more about the quilt, and show some more in progress photos, as well as one of the finished project.

It was bittersweet to present the quilt to our friend, I really liked it, and almost didn’t want to give it up.  In the previous blog Fabric Collage Revisited,  about this project, the last photos show my technique for working on the water.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take photos in progress of the land portion of the landscape.  The photo below (clicking on a photo will display a larger image to see the detail)  is the landscape portion finished, with a piece of black tulle laid over it.

The tulle helps hold all the little pieces, requiring less stitching to hold everything in place.  Black is best, as it does not really change the colour of the fabric.

The next section I worked on, was directly to the left of the collage section, and is the Ship’s Crest.  I used my artist’s prerogative, and decided to duplicate only the rook portion and the background to it.

I stitched the red and yellow pieces, and then cut them so they would be on the bias.  I appliqued the rook , and then thread painted it to give it, its dimension and colouring.

I added a border to the collage portion, then attached the Rook.  I added a blue piece on the top and bottom.  I used a font on my word processor, for the lettering, and printed it off, and then traced it onto the blue fabric.  I thread painted using a  Sulky variegated rayon thread.  I really liked the way this thread practically glowed on the fabric.  This was the first time I had used a rayon thread for quilting.  I was very impressed with the results.

This is the finished top, being sandwiched.  I was standing on a chair above the table to get the shot… didn’t think of hanging it first!

And this is the finished project.

And this is the recipient and I.

I presented the finished quilt to Pamela at the Change of Command Dinner, with Pamela stepping down in July 2008.  Pamela spent her first summer as a Cadet at the Summer Training Centre in the summer of 1980, and was the first female Commanding Officer of HMCS Quadra.

I first introduced the Anniversary Quilt in my post on Colour Value.   I knew that this quilt would come together quickly.  And I knew the challenge for this quilt would be the pieced setting triangles.   With the help and advice of some of my quilting friends online and in person, I worked through the challenge.

The challenge was the bias edges that would be on the edges of the top.  Putting my design on point, caused the setting triangles to have the bias edges on the outside, instead of nicely stitched into the body of the quilt top.   I used foundation (paper) piecing, to piece all the triangles, and used my Easy Angle ruler to cut the angles as needed.  I had very little waste, which I am quite happy about.

As I was piecing the main units, I was starting to wonder if 50 units was going to be too many.  I laid out the blocks I had, on the bed on point.  I left to go get the camera, and was distracted for a moment or two, and when I came back… well this is what I found.


I realized that the blocks were going to be enough… and this is going to be a large quilt!  This past weekend, I was able to devote an entire day to stitching.  I’m scheduled to go back to work next week, and wasn’t sure, when I’d get time to work on it.  Sunday was a very productive day.


Half done!   You would think that I would bring the camera in with me, and take the photo.  I’m sure she knows when I’m taking photos.   Tuesday and Wednesday I was able to work on the other half.  It’s nice to have the time to work on it.  I really didn’t think I would get this much done in so few days.


I wanted to take a photo of the progress, and laid out both halves on the bed to take a photo.  Didn’t know if I’d get more done or not.  As it was, I did.  I really wasn’t sure about the orange/pink, and the background fabrics, but the more I work with this quilt, the more I’m liking it.   I am very fond of the burgundy and the pink (which will be in the second border).

I had to measure the quilt top, to add the first border, and laid it out on my bed to do so.  I also wanted to see how the small border would look.


And no, I didn’t have the camera before Tazzie checked the progress.  I actually went to get the camera and the green border fabric.   The hair on her leg (right hind quarter) is really starting to come back in.

I’m hoping to have the last green border pieces added tonight, then it is off to figure out the pieced border. I had a different experience when measuring the borders.  Typically I measure down the centre of the quilt, then cut the border to that length.  Find the centre of the quilt top, and the border strip, line them up, pin, pin the ends, and ease in as required.  As I was about to pin the border, I noticed there was an excess of 3″ on one end.  I double checked the centre.  Check.  Double checked the length of the border strip.  Check.  Double checked the quilt top. Check.  It just wasn’t matching up.  There was no way I could ease in 3″ of fabric on either end of the quilt.   So I measured the edge of the quilt top.  It is actually smaller than the centre.   I was so concerned with the bias stretching on the edges, and the paper piecing helped stabilize it, that there was some stretch in the centre of the quilt.  I’m hoping that the borders will help ease the fabric back into shape.

I really don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to add a pieced border.  Well, I did, but I’m questioning my motives now!  LOL.  To be honest this quilt did go together quite quickly, so I’m actually not grumbling about the pieced border.

The quilting on the other hand, although I know I’m a ways a way from that, will cause me some grumbling.


For about a year now, I’ve been working on a quilt design for my Sister-in-law and her husband for their 25th Wedding Anniversary.  I wanted a design that would have something interlocking and that would evoke the images of longevity, union, joining together, bond, marriage.   None of those terms quite match what I have in my head, but I hope it conveys what I’m trying to envision.   I’m happy to say, I have a design.  That being said, I’m still tweaking it.  Changing colour arrangement and such.


Version I went shopping with.

Last week I was visiting an out-of-town Quilt Shop, looking for fabrics.  I knew I wanted a burgundy (dark red), a medium pink,  a light pink (dusty rose), and a light brown for the background.   I didn’t find anything that jumped out and said “I’m the one you want”.  I was getting rather discouraged, here I was thinking buying the fabric for this particular project would be easy, because I knew what I was looking for.   As I said, I was getting discouraged… their anniversary is 4 months away, and I need to get started on the quilt.

Version with the green added.

Version with the green added.

You may be thinking “gasp, only 4 months”.    And you will probably gasp again when I mention that it will be a queen size quilt.   Are you still with me?  Take a few deep breaths, you and I will both be okay.  The main design of the quilt top, is fairly easy to put together, and goes together quite quickly.   The borders on the other hand, may give me some headaches.  I’ve only just started piecing my borders, getting away from the “long” borders.

I have been using EQ6 to help with the design, although, when I originally designed the unit (four units required to make the block), I did use graph paper and pencil.    I need to use EQ6 more, so I will be more comfortable with it.  I find it odd, that a computer person such as myself, has not mastered this program yet, and I’ve had it for 2 years!

I had made a lap quilt from the design, and have yet to quilt it, but it worked out well.   I considered doing the same thing, but making a queen size quilt for my Sister-in-law.   But then an idea struck me (carried over from my Fast Scrappy Quilt), what if I put the blocks on point.  And I’m really liking the design now.

Okay, so where am I.  My brain is jumping to “right now”, when I really need to write about what led up to “right now.

Design – check

Fabric – check

Oh.  Okay, I know where I am now.  While getting discouraged about not finding the fabric I want, or at least in the colour way I want, I noticed the shop’s selection of batiks.  Hmmm… the Burgundy works.  Oh, a very pretty pink.   Now for a background… there isn’t anything in the light tan/beige variety, but there is a bolt with the burgundy and pink on it… and it has a bit of dark green, and the main colour of the background is a pale green.  Hmmm… I don’t know… I really want the tan/beige.  Oh, I found some dark green, that really goes with the burgundy and pink.    There isn’t anything else to use for the background.  *frown*.   Okay… if I had this bolt here, which has more orange in it, but it has the same colour as the other colour in the burgundy print.    Hey, I think I’m onto something here.  Not so sure about that background, but as other customers are walking by, they are all commenting on the fabulous colour choices I have.    The pink isn’t going with the background print… but the other two fabric choices are.    The green I’m definitely adding… it’s just adding that little extra zip I was looking for, but didn’t know how to fit in.  Do now, I’m happy to say!  I had mentioned to my daughter who was with me, I wish I had brought my camera, so I could take a black and white, to see if I have enough contrast.


This is my fabric choices.  Look pretty good don’t they?  The fabrics were washed, dried and pressed… ready to be cut.  I really wanted to use that pink, but something wasn’t quite right with it, and the background.  I decided to take some black and whites, and I started having a hunch on what was going on… or wasn’t.   I decided to rule it out, and make two test blocks.  One with the pink, and one with the orange.

Test Blocks - orange vs pink.

Test Blocks - orange vs pink.

Doesn’t the pink and the burgundy blend nicely together.  And the orange and the burgundy.  But what is it with the block on the right?  A quick switch to black and white mode on the camera, and the answer becomes blazingly obvious.

Contrast is an issue here.

Contrast is an issue here.

That is what my eye was seeing (or not).  The pink and the background fabrics have the same value.   Value can be defined as “in painting and drawing, the lightness or darkness of a colour”.   As much as I wanted to pair the pink and the burgundy, there was no fabric available that was lighter in value than the pink and the background fabric I chose.   When two fabrics have the same value, they can disappear into each other.  This could be the desired effect, but with my design, I need the contrast, to make the pattern evident.    Sometimes I forget to use value, but in some cases, you may not want a lot of contrast.   Just over a year ago, I attended a one-day workshop on colour, and I learned a lot, and I know I still have much to learn.  Our instructor was Ionne McCauley who co-authored the book “Color for the Terrified Quilter” with Sharon Pederson.   It’s a great reference book, it has lessons and projects if you wish to learn more about colour.

Don’t feel to badly for the pink, I have a plan for it… it will be used in the border.  And yes, since I have bought the fabric, I have recoloured the border, trying different colour layouts.

Now its time to start cutting the fabric.   The unit is 10″ finished, and it takes 4 to create the interlocking squares.  (I haven’t come up with a name for this design, so I revert back to what it looks like).  When I made the test blocks I cut all the strips at 2½”.   The unit uses squares and rectangles.  Remember when I mentioned, my mind was in the “right now”… this was the thought I had up there.  I think my design would lend itself quite nicely to those jelly rolls that are out there.  Perhaps have each interlocking square a different colour.   I think that would be a neat design to play with in EQ.  But not right now… I need to share more!

I started thinking, that if I cut all the strips at 2½” that I would need to cut extra strips so I would have an even number of pieces, and to have complete finished units, with out “extras”.  I decided that cutting the fabric to the rectangle length, and then when stitched, I would then cross-cut to the 2½”.  This worked very well with the strip piecing.  And the blocks came together quite quickly.  I was able to make 17 units from the width of fabric (WOF) strip.  My husband was so amazed that I had those units done so quickly.   I have 32 more to do, and then I need to tackle the corner and side triangles.   The nice thing about EQ, it gives cutting instructions, to help make it easier.  We’ll see how that goes!

Here are the 18 blocks I have thus far.

The first set of blocks

The first set of blocks

The background fabric is really growing on me… and I know that I’ll be using that very pretty pink in the borders.  And the green is just going to make everything pop!  My focus for the next several months will be this quilt.  I have no idea how I am going to quilt it… I’ll wait until the top is done.

I mentioned the workshop on Colour, it was that workshop that I truly learned the value of my camera.    When working on bargello quilts, where a colour way from light to dark is required, the black and white feature on your camera is invaluable.   My West Coast Sunset bargello, the value of my fabrics didn’t quite match the pattern, I changed two of them, and it worked out much better.  I’m glad I found that out, before I started cutting, I don’t think I would have been very happy.

On your next quilt project, if you really want the design to be noticed, check out the contrast between your fabrics.   Take a black and white of your fabrics.  Arrange the fabrics how they would be in your project.   I’m sure you’ll be amazed with your results.  I’d like to hear about your experiences using colour value in your projects.


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!


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July 2018
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