Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Adding More Texture and Blending to the Background

     I went to my monthly studio meeting with my art group, ArtsEtc. This meeting was an exercise in texture rubbings. I decided to take my background for the art quilt I've been working on and try to unite the panels more by using the Shiva paintstiks in two ways.
     The first way, was to take the paints and mix the colors on an old plastic plate to get a pale blue and then load a stencil brush with the paint. Then I brushed the paint onto the edges of the whitest panel to have it blend into the bluer panels around it more. The orangish panel was a little too orangish for me for this quilt and I had plans to sew a white sheer fabric on top to tone it down. Instead, I brushed white/gray paintstiks on top. I think it helped.
     The second way, was to make texture rubbings that would overflow the edges of the panels to help blend the panels together more. The problem with this was that the background was already a quilt and the thickness prevented pattern from the texture plates from rubbing through. But there is always a way...
     So here is what the solution was: (I put plastic onto the table surface to keep it clean.)
1.) I took the paintstiks and rubbed them right onto the brass trivet. I used various colors together.
Half of trivet is rubbed with paintstiks of various colors

2.) I placed the trivet paint-side down on the quilt where I wanted the pattern to be.
Trivet placed paint-side down

3.) I carefully, flipped the quilt over and rubbed from the back side of the quilt.
Rubbing with my hand
You can also rub with a hard edge like a ruler

4.) In this panel edge, I felt I wanted more unity. I thought there was too much of a difference between the two panels. (You can see some places in the top of the photo and the bottom where I already did this procedure.)
Needs something here

5.) So I took several colors of paintstiks and rubbed them directly onto this plastic rubbing plate.
Thick with paints

6.) And I place the painted part of this plate paint side down where I wanted the pattern onto the quilt. I flipped the quilt over and I rubbed from the back side of the quilt.
Rubbing the texture from the back

7.) Here you can see the same section with its new pattern uniting the panels better.
With pattern overflowing the edge

So it's not too late to add texture rubbings to quilts after quilting. You just have to do it from the back. If you want a really well defined rubbing, then use a hard edge like a ruler to do the rubbing. If you want a more diffuse rubbing, then use your hand to do the rubbing. But do have the texture plate really thick with paint.             TIP: Practice the technique on a small scrap quilt first.

I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday Where you can visit other artist's art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts to let them know you were there.


  1. Very nice work, another way to use this kind of paint!

  2. What a great idea! I must pin this and try it out some time!

  3. An interesting way to get texture. It looks great! I love those rubbing plates and have used them with paint sticks.
    You asked what I was going to do with my hand-dyed fabrics. Just add them to my stash. My quilts are almost exclusively made with them these days.

  4. I loved your explanation. I'll have to try this out.

  5. I like this alternative way of using the paint sticks. I'll have to hunt mine up and try this at some point.

  6. Thanks for visiting! I hope if you try this technique, you have fun and get good results.


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