If you’ve been following Toni’s posts about her exploits at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago this week, I assure you that there is more to come! I had the very real pleasure of being (willingly) dragged along for the adventure.
I got to see a bit of everything fiber art! From the traditional to the modern, from the subtle to the colorful, from the textured to the full 3D, these quilters are simply phenomenal.
IQF is not JUST about staring in wonder and awe over the amazing creations, though. Of course there are also the rows upon rows of goodies for sale, events like the Iron Quilter Challenge, demos of new products and techniques but most importantly for newbies like me…the workshops! Toni and I were able to take a class called The Art of the Covered Button with Lorraine Torrence where we were introduced to new techniques in fabric manipulation. I’ll let Toni tell you more about the session (along with our fab results) later but I found myself drawn to a technique I’ve never witnessed before, using oil paint sticks specifically designed for fabric!
If you have not previously been introduced to paint sticks, allow me to offer my sincerest apologies to your pocket book. These oil based paints look like giant nubby crayons that produce the most lush colors on fabric that I have ever seen. The sticks themselves come in an array of colors and in order to use them, they need to be peeled of the thick “skin” they form after each use. The self healing nature of the sticks allow them to be stored for long periods of time in between uses and still retain their vibrancy. The demonstration we witnessed utilized rubber stamps combined with a metallic stick to create a rubbing of the underlying stamp giving the fabric an embossed look. The beauty of the paint sticks is that once the paint has time to cure and is heat set, the color stays vibrant and the fabric can be washed! Amazing, right?! Now that it’s all over, I simply had to cruise the craft sites for more information. I would definitely point you firstly to Laura Murray Designs (not just because she has a great first name) as her templates, stamps, and supplies were what we got to see in use at the show. She also has a newsletter AND tutorials for using paint sticks on her very handy website!
Secondly, I found this quick and easy tutorial on Craftsy that takes you through using them specifically on stencils. I can’t wait to try out paint sticks on all sorts of projects! It’s been quite a weekend so I think it’s time to kick back and relax before starting on the next craft adventure.
Enjoy your week, all!