Monthly Archives: December 2009

December 09 Virtual Quilt Group – Holiday Bags


Hi everyone!

Here’s the first Virtual Art Quilt Lesson!  In these lessons I will be sharing ideas and techniques with you so that we can all get those wonderful products we’ve bought out and use them.  You can experience my classes in three ways – 1. Do the project just like I did.  2. Take my basic idea and go with it.  Put your own spin on it. or 3. Use the materials and do something entirely different with the supplies.  Any of these are acceptable.  If you finish a project please email pictures so I can include them in the blog.  We’d all like to see them. Supplies for these project are available on my website – You do not have to buy the supplies from me, nor are you limited to just the products that I carry in your projects. You also have my permission to use these projects in your own live art quilt group. With all that said – here we go!

This month’s group lesson in making gift bags with Paintstiks.

Snowflake Gift Bag

Here’s the one made with the new Paintstik Snowflake Stencil from Cedar Canyon Textiles.

Gift Bags

Red and Green Gift Bags

These are made with the Happy Holidays Rubbing Plates.

Paintstik Gift Bags

Gift Bags made with Paintstiks and Happy Holiday Rubbing Plates

Here’s a pink/blue colorway using the new paintstik iridescent colors – Magenta, Jade and Sapphire.

Supplies needed:

Paintstiks – I used Silver, Gold, Red, Green, Jade, Magenta and Sapphire Iridescent

Fabric – each yard will make about 6 bags

Snowflake Stencil Set

Happy Holidays Rubbing Plates

Grip-n-grip mat


The bags are simple.  Decide on the size of your bag – the directions are in the download, then decorate your fabric.  When using rubbing plates it’s best if you space the rubbings apart and not rub all the way to the edges.  Then go back with either another rubbing plate or the same one and fill in the empty areas.  This keeps your piece from looking like it’s done in squares.

When using the rubbing plates that create a picture – for example the string of lights on the red bag above – use a contrasting color, I used gold, and lightly rub.  As you see the edges of a shape move on to the next one.  When you’ve got the basic shapes you can then go back and fill in with the different colors to make the lights different colors. You’ll get the hang of it with practice. If you’re having trouble with the fabric moving on top of the rubbing plate, spray a KK2000 – a Sulky temporary spray adhesive – on the back of the fabric before laying it over the rubbing plate.

Paintstiks are wonderful to stencil with. They’re so thick they stay right where you put them.  Just hold the stencil down and apply the paintstik with a stencil brush.  I apply it directly from the stick and rub with a circular motion on the stencil.  If you need a little extra help holding down the stencil, spray the stencil with KK2000.

Speaking of KK2000, I love that stuff.  It’s made by Sulky and is readily available at Joanns and other stores. It’s heat dissipated so it just disappears over time.  I use it any time I need something temporarily stuck to something else. It’s great for lots of sewing tasks.

The bag pattern with sewing instructions can be downloaded as a pdf here:

Holiday Bags Pattern

The general paintstik techniques file can be downloaded as a pdf here:

Paintstik Instructions

We also experimented with a technique shown on Laura Murray’s website. I made freezer paper stencils of ornaments.  We then ironed the stencils on our fabric and used rubbing plates to create a design in the stencil.  I softened the edges of mine by rubbing with a brush after I had done the rubbing.  I liked the look a lot.

Freezer Paper Ornaments

The ornament at the top and the one on the far right were done to demonstrate using the positive and negative of a stencil.  The paint is drawn on the edge of the stencil and then pulled off onto the fabric with a brush. You can fill in as much as you like.  If you leave the center open it gives a radiant look.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed our first lesson.  Please leave your comments or email me at  Thanks and see you in January!