In this month's kit we are borrowing a lesson from Shelley Stokes of Cedar Canyon Textiles. She has developed patterns and designs for positive/negative stenciling using Shiva Paintstiks. Before you begin, you will need to choose a pattern from the sheet included in your kit which Shelley graciously allowed us to use. It must be enlarged to a 4" square. To do this, use a copier to enlarge at 133% and then again by 200%.
You must pre-shrink the freezer paper before you make your stencil. Take it to your ironing board and press it on a lint-free surface, lift it, and press again. Cut each freezer paper sheet into an 8" square. Draw two sets of parallel lines 2" from the outside edges, forming a 4" box in the center. Trace each pattern in the two boxes. Be sure to mark the areas that will be cut out. Cut out the marked areas without cutting into the margins.
The fabric in the kit is a hand-dyed cotton and needs no pre-washing, just a light ironing. You will need to create registration marks on your fabric in order to place your stencils in the correct positions. Use an iron or chalk marker to mark multiple 4" squares. Position your first stencil in the correct position and press to adhere the freezer paper stencil. The Paintstik has a film covering the paint and needs to be removed. You can do that by twisting it off with a paper towel or cutting it away with a small kitchen knife. Rub the paint onto the waxy side of the left over freezer paper and load your brush.
With your brush at a ninety degree angle and with a circular motion, add paint to the fabric. Start with a light layer and gradually add paint until you have the intensity you desire.
Carefully remove the stencil. Position the second freezer paper stencil in its correct place on the fabric, matching the edges and registration marks. Cover your first painting with parchment paper and iron the second freezer paper pattern to the fabric. Add paint as before. Continue stenciling by alternating each pattern piece until you have filled your fabric with squares. As you can see, each pattern matches the other along the sides.
This stenciled fabric can now become your background. You can alter the fabric by painting it in a graduated color, adding the single color of paintstik over the top. Or you can stencil each pattern onto squares cut from different fabrics. You can also make your own patterns. See Cedar Canyon Textiles for Shelley's blog on learning that technique.