Here’s a close-up example of
Xpandaprint as a three-dimensional
element in quilts (quilt by Linda S. Schmidt).
So, what is it?
Xpandaprint™ is a thick, creamy medium that can be applied with a brush, roller, or sponge. It expands when heated, can be painted, and is non-toxic. You might know it by a different name, puff paint, but it’s so much more!
It’s a thick, glossy paint when wet, but when dried and puffed up by a heat gun, it becomes matte and three-dimensional.
We all remember the days when people used it to make sweatshirt designs and called it “art,” so it’s easy to discount these ‘puff’ paints entirely; however, you might just find it to be an amazing medium with which to make art quilts.
How to use Xpandaprint
Called “Life’s a Beach” this beautiful quilt was made
using Xpandaprint and other techniques that are surprisingly
easy to master, check out more in
Quilting Arts Winter 2006.
Quilter Linda S. Schmidt has experimented with many ways to use this medium, and has found it to be quite a unique and fun material.
Xpandaprint has many useful characteristics beyond puffing up. You can paint shapes and make indentations in it, rubberstamp with it, and also use it as very strong glue: it will secure anything you stick in it quite firmly.
If you heat it with an iron or heat gun, it puffs up and creates a flexible, textured surface that can be sewn through and used in wall hangings and garments. This sort of texture can help to make trees, rocks, bridges, waves, cliffs, walls, pavements, columns, buildings, statues, and borders.
This featured quilt (right) is a beautiful example of how Xpandaprint can be used to create an art quilt. This project is something anybody can do. It takes no great skill, just a spirit of adventure.
The quilt is created by covering the entire fabric with Xpandaprint, drawing in the waves, then adding in found objects such as rocks and shells. Finally, adding a layer of sand before heating to expand the paint to create the memorizing design.
If you’d like to try this technique yourself, be sure to check out the article “Expand Your Repertoire with Puff Paints” by Linda S. Schmidt in Quilting Arts Magazine Winter 2006.