It does sound like poion viy/oak/sumac or something. The thing to keep in mind is that its the oil in the plant that causes the rash. Wherever the highest concentration of the oil is on your body, is where the rash will show up first and strognest. So, lets say your hand touched the plant. Your hand gets the worst rash. Then your hand touches your face, so you get some oil on your face... but its not as concentrated, so the rash doesnt show up quite as quickly or as strongly... then your hand touches your leg... so that shows up after your hands and you face... Once you WASH THE OIL OFF, it stops spreading. You cannot spread it after the oil is gone, because it is the OIL that causes the rash, not anything inside the blisters. That is just your body's own fluids reacting to the poison. The longer the reah is in contact with your skin, the worse the rash will be.... in terms of bubbling up.
On a side note: Once, when camping, I must have touched some poison ivy with my hand in the morning. I was working outside with a geologist and we didnt go back to camp to wash up until dinner time. I must have touched every surface of my body (including going to the bathroom and wiping in the woods). I was COVERED. I ended up getting some shots of steriods to calm it down because it was sooooooo bad.
And, I'll second the hot hot hot water.... it does help for a little bit.