Archive for the 'Quilling How-To' Category

Jun 13 2009

Quilled Beach Tag

For me, summer means the beach.  I love to hear the sound of the ocean waves crashing upon the shore as I lounge contentedly under the shade of a big umbrella.  But, since I can’t go to the beach, I thought I would do the next best thing and craft something tropical instead.  Today’s quilling pattern is a fun one because it introduces a new quilling coil, technique, and tool. 
rectangle-coil-quillingThe trunk of the palm tree is made from a coil called a “rectangle” because it is, well, a rectangle.  To make this quill, roll a loose coil and pinch it into a marquise.  Next, move the marquise slightly between your thumbs and index fingers and pinch again, forming two more points near the original ones.  You should now have a rectangle quill that has two long sides and two short sides. 
quilling paper crimperWe’ll also be playing with a new tool — a paper crimper.  I bought mine at the North American Quilling Guild Conference this past May.  The one I have is made by Paplin, but there are several good ones on the market.  It isn’t a “must have” quilling tool, but it is so much fun. To use the crimper, simply feed your paper strip through the gears and it comes out crimped.  If you don’t have a paper crimper you can still make the palm tree.  Just make the palm fronds with straight quilling paper instead. 
quilled-wheatear-and-palm-frondFinally, I want to show you a bit about wheatears.  This isn’t a coil or a scroll because you don’t curl the paper, you loop it instead.  To make a wheatear, create a small loop.  Now, while holding the original loop, make a larger loop around it.  Keep looping the paper until your wheatear is as long as desired, then glue the paper down at the starting point and either tear or cut off the excess paper.  Wheatears can be left rounded, or shaped like a coil.  For the palm frond, you’ll pinch the ends like a marquise and bend the ends in opposite directions to give the frond a little curve.
You will need
Basic quilling tools (discussed earlier)
Quilling paper, 1/8″:  green, brown, gold
quilled-palm-tree-tagFree Quilling Pattern – Palm Tree & Small Goldfish
(4) 4″ Rectangle coil, brown (tree trunk) 
(7) 3/4″ – 1-1/2″ long Wheatears, green (palm fronds)
(1) 3″ Teardrop coil, gold (fish body)
(1) 3″ Pressed heart coil, gold (fish fin)
Using the photo as a guide, glue the rectangle coils on top of each other to form the palm tree trunk.  Give the top rectangle coil a little pinch to form the top of the trunk.  Glue the base of each wheatear to the tip of the palm tree trunk, mixing up the sizes.  Glue the tip of the gold pressed heart to the tip of the gold teardrop to create a fun little fish swimming in the surf.
The palm tree and fish make perfect additions to a beach-themed tag  — a great embellishment for a vacation scrapbook page.
Additional Materials for Quilled Beach Tag
(1) Tag, 4-1/2″ x 2-1/8″, blue (DMD Industries)
Card stock scraps, turquoise, white, beige, gold
Blending chalk, brown (optional)
Jute twine, 6″
Using the photo as a guide, tear a strip of tan card stock, chalk the edge a darker brown (optional), and glue it to the tag for the sand.  Tear a strip of white card stock and glue it over the bottom edge of the tan strip for the crashing waves.  Tear a strip of turquoise and glue it along the bottom of the tag for the deep water, leaving a strip of the original blue tag showing for the shallow water.  Tear a curved piece of gold card stock and glue it in the corner for the sun.  Trim off any card stock edges even with the tag.  Glue the palm tree and goldfish in place.  Tie the jute on with a simple overhand knot and fringe the edges.  Be sure to sign your work!
I hope you decide to join me at the beach and give this project a try.  If so, I’d love to hear from you.  Send me a comment and let me know how it turned out. 
Quilling Tip:  Don’t pinch the crimped paper too hard or you will flatten out the paper folds and lessen the effect.

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Jun 02 2009

Make Your Own Quilling Workboard & Design Guide

If you are going to make more than just one or two small pieces of quilling, you owe it to yourself to purchase one of the quilling workboards and design guides that are currently available.  These are quality boards made of dense self-healing cork or durable foam that are sturdy and made to last for years.  The design grid guides and circle templates help you create precise, uniform quills, which is very important when working with symmetrical patterns such as snowflakes.  
A variety of quality designer boards, grids, and templates are available from the Scrapbook Super Center (just enter “quilling” into the search menu) and Custom Quilling.
However, if you are working with a group (Scout troop, church group, craft club, etc.), it is not always practical to purchase each member their own quilling workboard.   You can make one instead.
quilling-workboard1A simple, temporary board can be made from any sturdy sheet of cork board, plastic foam, corrugated cardboard, or other similar material.  A nice size is 6″ x 8″, but use what you have.  For my quilling classes, I have taken inexpensive 12″ x 12″ cork squares, cut them into four 6″ x 6″ squares, and edged them with masking tape.  These work very well, and if one happens to get away from me, it can easily be replaced.  Go green with a quilling workboard made from corrugated cardboard cut from a box that was headed for the trash.  When it has too many holes to be useful, just place it in the recycling bin. 
Wax paper makes a serviceable cover sheet for your workboard; it is handy and certainly cheap enough.  However, a word of caution is in order — if too much glue is used and the quillwork is accidentally glued to the wax paper, when you remove the quillwork the wax will come up with the quilled design.  I prefer to use clear plastic sheets cut from scrap (think old plastic sheet protectors or office transparencies) or recycled plastic packaging (not the hard stuff toys are packaged in, but the thin plastic scrapbook embellishments are wrapped in, heavy-duty food baggies, etc.).  You can either pin the workboard cover in place, or wrap it around and tape it to the back.   Slip your quilling pattern underneath the cover sheet (plastic or wax paper), pin in place, and create your quilled masterpiece.
quilling-workboard21For symmetrical work, a design grid can be created from a piece of graph paper cut to fit your quilling workboard.  Using a ruler and black pen or fine-tip marker, draw in your vertical and horizontal lines to divide your sheet roughly into fourths.  Continue to draw in intersecting lines as needed for your pattern.  Circles can be added to the grid with the aid of a compass or circle template. 
If you find that you need to make many coils of the same size, you can create your own template by tracing small round objects of various dimensions (coins, bottle caps, washers, brads, etc.) onto scrap paper or card stock.  Place this guide (shown in the top photo) under your workboard cover sheet and allow your quills to uncoil to the size of the desired circle.


Quilling Tip:  Use glue sparingly, especially when creating your design over wax paper so the wax on the wax paper does not become glued to the bottom of your quillwork.


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May 29 2009

Quilled Ladybug — Intermediate Quilling Pattern

I went into a local scrapbooking store yesterday and found a darling magnetic mini frame.  It came in several colors and I started pondering the possibilities.  When I saw the red one, however, one word came to mind — ladybug — and I knew that I just had to have it.  I had originally thought that I would quill the ladybug, glue it to the center frame area, and seal it with an acrylic sealer since the quillwork would be exposed.  Upon further investigation, however, I discovered that the back pulled off and there was enough space inside for the quilling if I used the thin 1/16″ quilling paper.   
The pattern, as written, is really better suited for an intermediate quiller since it does call for 1/16″ wide paper which can be a bit tricky to work with.  However, if you aren’t comfortable working with the thin papers, by all means, please use 1/8″ quilling strips. 
half-circle-coilThe ladybug quilling pattern introduces a new coil called a “half circle.”  To make a half circle, roll a loose coil and pinch it into a teardrop.  Next, instead of pinching the coil again directly opposite from the first point (which forms a marquise), pinch the paper a second time closer to the first point.  You can vary the height of the half circle by placing the two pinched points closer or further apart.
You will need
Basic quilling tools (discussed earlier)
Quilling paper, 1/16″:  red, black, white
quilled-ladybugFree Quilling Pattern — Ladybug
(2) 22″ half circle coil, red (wings) 
(1) 6″, half circle coil, black (head)
(1) 10″, teardrop coil, black (body)
(1) 1″, V-scroll, black (antennae)
(6) 1/2″-1″ tight coil, white (spots)
Using the photo as a guide, glue three white tight coils randomly inside the first red half circle coil forming spots on the wing.  Repeat for the second wing.  Glue the two red half circles together at the top only.  Glue the black teardrop between the two red half circles to form the body.  Glue the 6″ black half circle coil to the top of the ladybug body for her head.  Attach the black V-scroll to the top of the 6″ half circle for the antennae.
This little ladybug would be so cute on a card or decorating a scrapbook page.  I framed mine.
quilled-ladybug-frameAdditional Materials for Framed Ladybug
(1) Magnetic Mini Frame from Bazzill Basics Paper (holds a 1-3/4″ x 1-3/8″ photo), red, or similar frame
(2) 6″ pieces of 3/8″ ribbon, black with white stitching
(2) 3/8″ black buttons
(1) 1/2″ white button
Small piece of red floss
Scrap card stock:  white, green
Small leaf stamp (See-D’s or similar)
Black ink (StazOn or similar)
Cut the white card stock 1/4″ larger than the opening.  Stamp the leaf onto the green card stock and cut out.  Glue the ladybug to the leaf and attach both to the white card stock.  Glue the white card stock to the back of the frame with the leaf and ladybug showing inside the opening.  Tie the two pieces of ribbon together to form a decorative knot.  Referring to the photo, wrap the ribbon around the bottom of the frame, centering the knot, and secure the ends in the back.  Clip the ribbon ends at the knot on the diagonal.  Tie the red floss through the white button; clip ends.  Glue the buttons onto the upper left-hand corner of the frame.
Sit back and admire your quilling.  Don’t forget to sign your artwork!

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May 26 2009

Resizing a Quilling Pattern

It is very easy to change the size of a quilling pattern to fit your specific background — simply use a shorter or longer strip of quilling paper to make your quills.  (A “quill” is just a generic name for your scrolls and/or coils.)  With some practice, you will discover the size of the paper strip that will give you the size quill you need. 
quilled-matchbook2For example, I found the cutest matchbook notepad template from Mirkwood Designs and thought that the floral pattern from “Quilling a Twinchie — Beginner Pattern” would be perfect on it.  After printing out the matchbook template I discovered that the actual space available for the quillwork was only 1″ x 2″ which was too small for the twinchie pattern.   To make the quilling design fit the new project I needed to reduce it, so I cut the length of the quilling strips called for in the pattern in half (except for the tight coil used for the flower center — I kept that at 1″ since smaller than that is difficult to work with).
resize-quillingSo instead of:
(5) 6″ marquise coil, blue
(1) 6″ teardrop coil, blue
(1) 1″ tight coil, white
(1) 7″ V-scroll, green
(1) 4″ V-scroll, green
the quilling pattern used for the matchbook notepad is:
(5) 3″ marquise coil, pink
(1) 3″ teardrop coil, pink
(1) 1″ tight coil, white
(1) 3-1/2″ V-scroll, green
(1) 2″ V-scroll, green
As you can see in the comparison photo, the pink floral on the matchbook is just about half the size of the blue floral twinchie.
Don’t shy away from a quilling pattern just because it isn’t the exact size you need.  Now that you know how to adjust the length of the quilling paper strips to make your quills larger or smaller, you can make any quilling design work for you.

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May 22 2009

Quilling a Twinchie — Beginner Pattern

My earlier posts have explained the basic techniques and tools used in the art of quilling.  Now it’s time to quill!  For a perfect first project, we will make a twinchie.
quilled-flower-twinchieWhat in the world is a “twinchie?”  Those of you familiar with cardmaking, scrapbooking, or stamping have probably heard of twinchies already, but if you haven’t, twinchies are wonderful pieces of art that are two inches by two inches, hence the name, twinchies.  This format for art grew from the original and still popular “inchies,” which, not surprisingly, is art that is one inch by one inch square.  This is a very satisfying form of art since it does not take long to create delightful results that are amazingly versatile.  It is a very common format chosen for group swaps since they are quick to produce and easy to mail which encourages more members to participate.
NOTE:  My quilling pattern instructions tell you the number, size, type, and color of the quills (coils or scrolls) needed to complete the design.  For example, (5) 3″ Marquise coil, blue, means that you will need a quantity of five marquise coils, each made from a 3″ strip of blue quilling paper.
You Will Need
Basic quilling tools (discussed earlier)
Quilling paper, 1/8″:  blue, white, green (multi-colored pack recommended for more variety)
Card stock, 2″ squares:  cream, blue
Blending chalk: mustard yellow
Dry tape runner (optional)
Free Quilling Pattern — Quilled Flower with Bud
(5) 6″ marquise coil, blue
(1) 6″ teardrop coil, blue
(1) 1″ tight coil, white
(1) 7″ V-scroll, green
(1) 4″ V-scroll, green
Glue one point of each blue marquise to the white tight coil to form a flower.  Glue the folded end of the 4″ green V-scroll between two of the blue marquise coils to form tendrils.  Glue the blue teardrop to the top of the 3″ V-scroll to form a flower bud and glue the folded end between two marquise coils on the opposite side of the tendrils. 
Assemble Your Twinchie
Tear all four sides of the cream card stock and apply chalk to the torn edges.  Attach the cream card stock to the center of the blue square   Glue the finished quillwork to the 2″ square of card stock.
Congratulations!  You now have a beautiful twinchie
I made mine into a greeting card for a friend.  If you would like to, also, follow these easy steps.
quilled-flower-cardAdditional Materials for Card
(1) 4″ x 5.5″ blank greeting card, ivory
6″ of 7/8″ wide ribbon, mustard yellow
Greeting of your choice (rubber stamp/ink, rub-on, computer printed, etc.)
Apply your greeting to the lower right-hand side of the card.  (I always do this part first, before adding my embellishments.  That way if I make a mistake, it is much easier to start over).   Attach the ribbon vertically to the left side of the card; trim edges.  Attach the twinchie on top of the ribbon.  (See photo for placement).
Don’t forget to sign your work! 


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May 19 2009

5 Basic Quilling Scrolls

Open scrolls help create the beautiful lace-like quality quillwork is known for. They are made by rolling one or both ends of a paper strip, but, unlike coils, the rolled ends are not glued down. I mentioned earlier that you should tear your strips since the frayed end is less noticeable when glued. This is the method followed by most quillers. For extra neatness, however, I like to cut both ends of the paper strip that I use for makeing scrolls since it gives a sharp definition to the ends.  This is strictly a matter of preference.  When making scrolls, you will want to condition the paper in the direction you want to roll.

basic-scrolls1Loose Scroll: Using your quilling tool of choice, loosely roll a strip into a coil. Remove the quilling tool and allow the roll to uncoil. Do not glue.

S-Scroll: Loosely roll one end of a paper strip half-way down. Flip the paper and loosely roll the other end in the opposite direction to form an “S” shape. Do not glue.

C-Scroll: Loosely roll one end of a paper strip half-way down. Flip the paper and loosely roll the other end toward the center until it meets the loose coil made from the other end and forms a “C” shape. Do not glue.

V-Scroll: Fold your strip of quilling paper in half. Loosely roll each end outward to form a “V” shape. Do not glue.

Heart Scroll: Fold your quilling strip in half. Loosely roll each end twoard the center to form a heart shape. Do not glue.

S-scrolls and C-scrolls make wonderful “filler” quills for larger projects. V-scrolls and loose scrolls are often used as beautiful tendrils to accent quilled blooms. Scrolls can also be combined to form some lovely designs for interesting special effects. We will explore just some of the many variations possible in future posts.

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May 15 2009

Five Basic Quilling Coils

Published by under Quilling How-To

Coils are the building blocks of most quilling patterns.  They can be made in all shapes and sizes, but the one thing all coils have in common is that after the strip is rolled, the loose end of the paper is glued to itself. 
basic-coils6Tight Coil:  Using your quilling tool of choice, roll your strip of paper tightly, being sure to keep the paper aligned as you roll.  Place a small dab of glue at the end of the strip, glue to the roll, and hold until set.  Remove the tool.
Loose Coil:  Roll a strip into a tight coil.  Remove the tool and allow the roll to uncoil.  Glue the loose end of the paper to the coil.
Teardrop:  Make a loose coil.  Hold the coil between the index fingers and thumbs of both hands.  Using one hand, pinch your finger and thumb together catching the paper and forming a point.  Leave the other end rounded.
Marquise:  Make a loose coil.  Hold the coil between the index fingers and thumbs of both hands.  Instead of pinching the paper with one hand to form the teardrop, pinch the paper with both hands at the same time, leaving the center of the coil round.  
Pressed Heart:  Make a loose coil and pinch it into a teardrop.  With your fingernail or toothpick, indent the center of the round end to form a heart shape.
Next time, I’ll show you how to make the basic quilling scrolls. 

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May 12 2009

How To Quill – Beginning Instructions

slotted-quilling-tool1The first thing you want to do is to tear a strip of paper to the desired length.  Tearing the paper creates a frayed end that is less noticeable when glued down than a cut end. Your pattern instructions will tell you how long your strip of quilling paper needs to be.  For practice, a 4″ strip is a good size.
Now that you have your strip of quilling paper, you will want to loosen the fibers to make it easier to create a smooth roll.  Look at your paper and find the “right” and the “wrong” side (explained earlier here).  Now, gently run the wrong side of the paper strip over your quilling tool or thumbnail.  The paper will start to bend with the smooth side out which is what you want.  When using your quilling tool of choice, be sure to roll the paper in the same direction it is now bending.
Instructions for using a slotted quilling tool should come with the package, but it is quite easy to use.  Simply insert one end of the paper into the tool (just enough to catch in the slot) and turn the handle.  I roll paper away from me, so I insert the strip with the smooth side facing me and the curl of the paper that we created by loosening the fibers is toward the floor.  If you are more comfortable rolling paper toward you, insert the paper with the wrong side up (the curl in the paper ends will be towards you) and roll towards you.  Either way, use your other hand to guide the paper, keeping the edges aligned as evenly as possible.  Use an even tension on the paper strip when rolling your coil.
Quilling with a needle tool, pin, or toothpick, is a bit trickier and may require more practice, but certainly can be done by a beginner.  Place the end of the paper between your thumb and index finger and pinch the paper edge around the shaft of your tool and start rolling the paper.  If you have difficulty in beginning the roll, try moistening your finger tips or the tip of the paper.  As with the slotted tool, if you roll away from yourself, start the paper with the smooth side towards you; if you roll towards yourself, start with the “wrong” side towards you.  The beginning of the coil should be tightly wound to ensure a small round center.  Loosen your tension slightly as you roll to the end of the strip.

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May 11 2009

Let’s Start Quilling – Tools of the Trade

Are you a paper crafter who has never quilled before?   Are you curious and want to find out if you’d like it, but cringe at the thought of purchasing even more crafting supplies that might end up unused and forgotten in some drawer or plastic bin?

If this sounds like you, then fear not.  Basic quilling supplies are few and very inexpensive.  In fact, you probably have many of the supplies currently on hand.  If you find that you enjoy quilling and want to do more (and I truly hope you will), then you can go wild and build up your stash of quilling tools, papers, and embellishments.

Three Must-Haves for Quilling: Paper Strips, Glue, Curling Tool
  1. Quilling Paper Strips. As I mentioned in a previous post, the most common width of paper strip used in quilling is 1/8″. However, other widths are available. Narrower strips (1/16″ ) are used for fine, detailed quilling, while wider strips, 1/4″, 1/2″, and 3/8″, are used primarily for fringed flowers and 3D sculpting. My advice is to purchase one package of 1/8″ multi-colored strips. You will appreciate the variety of colors you have to choose from as you make your first designs.
  2. Glue. Any good quality white tacky craft glue that dries clear will work fine. Over time you will notice some slight differences and no doubt choose a favorite, but for now, use what you have on hand.
  3. Curling Tool. You will need to use something to curl your paper strips. A corsage pin, hat pin, round toothpick, needle quilling tool, or slotted tool can all be used. With the pins, toothpick, and needle tool, the paper strip is curled by rolling it around the center shaft. A slotted quilling tool grabs the end of the quilling paper and you wind the paper into a coil by turning the handle. There are pros and cons for each type. The needle tools make a smaller center to the coil, but starting and rolling the coil can be a bit tricky. The slotted quilling tool leaves a tell-tale bend in the paper at the center of the coil, but is by far the easiest tool for beginners to use. My advice is to buy a slotted tool with a long cushioned handle. Once you get the hang of quilling, you can branch out and try the needle tool or finger rolling. If you simply refuse to spend another dime on supplies, then try the toothpick. It is easier for paper to grab onto the wooden surface than the smooth shaft of the needle tool or pin.

A quality slotted tool manufactured by Lake City Craft Co. is available from Scrapbook Super Center where you will also find their brand of quilling paper (just enter “quilling” into the search menu). Custom Quilling  carries a larger variety of quilling tools and supplies from several major manufacturers.

(Note: Please avoid the strips that are sold in a tube. They are very difficult to work with and I don’t want you to become easily discouraged.)

Other Useful Quilling Tools and Supplies
  • Workboard. You can purchase one of the many nice ones available on the market today, or make your own from a sturdy piece of corrugated cardboard. A good size is 6″x8″, but any size will do as long as it is larger than your quilling pattern. Cover the front of the workboard with a piece of wax paper or clear plastic sheet cut to size and held in place with a few straight pins.
  • Straight Pins. Besides holding the workboard covering in place, pins are used to hold your coils and scrolls on the board as you work on your quilling pattern. This allows you to “dry fit” the pieces and make any adjustments before gluing.
  • Ruler. You will usually want to measure the length of your paper strips so you can form shapes that are uniform in size. Your quilling pattern instructions will tell you the length of the strip needed to form each coil or scroll.
  • Tweezers. Some of the individual shapes you create will be pretty tiny. You will find tweezers quite helpful in achieving perfect placement of your coils and scrolls into your quilling design.
  • Toothpicks.  Besides being an all around handy tool to have in your crafting arsenal, toothpicks are excellent for aplying glue to your quilled shapes.
That’s it — all of the quilling tools and supplies you need to get started. So gather them together and come on back.
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