Jul 18 2009
Archive for the 'Quilling Tips' Category
Jun 26 2009
Jun 18 2009
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Jun 13 2009
Jun 02 2009
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.
May 26 2009
May 19 2009
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.
Loose 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.
May 12 2009
May 11 2009
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.
- 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.
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.
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.)
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.
May 04 2009
Your rolls and scrolls will be unique to you. They will not look exactly like mine (or anyone else’s). Everyone uses different tension when they curl the paper strips resulting in variations in the coils and scrolls. Not only that, but your own quills will vary from each other depending on your mood and how you feel at the time. To see for yourself, compare coils that you made when you were tired or frazzled with those made when you were relaxed and rested. You’ll notice a big difference. A great quilling tip is to prepare all of your strips for a project at one time. This allows you to roll your strips one right after the other, producing quills with more consistent tension.
All quilling paper is not created equal. You would think that one package of 1/8″ wide paper would be the same as another, but that’s not the case. As we all know, paper comes in different weights and even among those of the same weight, some papers simply have more “body” than others making them more suitable for quilling. The weight of the paper used to create the strips will vary slightly between manufacturers and even within the same manufacturer. In fact, there is one manufacturer out there selling quilling strips made from thin card stock that is very difficult to work with since it cracks and splits. If you are having trouble, before you give up out of frustration, try a strip of paper from a different company. You may find that the problem with your coils is with the paper and not you.
Quilling paper has a “right” and a “wrong” side. If you examine a strip of quilling paper, you will notice that one side has smooth edges that curve down ever so slightly. The other side has edges that slightly curve up. This is because the paper cutting blade pushes down on the paper as it cuts. The smooth side is considered the right side of the paper and you will want to keep it to the outside of your coils and scrolls. This difference is especially noticeable when joining several strips together end-to-end to form a large tight coil for use as a base, etc.
Neatness counts — control the glue. Nothing will ruin the look of a piece of finished quilling more than seeing bits of glue all over it or gobs of glue under it where it is attached to its backing. It only takes the tiniest drop to seal the end of a coil to itself or to attach one coil or scroll to another as you build your design. A bit more adhesive may be needed to attach the paper quilling to the box or frame back, but not much. Clean hands are an absolute must when working with paper filigree and you’ll want to wash your hands before starting any quilling project. The best quilling tip I’ve found to help keep glue off the fingers is to have a wet paper towel handy to wipe your fingers on as you quill. Also, keep hand lotions to a minimum so the oils don’t discolor the paper.
Use the quilling tool that works for you. There are many commercial tools available for curling paper, both slotted and straight needle types. A round toothpick or corsage pin can also be used. As for me, I prefer the most basic tool of all — my fingers. Keep in mind that quilling tools are just that, tools to help you create the desired coil or spiral. By all means, follow the instructions that come with the tool or those you find on the internet, but if the directions just don’t seem to work for you, don’t hesitate to try using the tool in a slightly different way. The instructions that came with my first slotted tool told me to curl the paper toward me. I tried many times, but my fingers struggled with that motion. However, when I rolled the paper away from me it felt right and that is how I use that tool today. If after several tries you find that you still have trouble using a tool, it is perfectly OK to put it away and try a different one for curling your paper. All tools are not for all quillers. You will soon find the one that is right for you.