May 05 2009
On Thursday evening, I checked in at the welcome table set up by this year’s conference hostess, Lois Bandt-Weber and was given a name tag decorated with the cutest quilled palm tree and sunglasses. I was then handed a tote bag full of quilling goodies generously donated by the NAQG (North American Quilling Guild) and several quilling vendors (a big thank you to Whimsiquills, Lake City Crafts, and Quilled Creations). It was at that moment I knew — this was going to be good!
Friday morning found me sitting in a room with 20 other eager quillers ready to learn how to make treasure boxes. These are adorable 3D boxes made from large tight coils that are shaped to look like a terra cotta pot with a lid. We decorated ours with spiral roses. Our teacher was none other than the designer herself, Alli Bartkowski. My next class was on husking. This technique involves wrapping the quilling paper around pins in a set pattern to form flower petals, leaves, butterfly wings, etc. It is a more structured process, but actually creates a very lacy design. Coils can be inserted inside the paper loops for even more color and variation.
Other classes taught that morning were on Swedish stars, spider mums, iris folding, and basic greeting cards. I saw samples of the students’ work and I know they had an equally good time learning new quilling techniques and skills.
We continued on after lunch and made some cute bookmarks. I purchased a paper crimper that I had been wanting for my collection of tools and had a ball playing with it and sharing it with my table mates.
Saturday was the big day for seeing everyone else’s quillwork. Competition entries were examined and voted on in the morning and those who brought finished quilling pieces to share set them out for all to see in the afternoon. At 3:00 the winners were announced and I am so pleased to report that my 4-Square framed wall art piece won second place! It was so wonderful seeing the many beautiful designs created by these talented artists. Up until this point, pretty much the only quilling I had seen “up close and personal” had been my own. I was like a kid in a candy store. And not only did I get to see it, but I got to talk with the actual artist. And these artists came from all over the world. We had several from Japan, and one each from Spain, England, and Puerto Rico. What a treat!
All during the conference, a hospitality suite was open from 7:00am until 11:00pm. It contained three large tables and a pile of paper strips. At any given time, from one to 30 women could be found happily quilling, sharing techniques and ideas. It was a great weekend of fellowship and creativity. I can’t wait until the next one!