May 06 2012

Quilling Comes to the Smyrna Library

Published by under Quilling News

In February I was contacted by a member of Friends of Smyrna Library who had seen my work at the Mable House Christmas House craft show sponsored by the South Cobb Arts Alliance.  She said that they would love to have me exhibit my work in the Smyrna library display cases on the second floor and would I be interested in being their guest artist for May-June, 2012.  Always eager to share quilling with others, I naturally said, “Yes.” 

Smyrna library quilling display


The Smyrna library is in a neighboring city and I had never been there, so after agreeing to the display, I drove over to take a look at the space.  I was expecting a single museum-type display case like you normally find at the front entrance and was a bit intimidated by the actual number of shelves I was expected to fill.

quilling information display 

Since it was for a library, I wanted to make the display as educational as possible.  I created informational signs describing quilling, a brief history of the art, the tools needed (and samples of the actual tools – I have extras of everything), various types and widths of quilling papers, and a shape chart.  I also displayed current quilling books, along with my purchased copy of the Florian Papp brochure and an early quilling book that show samples of vintage quilling.

quilling tools


 To promote the North American Quilling Guild, I included photos of the Guild’s 10th Anniversary floral tribute from 2010, copies of the popular QuillAmerica newsletter, and left a supply of NAQG brochures on the podium for those interested in learning more.

North American Quilling Guild display

The display will be up until June 30th.  My hope is that everyone who sees it enjoys learning more about this wonderful art and that some may even be inspired to give quilling a try. 


If you live in the area, please stop by and let me know what you think.  The Smyrna library is located at 100 Village Green Circle, Smyrna, GA 30080.


2 responses so far

Apr 29 2012

Quilled Baby Boy Shower Card

Published by under Quilled Card,quilling

My youngest daughter’s friend is having a baby boy and the shower theme is outer space. When she saw the Valentine’s Day lollipop cover I made with the rocket ship, she asked me to make a shower card with a rocket on it for her to give to the mother-to-be.
quilling rocket card
Normally, the idea of a baby shower conjures up images of baby booties, rattles, and teddy bears in soft pastel shades. When I found this nice blue mid-century modern space looking paper, I thought it would be fun to go a bit cartoonish with the quilling.


The rocket pattern is adapted from a free clip art picture I found on the Internet. I pulled the blue-yellow-red color scheme of the rocket directly from the patterned paper and outlined each section with a double thickness of black paper strips to give it a comic book feel. I just love the addition of the yellow star buttons that I found in my stash. The end result reminds me of Marvin the Martian’s rocket from the old Buggs Bunny cartoons.


inside card sentimentI tailored the card sentiment to the arrival of the new bundle of joy, but this card could very easily be adapted for a little boy’s birthday by changing the inside sentiment to read, “Counting Down the Days Until you Turn 5,” for example.


Quilling doesn’t have to be girly – sometimes it’s fun to let your imagination take flight.

2 responses so far

Apr 14 2012

A Second Father’s Day Quilling Card Published

Published by under Quilled Card,Quilling News

I am so pleased to share with you that another design of mine, “Happy Father’s Day”, has been published — this time in CardMaker Magazine‘s May 2012 issue.  (The first Father’s Day card was published in May 2010.)

 Father's Day Card

For this card, the magazine editor actually contacted me (yes, that was a squeal of delight you heard coming from Georgia last November).  LOL!!!  Tanya had seen one of my Christmas cards where I replaced a letter with a quilled design posted on Pinterest and asked me if I had any interest in creating a card using that technique for an up coming issue of the magazine.  Oh, my goodness, of course I was interested.


After the design was set and the card submitted, came the hard part … the wait.  You never really know what changes they might make or how the card will fit into the magazine layout until you see the final magazine.


Well, the wait is over and the issue is published.  Their photography is always top-notch and I am so pleased with the final results. 


I know I’ve said it before, but you really do need to check out CardMaker Magazine.  They always have at least one quilling card in every issue.  And for those in need of inspiration for design layout, colors, and sentiments – look no further.  This magazine has it all.  I love this magazine and I think that you will, too.


Thanks for letting me share.

4 responses so far

Mar 17 2012

Ready Made Framing Options for Quilling

Having your quilled art custom framed can send a quality piece over the top, but it can also be quite expensive, especially if you are framing a piece for a gift or to sell. 


Regular off the shelf frames are a much less expensive option, but since they are made to hold a thin photo, most cannot accommodate the thickness of the quilling paper.  As a result, many crafters resort to framing their pieces without the glass.  This way the depth of the frame is no longer an issue, but the quilling loses the protection from dust and curious fingers that the glass provided.


There are some excellent tutorials available for those who wish to modify a frame so that it can be used with quilling, but for those of us less handy, there are off the shelf frames available that work great with quilling; you just need to know what to look for.


Shadowbox Frames

shadowboxCommercial shadowbox frames are now readily available in most craft stores and come in a wide variety of sizes and finishes to compliment your artwork.  Some of these frames can be quite deep, however, and you will want to keep your finished piece in mind when making your selection.  If your quilling design is mostly flat without a lot of layers or pieces glued on an angle (such as flower petals), your quilling may sit too far back from the glass and appear to get lost in the frame.


Fixed Glass Frames

fixed glass frameI have found several styles of frames where the manufacturer has affixed the glass to the front of the frame providing a clearance anywhere from 1/4-in to 3/8-in for your quilling, which is enough for your single layer quilling pieces.  An added benefit is that the frame itself is more decorative, unlike the standard rounded wood molding used in making most shadowbox frames.


Frames with Hidden Depth

If the frame you like isn’t a shadowbox or fixed glass frame, there are three other things you can look for to see if it will accommodate your quilling.


multiple mats1.  If the frame comes with multiple mats that have been spaced a part, there may be enough room for your quilling.  When evaluating the frame to determine if it would be right for your particular piece of quill art, keep in mind that the mats can be altered or completely removed if needed.


mat with decorative edge2.  Some frames (especially larger ones meant to hang on the wall) come with a more elaborate mat that has a raised decorative edge that outlines the inside of the mat.  The frame has been designed to accommodate the depth of this edge.  If the depth of your quilling is less than the depth of this raised edge, your quilling will fit.


3.  I’ve saved the best tip for last since it was my biggest revelation.  Check the back of the frame.  If it has a slide latch at the bottom that fits into the frame, put it down and walk away – there is only enough room for a photo. 

back of frames

If, however, the frame has a back door, open it up and take a peek.  The depth of the filler that the manufacturer has packed into the back of the frame (usually cardboard, but may be foam) is the depth inside the frame available for your quilling.  Sometimes it is very little and the frame can’t be used, but quite often there is enough space for a flat quilled piece, and every now and then, you’ll find a ton of space.  This is something that you just can’t tell by looking at the frame – you have to open it up and see.


With these tips in mind, it takes me just a few minutes to look through a store’s frame selection and see if they have anything I can use.


2 responses so far

Mar 11 2012

Luck o’ the Irish Quilling Card

Published by under Quilled Card,quilling

Several months ago I was doing my usual look through Michael’s scrapbook paper isle to see what papers they had marked down to ridiculously low prices when I happened upon one sheet left of a St. Patrick’s Day paper called Lucky Day Shamrock Big Stripe by Deja Views®.  Regularly well over a dollar, it was now a mere $0.29.  Of course I snatched it up. 

Lucky Day Shamrock Big Stripe 

What first caught my eye was the wonderful saying printed on the paper.  A fancy sentiment is often the costliest part of making a card and here was a great one for mere pennies.  It is hard to tell in the photo, but much of the sentiment is done in embossed metallic. 


The other great thing about this paper was that it combined many great prints onto one sheet (also with lots of added shiny metallic embossing).  It was like having the use of six printed papers for the price of one.  I had quite a bit of the printed paper left over after making this card and will be able to use it for other occasions.

Good Luck quilling card 

In making the card, the first thing I did was to cut out the sentiment and line it with matching blue card stock trimmed slightly larger than the sentiment, edging the pieces with black ink.  Next, I cut a piece of matching green card stock 5-in x 6.5-in and affixed it to the front of my ivory card.  I then cut a piece of the scrapbook paper 4.75-in x 6.25”, wrapped a piece of blue ribbon diagonally around the front securing the ends to the back, and affixed it to the front of the card.  I attached the sentiment to the center front of the card using adhesive foam mounts so that the sentiment stood away from the back of the card.

quilled shamrock clothespin 

Since the background paper was already pretty busy, I didn’t want to glue quilled shamrocks directly onto the card, but wanted them to stand out instead, like the sentiment.  So, I quilled two shamrocks and glued them onto the front of mini clothes pins!  I then clipped them onto the sentiment section of the card. 


The clothes pin shamrocks were the perfect finishing touch to this St. Patrick’s Day inspired card.  You can find several sizes of clothes pins in the unfinished wooden shapes isle of your local craft store. 


Card Tip

I purchase bulk packages of inexpensive cards in 5-in x 6.5-in and 4-in x 5.5-in sizes in both ivory and white.  They make a wonderful starting base for decorated cards and come complete with envelopes that are sized a bit larger than the cards.  This allows finished cards to easily fit, even when embellished with quilling. 


4 responses so far

Mar 03 2012

Tea Time Quilling Card

tea time quilling cardA cup of tea is an invitation to put your feet up and relax for a moment, or catch up with the latest news as you chat with a friend. Is it any wonder that teacups are such a popular motif in stamping and paper crafting?


When I first started thinking about this project, I envisioned my card having a decidedly Victorian feel. I had some nice off-white lace that I wanted to use and started looking through my papers to see what I might have to go with it. I was quite surprised to find that while I seem to be drawn to that style, it wasn’t reflected in my current paper stash and I didn’t have anything that would work.


tea time quilling card insideThat actually turned out to be a good thing. I am still in a “use what I already have” mood, which made me look at my current papers in a new way. I found a large scrap of striped print paper that reminded me of mid-century modern wallpaper and the look of my card quickly jumped a century from 1850 to 1950 and provided an opportunity to try some new quilling techniques.


I want to give Melisa Waldorf of Paperlicious Designs credit for the teacup template I used as the pattern to cut out my own blue teacup. I resized it a bit since I needed it smaller, but kept the rim wide enough to cover the packaged tea bag.  I cut a slit through the front of the card and slipped in the teabag.  It is held in place with a glue dot.


Most of the quilling designs are made from “solid rings” (the official North American Quilling Guild name for the ring coils) created by wrapping the quilling paper around a bamboo skewer, dowel, or tool handle.


behive quilling flowerI also used these rings to make the outline of the flower petals which I filled in using the Beehive technique Susan of Susan Quilling Cards introduced us to last December.  Pritesh of Quilling Me Softly was kind enough to make a video of this technique.


I enjoy a nice hot cup of tea, especially on a cold evening, and this card with the enclosed teabag will let me share that enjoyment with a friend.


Quilling Tip

If tea isn’t your “bag” (I know, that was bad … LOL!), this card idea can be easily adapted to hold a packet of instant coffee or cocoa.  Or try changing the tea cup to a soup bowl and add a packet of instant chicken soup for a thoughtful Get Well card for a sick friend.


8 responses so far

Feb 25 2012

Quilling Extras

Published by under Quilling Tips

Quilling paper and tools are fairly inexpensive compared to other art supplies, but the extras added to a project can drive up the cost.  If you are making a lot of cards and quilled gifts, here are some tips to help keep the cost of supplies down along with comments on product quality.


Flat Backed Pearls

 I love the look of pearls with quilling.  They make beautiful flower centers, help balance a design on a card (grouped in threes in a corner for example), or look lovely on their own sprinkled in a quilled flower arrangement.  They can be found in gold and silver metallic, white, and colors.


  • Found in the scrapbook/paper crafting section of your local stores, use your coupons and watch sales for the best deals.
  • If you need just a few colored pearls for a design, you can color white pearls with permanent markers instead of purchasing a whole package of commercially colored pearls.
  • Pay attention to the product packaging.  If the pearls are spaced apart on the backing sheet, they will be perfectly round.  If, however, they are placed side by side in a long strip, there will be a flat edge where they touch.  This may or may not make a difference in how they look in your final design depending on where they are placed.


Flat Backed Gems

Anyone who has looked at my finished quilling knows that I love to add the bling.  What inspired this post was the realization that they can be found in so many different  store departments.



  • The gemstones and jewels found in the scrapbooking/paper crafting section of the store come in all shapes and sizes and are pretty cheap even without a coupon, but they are rather dull in appearance and you have to be super careful in peeling the gem off of the sticky backing because the silver will pull off too, making the gem even more dull and lifeless.
  • Swarovski crystals are the absolute best when it comes to sparkle and come in any color you could need, but you won’t find them in the paper isles – they are located with the beads.  They are much more expensive so be sure to catch the sales or use your coupons.
  • You can also find Swarovski crystals in the decorative textile section of the store as iron on crystals.  They have adhesive on the back that you can heat with a special tool to adhere the gems to shirts.  However, a little dab of glue affixes them to paper just fine.  I have found these to be a little less expensive than the ones found in the beading isle.
  • My biggest shock came when I discovered a brand called Brilliance by Bead Treasures in the beading isle.  They are packaged in strips just like the scrapbooking ones, but the sparkle is amazing!!!  And the price is super cheap (112 pieces for $2.99).  Unfortunately, this seems to be a Hobby Lobby product only.  This will be my new go-to gem as I use up my current stash.


Off Price Stores

I frequently visit off-price stores such as Ross, Marshall’s, and Tuesday Morning to look at their frames, but did you know that they now carry paper craft supplies, usually just one isle over?


I have found a pair of Martha Stewart scissors for $1.99, a punch for $3, and a pack of colored textured card stock for pennies on the dollar.  They also had ink pads, stamps, stacks of patterned scrapbook paper, and embellishments such as chipboard.


The selection is small and turns over quickly, but it is always worth a look if you are near the store anyway.


My most recent find was this paper pack from Colorbok for only $1.99 at a Tuesday Morning Outlet Store.  It has paper in what I thought to be more masculine colors.  I also grabbed a Metal Embellishment Set with Storage Container from Anna Griffin for $8.99 (retail price was $40).


Share Your Tips

If you have discovered other great products, places, or tricks to purchase the extras inexpensively, do let us know.  We need to spend our crafting dollars wisely so we can keep on making the quilling we love.


4 responses so far

Feb 19 2012

Bridal Shower Quilling Card

My niece is getting married this June and I attended her bridal shower yesterday.  I wanted to create a special card for the occasion and using the colors from the invitation, I designed this one.

quilled bridal shower card


quilled bridal shower card side view


bridal shower card sentiment


Deciding on the actual quilling is usually not a problem; however, it can take me quite awhile to come up with the actual card layout.  If you suffer from this design malady too, then a card sketch may be just what the doctor ordered.


For those unfamiliar with sketches, they are drawings of cards with the various paper pieces and embellishment placements already decided.  I belong to a Yahoo! Group called The Scrapbook Lounge.  The moderator (hi, Diana) is starting up a monthly sketch challenge and I decided to use it for the layout of the shower card.


Scrapbook Lounge card sketch


With sketches there are no rules and you can certainly move pieces around to fit your mood or the supplies you have on hand.  I find them to be a wonderful design tool since the work is already done for you.  And since sketches are a simple black and white, it is much easier to imagine your own colors and papers in the layout, rather than seeing a finished card and then trying to imagine it made from completely different supplies.


You can find sketches quite easily.  A quick Google search will turn up quite a few.  You can also find them in the back of magazines such as Card Maker, and there are some excellent professionally done sketch books you can purchase.  


There are also quite a few blogs that sponsor sketch challenges (again, do a Google search).  Participating in sketch challenges is an excellent way to practice your card making skills and show others the beauty of quilling.


5 responses so far

Feb 12 2012

Tutorial – Making a Gift Box for Quilling

In an earlier post, I shared how I package my quilled ornaments in a little handmade gift box for craft shows.  I gave general information and some tips, but have been asked to provide detailed instructions on how they are made.  I created a tutorial in case you would like to know, too. 


Box Bottom

1.  Cut a 5” x 5” square from heavy scrapbook paper or card stock.


2.  Score the box 1” from each side (inside square of box will be 3” x 3”).  Fold sides up at score lines and flatten back down.


3.  Following the score line, cut 1” slits on two opposite sides of the square.

box bottom

4.  To make a nicer box corner, cut a small notch in each corner.

cut corner notch

5.  Fold up the box sides and glue the 1” tabs on the inside.  You could also use double-sided tape or a tape runner, but I found that the glue held the sides together better.

inside box bottom


Box Lid

The construction of the box lid is the same as for the bottom, but you will want to adjust your measurements so that:  (1) the inside square is slightly larger than the bottom so the two box halves fit easily together, and (2) the sides of the lid are shorter than the sides of the bottom to make the box easier to open.


1.  Cut a 4-3/4” x 4-3/4” square from heavy scrapbook paper or card stock.


2.  Score the box 13/16” from each side (inside square of box will be 3-1/8” x 3-1/8”).  Fold sides up at score lines and flatten back down.


3.  Following the score line, cut 13/16” slits on two opposite sides of the square; notch corners.  Fold up the box sides and glue the tabs on the inside. 



quilled ornament in a boxThat’s all there is to it.  Just put your 3” x 3” square of batting into the bottom and you are good to go.  As I mentioned in the previous post, I open the box so that the quilling can be seen and place the whole thing it into a clear sleeve.


The easiest way to make the box a little more special is to use two different coordinating papers for the box lid and bottom (this is what I do). 


If you wanted a really fancy box, you could decorate the lid by:  cutting the box lid square using decorative scissors so that the top had a pretty decorative edge, embossing just the sides while they are still flat before gluing the tabs, gluing decorative ribbon around the sides, making the sides even shorter and gluing a pretty ruffled lace around the edges, adding decorative stitching, etc.  You are only limited by your imagination!


4 responses so far

Feb 07 2012

Quilled Valentine Lollipop Covers

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, but there is still time to make some fun candy covers.  This would be a great quilling project to do together with the kids since you can make your own lollipop covers as simple or elaborate as you wish. 

quilled Valentine Lollipop Covers

For the youngest ones, you could try a simple “Be My Valentine” sentiment with heart scrolls of various sizes or a quilled heart made from two teardrops.  Older children would have fun thinking up their own quilling designs and matching sayings. 


To make the lollipop cover, cut a piece of card stock 5-1/2 inches long and 2-1/2 inches wide.  Score it at 2-1/2 inches, 2-3/4 inches, and 3 inches and fold accordion style so that the cover can adapt to the thickness of your particular lollipop.  Line up the edges and punch two holes for the ribbon. 

lollipop cover template 

lollipop cover side view

To assemble the covers:  glue your quilling onto the front of the cover; fold it around your lollipop making sure that the lollipop stick is between the two holes; thread a ribbon through the holes and tie into a bow.


If you need a little help getting started,  just search for “vintage Valentines” online.  I found wonderful inspiration for my Valentine sentiments from Skip to My Lou’s blog post, “Cute Sayings for Valentines Day.”  


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