When I am working on a piece of quilling, I don’t like to see the seam where the end of the paper strip is glued to the coil. To me it looks unfinished and I try to avoid showing these seams when I can. Picky? Perhaps, but I think it gives the quilling a more polished appearance. I have been using three tricks for years to help minimize the tell-tale seam left behind when making quills from loose coils and thought I would share them with you.
1. Tear Your Paper Ends
Make sure that the end of the paper strip you glue down is torn so that the fibers blend into the coil. If you glue down a cut edge, the seam is much more noticeable. You can see the difference in Fig 1. The coil with the cut end is on the left and the one with the torn end is on the right.
2. Coil Shaping Tricks
There are two ways to hide the seams when making shaped coils (teardrops, marquises, squares, etc.). The first method is to pinch the coil into the shape so the glued end of the paper is even with the pinched edge. This gives a beautiful finish to the coil. In Fig 2, the teardrop on the left has been pinched with the end at the tip where it all but disappears. The teardrop on the right was shaped with the end clearly visible on the side. Shaping my coils with the end at the tip is the method that I use 99% of the time. However, if I know that the seam will be covered by another paper strip, such as a rose bud covered with a paper stem, I pinch the teardrop with the seam at the bottom.
3. Hide Seams During Assembly
When possible, glue the seam ends or sides of your coils to each other when assembling your quillwork. For example, if you are creating a flower from marquise coils, glue the tips with the pinched ends together for the center. If you are combining a coil and a scroll (Fig 3) glue the seam end of the marquise inside the fold of the scroll.
When gluing two loose coils together, try and turn the coils so that as one coil ends, the next one seems to begin, like an S-scroll only in two pieces (Fig 4).
I’m sure these hints are old news to the seasoned quillers out there, but I hope they help those new to the art take their quilling to the next level. Remember — it’s all in the details.
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