Thursday, 25 February 2010

How it all began

Well, everyone has to start somewhere! And I've just found the very first piece of quilling I ever did - back in 2006, when I was inspired by a chapter I had read in a card-making craft book. I bought some strips, got a little black plastic slotted tool, and tried my best to create some half-decent coils ... I can well remember how frustrating I found it at first! Here's what I made: a 'not very good' Christmas tree. If only I'd had a pattern to follow, it might have looked better - but at least it was a start!

For some reason, I found it very difficult to roll coils in those early days, so I quickly moved on to alternate side looping and started making butterflies - and that's when I really got 'hooked'. I used the butterflies to decorate the woven paper bags and purses that I sometimes make, like this one:

I don't make many bags these days, although I'd like to get back into it - such fun to do, using recycled magazine pages and gift wrap. There are plenty more examples on my Flickr page, if anyone is interested!

I'd love to hear about other people's first attempts at quilling.  I'm sure it would reassure beginners to know how much easier it gets with practice!


  1. Oh gosh yes, I remember it was one of the most frustrating crafts I'd tried, but I loved the look of it so much, I was determined to learn. I kept thinking if others can do it, so can I. Only after a nice person on a message board told me to make sure I was dampening my fingertips before rolling the paper around the needle, was I able to make some real progress. Now I wonder why on earth I didn't think of that myself?!

  2. I can so relate, I fell in love with quilling back in 1975!

    You can read my story here:

    Continued here:

    Keep on Quillin',

  3. Great idea Philippa and show your work. Congratulations.

  4. Hi, Philippa,

    What a beautiful butterfly and I love the idea of attaching it to a woven purse. You need to do a tutorial on that.

    As for how I got starting in quilling, I have torn strips of paper and hand rolled them as a nervous habit for as long as I can remember (still do, actually - LOL!!!). While in high school I came across a quilling book and learned that I could actually create designs with the rolled paper. My mom bought me the book ("Decorative Quilling" by Mrs. Maud Wallace), a quilling tool, and two packs of paper quilling strips -- ivory and bright blue.

    My first quilling piece was Winsome Willie the Owl. The quilling looked OK, but really ... a blue owl? I have quilled off and on ever since and still love it. There is just something about the feel of paper in my fingers and I really like.




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