I'm still on a high since completing my quilling demonstration on Thursday evening. (Due to my hectic lifestyle at present, and the recent problems with Blogger, this is the first chance I've had to write a post since then!)
The demo was my opportunity to introduce members of our local Women's Institute group to the joys of quilling ... and I had the BEST time! The ladies who took part ranged in ages from late twenties right up to a 91 year old, and they all started out doubting their ability to do any quilling whatsoever ... but, one hour and lots of laughs later, they all managed to produce a lovely quilled gift tag. I felt so proud of them - and the delight I felt in getting them enthusiastic about quilling was almost as great as the joy I get from practising the craft myself!
I started out by telling them a bit about the history of quilling, handing out pictures of the precious 18th and 19th century quilled tea caddies and fire screen which are now housed in London's Victoria and Albert museum. Then I showed them some examples of contemporary quilling, using books and images published on the internet - they were amazed! I showed them a bundle of quilling strips and explained about the basic ways of working with them (i.e. closed loose coils, open scrolls and husking). Then the real fun began as I handed out some ready-made closed loose coils and got the ladies to pinch them into teardrops, marquises and a bunny ear shape. When they were done, I took the shapes and glued them together to form a flower and a butterfly like this:
That was the moment when they began to see how quilling works, and were eager to learn more!
I then handed out some slotted tools and showed them how to wind coils. Some people took to it straight away, while others struggled - but they all got there in the end! Interestingly, some of them found they preferred to wind their coils around a cocktail stick rather than using a tool. They each used their coils to create a simple flower which we glued on to ready-cut gift tags that they could take away, like this:
Well, let me tell you, some of the results were stunning! We all attached ribbons to our gift tags, and the job was done! Each tag looked different, and I'm now convinced that each individual quiller's personality is somehow reflected in the work produced.
Everyone was so excited by their achievements, including me - it felt like my heart would burst! And the best news: several of the ladies said they would go out and buy a tool and some strips and try some more quilling for themselves. Now I understand the deep satisfaction that can be gained through teaching and sharing knowledge ... and I really can't wait to arrange my next demonstration!