Monday, 28 November 2011

A new start ... and some finishes

When I first started blogging, I felt nervous to say the least. What was I getting into? Who would read my blog? Those same feelings resurfaced when I first joined Facebook, a year or so ago. However, "fortune favours the brave" as they say, and the journeys I have taken into the on-line quilling world have enriched my life beyond measure. So ... encouraged by the very positive response that my blog and Facebook pages have already received, I've decided to take another step forward and sign myself up for Twitter.

Over the weekend, I've been thinking about exactly how I'm going to make use of my new Twitter account. Obviously, I shall be 'tweeting' from time to time about what I personally am doing quilling-wise (for those of you who are interested!!) - but I've also decided to use my Twitter feed to report and re-tweet items of news that I read/hear about in the international quilling community as a whole. By 'news', I mean exhibitions, awards, challenges, new techniques, details of new books and articles about quilling, and perhaps even links to interesting tutorials. What it WON'T be is a general showcase for individual quilling projects, as we already have our own blogs and Facebook groups for that particular purpose. I'm hoping that compiling this 'feed' will prove to be a useful resource for me in my role on the editorial team of Quill America (the quarterly magazine of the North American Quilling Guild), when researching material for possible future articles. Plus, I'm also hoping that quillers worldwide will find it useful to have a source of quilling news all in one place, rather than having to search for news items amongst all the individual projects posted on a typical Facebook group page.

So, if you're already on Twitter (or even just thinking about joining), I'd like to invite you to become a follower of my new feed @quilliance

Once I have acquired a reasonable number of followers, I'll start posting news items in earnest ... and then we can all find out exactly where this idea is going to lead!

And now for the finishes ...
Meanwhile, I promised to post a few details about the protective finishes I use for quilling at the request of my loyal blog follower, Sathya. I often get asked about this, so hopefully the information that follows may be of interest to other quillers, too.

The way I see it, if you are going to preserve quilled pieces (especially jewellery), you first have to make them strong, and then add something to make them waterproof. For strengthening purposes, I always like to coat the outside edges of quilled items such as pendants, brooches and earrings with PVA (poly vinyl acetate) glue (the same adhesive that I use to join coils with). I use a small paint brush to apply the PVA, paying particular attention to reinforcing crucial joins (for example, the area where the hanging ring attaches on to an earring as in the photo above). I also like to apply PVA to the backgrounds on which my quillings are mounted (like the silver heart-shape in my photo). Once the PVA is dry, the areas that have been coated become shiny and quite hard - in fact, they feel almost plasticised. BUT, if the piece gets accidentally splashed with water - which could easily happen if a piece of quilled jewellery is worn outside on a rainy day - the PVA will temporarily turn white and sticky. So you also need to add an extra waterproof coating in the form of lacquer or varnish.

Until recently, I always sprayed my finished pieces with a clear lacquer (like the one shown on the left of this photo) to provide this protective coating. People tend not to believe that jewellery made from paper strips could possibly withstand a shower of rain, but I have even tested my PVA'd and lacquered earrings under a running tap and the water just runs off them, with no damage done to the quilling whatsoever! The trouble with spray lacquers, though, is that you have to wear a mask when spraying, and you need to find a way of securing the quillings while you are doing it, as the force of the spray can easily blow them away! Spray lacquer can also play havoc with the appearance of some metallic-edged strips by taking away their shine. So, really, this approach is all a bit of a hassle, particularly as spraying is a job that's best done in a well-ventilated place or outdoors.

Because of this, I've also been experimenting with applying clear nail varnish to my quilled pieces, and it seems to work very well. The varnish is easy to apply on top of the dried PVA coating using the integral brush, and it dries within a couple of hours to leave a very presentable glossy finish. I think the varnish also helps to further strengthen the finished piece.

If you are wanting to preserve a larger piece of quilling, such as a picture to go in a frame, I think spraying it with lacquer would still be the way to go in order to ensure coverage of all the intricate little 'nooks and crannies' in it. But I would definitely recommend nail varnish for small items of jewellery. What do other quillers think?

Don't forget to check out @quilliance on Twitter! I look forward to 'seeing' you there!


  1. Thanks soooooo very much for such an informative post. It will be a great help for all quillers. U r so very generous, Philippa in mentioning and linking back to my blog. I really feel honored...when u mention me as ur loyal blog follower...Thanks much again.

  2. thanks for sharing this information, its a big help. love the pendant, very elegant !!!

  3. just joined twitter, dont know what i got into,lol, but am a follower.

  4. I do have a twitter account but I never use it. I could never get the hang of it and didn't like it.
    As for the quilling, I know exactly what you mean about the spray blowing the pieces around. Your solution is pure genius.

  5. SUch a treasure trove of information Thank You so much for sharing about the varnish


  6. Thanks for the Information Philippa - I have never made jewellery - partly because of the protective finishes. This might inspire me to try at some time in the future. At present - Christmas cards are taking up my time!!!

  7. The pendant is so elegant, Philippa! Love it! And thanks for the useful information! I was thinking to make a few quilled snowflakes as gifts and now I know how I can protect them:)

  8. Thank you soo much for sharing this! I tried the varnish and discovered that it needs spraying atleast three times to get a nice finish....and for small pieces of jewellery, it was quite frustrating! Then I started using something called glossy accents and it gives a nice sheen plus is a glue....worked ok so far... :) But tks for the heads up on the nail varnish!
    You do some amazing work! Been dropping by every now and then! :)

  9. Hi Philippa,

    I find the above post packed with vital info for a beginner like me. Shall start searching if I can get the materials u have used for waterprooofing and strengthening here in Abu Dhabi. Thx a ton ...

  10. Hi Philipa,

    I find the above post packed with vital info for a beginner like me. Very many tks. I'll check for the waterproofing and strengthening materials at shops in Abu Dhabi. Tks again for sharing

  11. Tks a lot for the useful info Philipa, will start seeking lotz of ideas from u




Related Posts with Thumbnails