Sunday 29 May 2011

Getting my act together ...

I've got a lot going on domestically just now, so haven't managed to do as much quilling as I would have liked these past few days. So today's post is about a project that I actually completed last weekend.

I'd had one of my shadow-frame card blanks lying around for a few weeks now, so decided to fill it with some quick quilled flowers to make this card:

I liked the result, so have adapted the quilled design to work on a digital graphic background (above) that was originally created by Laura Boetto for the excellent Papers and Pixels online magazine. I've written a beginners' quilling tutorial about this card which is going to be published in the June edition of Papers and Pixels, due to be published on 15th June. Click here to subscribe - it's free!

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Finally ... my quilled flower card!

All those individual flowers I've made have been sitting around for quite a while now ... so today I was determined to get the card assembled, no matter how many household chores needed doing - they would simply have to wait! Well, here's the end result:

I made a base mat for the the quilling by printing a blue-bordered yellow rectangle which I then cut out using a scallop-edged cutting blade in my paper cutter. I also cut a scalloped edge along the right hand edge of the front of the card before centering the mat. To get a little colour behind that edge, I glued a single 5mm quilling strip on the inside of the card below where the scalloping sits when the card is closed.  (Because of all this, I had to offset the inside greeting a little to the left to keep the design symmetrical.) I quite like the effect of the scalloped edges, which just add a little extra background interest.

The quilled flowers you have seen before in earlier posts. However, I also enjoyed creating a few green scrolls and leaves just to create the impression of foliage without making the card too 'busy'.

Here's a view from the opposite side:

I'll be entering this card into the 'Make or Bake' competition at our village show in a couple of weeks' time. Wish me luck!

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Quilled flower number four

Here's the final flower design in the series I've been developing for my floral card.

It was inspired by a flower like this:

I'm not sure what this one is called, but we have some of them growing in our garden and I love the way the delicate purple petals fan out from an unusual deep pink coloured centre. The middle of the flower is almost black, which is very dramatic.

Making those pairs of open-scrolled petals was fiddly, but I got the effect I wanted. Now I've got the task of assembling the finished card, which is going to be a massive gluing operation for all the different elements I've made. I'm going to have to be in the right mood for doing it, hopefully with no interruptions! I promise to post it soon ...

Saturday 21 May 2011

Quilled flower number three!

At yesterday's market, I only sold one card - and for once in my life I was pleased that business had been so slow! It means that instead of spending several more afternoons next week restocking my card display, I can devote some time to other quilling projects - and my floral competition card in particular!

Today, I'd like to share the third of my new flower designs that I've been making for this card. The basis for this one is four identical huskings, each one double-wound around pins using one purple and one white strip, which I had folded together in the centre before winding. My starting point for each husking was, in fact, a little orange scrolled heart which I placed 'astride' the first pin and then built the rest of the husking around it. I pinched the huskings to make them pointed, and deliberately squashed the heart scrolls a bit when I did so. I think the resulting orange 'stamens' look quite realistic - just waiting for a bee to arrive and collect some pollen!

Thursday 19 May 2011

At last ... another flower design!

I really don't know where this past week has gone! Ever since the night of my quilling demo last week, I literally haven't stopped!  Thursday was the demo, Friday my normal market, Saturday another special market, Sunday - out all day. Then Monday. Well, I did manage a post, but then I had to stock up again because of all the cards I had sold, plus make some special orders (quill, quill, quill ...), then yesterday I was out all day - and now, well it's Thursday already and I'm getting ready for the market tomorrow all over again.  Hopefully next week will be MUCH quieter, so that I can finally finish off the floral card I've been making for our local village show.

You've seen the water lily, but now here's a close-up of two more tiny little flowers that I've made using eccentric coils and some simple little teardrop leaves. You can't really see it here, but the inner pale blue sections are made from metallic edged strips.

I've actually got two more flower designs saved up to show you in future posts, and I've also been making various items of foliage (swirls and marquises) in different shades of green. This card is going to take me a long time to assemble because there is so much quilling, and now I'm worried that it may be a bit too busy ... but I'll let you be the judge of that when I finally post the finished design. Maybe next week?

Monday 16 May 2011

Pattern for quilled water lily flower

Several people have asked me to post the pattern for the water lily flower that I made last week. So here it is. Writing this has made me think hard about the best way to present pattern instructions, and I'd really appreciate your comments about the format I have used, to see whether it can be improved.

Here goes:

You will need:
1 x 14.5 cm yellow strip
1 x 14.5cm orange strip (crimped)
1 x 5cm length of fringed yellow paper
13 x 29cm deep pink strips
13 x 14.5cm light pink strips
Cork board and four pins to make huskings

I used Paplin's 3mm wide strips, which are 58cm in length. For convenience, a quarter of one of these strips measures 14.5cm, and a half measures 29cm, so it is easy to divide them up quickly into quarters and halves to make this flower. I also used some ready-fringed paper which is about 1.5cm wide, but you could easily cut your own.

To make the centre of the flower, glue the yellow and crimped orange strip together at one end. Roll up the joined strips from the glued end with the orange in the centre. Release the finished coil very slightly so that the orange strip and its crimping are clearly visible; trim and glue the ends so that you have a coil approximately 1cm in diameter. Wind the fringed yellow paper around your coil, gluing at each end to secure it in position. Do not fan the fringing out yet.

To make the first petal, set up a vertical row of pins on your cork board spaced as follows: pin 2 should be 2.7cm above pin 1; pin 3 should be 1cm above pin 2; pin 4 should be 1.5cm above pin 3. Take a deep pink strip, put some glue on the very end and fold it over to create a tiny loop about 1 - 2 mm in length. Pin 1 should pass through this loop. Wind the strip around pin 2 and back to pin 1, gluing at that point, using the standard method for creating wheatear huskings. Wind again around pin 3, and glue again behind pin 1. Wind again around pin 4 and back to pin 1 again. Trim the strip at this point and glue the end down behind pin 1. Remove the pins and gently lift your husking from the board when the glue is dry.

Roll a light pink strip into a closed loose coil, glue down the end and pinch the coil into an 'eye' shape. Put a dab of glue on one point of the eye, and position it inside your deep pink husking so that the glue is at the base (pin 1) end.

Now you have one petal for the lily flower. Make a further twelve petals in the same way, and glue them around the flower centre, with a dab of glue on the base of each petal and also on the sides for extra support. When the flower is assembled, you can fan out the fringed section.

Handy tip: when making huskings, try using straight needles instead of round-headed pins. Because of their streamlined shape, there is no need to remove the needles from the board each time, as the husking can easily be lifted off with the needles still in position, ready for you to make your next petal.

So ... how did I do?

Saturday 14 May 2011

My quilling demonstration: here's what we did!

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!

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Floral fantasies

It's our annual village festival next month. This year, for the first time, there is going to be a 'Make or Bake' competition for people to enter, and one of the categories is a hand-made greetings card. I've started working on my entry, which is going to be a birthday card with an array of different quilled flowers on it. This has given me the opportunity to start developing some new, colourful, 'fantasy flower' patterns - and here's the first (which I think may actually be some kind of water lily):

Creating this card has become a kind of 'pick up and put down' project, and I've been having fun inventing several new flowers which I will post here over the next few days. I also need to make some leaves and tendrils, so there is still plenty to do! Then I'll have to decide how they all fit together before assembling the final card.

Meanwhile, something has just happened which I never expected: I now have more followers on my Quilliance Facebook page than I do on the blog itself! Anyway, whether you have arrived here via Facebook, Blogger or any other route, I'd like to say a big 'thank you' for visiting. It makes the great satisfaction I get from quilling even more worthwhile.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Just quilling a-round ...

Remember that circle I made the other day? Well, I made another one (using a 3mm strip this time), and have just finished filling it in with quilling.

I decided to try with a 3mm strip, because that's the maximum I can use on a card to avoid extra postage charges here in the UK. It was trickier to make than the 5mm one (less width to play with), but I managed to do it using the same wine glass as last time.

The infill quilling is all a bit experimental. I like the effect of intersecting lines, and practised doing a few on this design. The challenge is to get them absolutely straight and horizontal - a bit more practice is needed, I think. Anyway, here's what I ended up with:

Molly, if you're reading this, I hope you made your circle, too!

Monday 9 May 2011

Demo preparations and more quilled earrings

I've been busy this weekend dividing up strips and making coils in readiness for the quilling demo I'm giving at my women's group on Thursday. I'm going to show them how to create teardrops, bunny-ear and marquise shapes out of the ready-made coils, and hopefully wow them by gluing the shapes together to make a butterfly and a flower. Then they are going to try making their own coils and hopefully have a quilled gift tag to take away with them at the end of the evening. Some of the ladies are very excited already, so I hope my demo lives up to their expectations!

Meanwhile, I've been making a few more quilled earrings to replenish my market stock. Here's a new pair of black/white and silver huskings with a black folded rose on each - I thought the rose was quite a nice finishing touch. Now I need to come up with a few more new designs ...

Saturday 7 May 2011

Quilling a perfect circle

In my 'Quilling the line' post earlier this week, I mentioned how difficult I thought it would be to create and then glue down a perfect circle outline with a single quilling strip. Well, of course, that got me thinking about possible solutions to the problem ... and, you know me, I was not going to rest until I'd thought of a way of doing it!

Here's my solution, which involves a straight-sided wine glass - but I'm sure you could do it with any cylindrical object.

First, position the rim of the glass on your paper or card. I centred it on a card, and marked the position with some very faint pencil marks.

Next, wind a quilling strip once around the rim, gluing down a very short overlap. (I used a 5mm wide strip for this.)

Slide the paper circle up so that half of it stands just clear of the glass rim, leaving enough around the glass so that the circular shape is maintained. Then apply tiny dots of glue right around the exposed edge with a cocktail stick.

Slide the circle back down again so that the glued edge is flush with the rim of the glass. Position the glass on the card using the pencil marks, so that the glued edge of the paper circle makes good contact all round.

Allow the glue to set for a few seconds before carefully withdrawing the glass, leaving your perfectly shaped paper circle behind. Remove any visible glue on the surface of the card with the clean end of the cocktail stick.

Start quilling!

I haven't had time to finish this particular bit of quilling yet, but it will keep! Meanwhile, I hope this technique will be helpful for other quillers. I'm sure you could use it with other suitably shaped objects to make squares, triangles or rectangles too!

Wednesday 4 May 2011

An eyelet coil!

Do you remember the lilac card that I made a few days ago? Well, I sold it at the market on Friday, and wanted to make another for my card box - but with some different quilling. (Don't like to keep repeating myself!!) Now, don't ask me why, but suddenly I was moved to have a go at winding a coil around a metal eyelet ... and here's the result:
I made the inner coil from a bundle of crimped strips that I had left over from quilling a husked bluebell flower - just ran them together through the crimper and wound them around a metal eyelet. After gluing, I flattened the underside of the eyelet with a hammer so that the little metal flanges grip the paper. Then I went a bit mad and added a zig-zag and some circles. I think the whole thing looks a bit like a shooting star, but in lilac colours LOL!! And, surprisingly, it looks OK on the card background I think!
I promise to do something a bit more conventional tomorrow ...!

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Quilling the line

I had an un-quilled printed card left over from my earlier experiments with shadow borders, so I decided to add some quilling to it over the holiday weekend.  This is the result:

I wanted to try the technique of intersecting a 'straight line' strip with open curls as I have seen other quillers do to great effect - notably Yulia Brodskaya, who is surely an inspiration to us all! I decided to glue down the straight strips first, and found this was not too difficult to do with the short lengths I used here. But I would imagine that doing it with longer strips would be much more challenging. Does anyone have any tips for this? And has anyone succeeded in gluing down a large circle outline made from a single strip? I'm sure that keeping a perfect circle shape must be very tricky!

Sunday 1 May 2011

Some roses for May Day

It's hard to believe that May is here at last, full of the promise of summer! So I decided to celebrate by posting some quilled roses on Quilliance today - just the thing to help banish the memory of all last winter's snow. This is a little hairslide that I've just finished making for a friend's grand-daughter. I like the combination of deep red with pink, and the pink roses here were made using metallic edged strips for a little extra sparkle.

This past week, I've been awarded the 'Stylish Blogger' award not once, not twice, but THREE times over from Mihaela, Eenzy Beenzy and Monica. Thanks very much to all of you - I am honoured! But it also seems to me that there aren't many blogs left now to pass the award on to ... especially as each recipient is asked to nominate another eight recipients each time. So I hope nobody will be upset when I say that I've decided not to pass this award on any further. It's a really nice idea, but I do feel that having to make all those nominations creates extra work for busy bloggers - especially when blogs without the award are getting increasingly hard to find!

However, another of the award's requirements is that recipients should reveal eight random facts about themselves. Well, that's actually quite easy for me right now, as I'm delighted to have been featured as 'Member of the Month' for May 2011 on the Creative Quilling Forum. So anyone who is interested can discover at least eight facts about me here!


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