Sunday 19 May 2013

Thank you

I’d like to say a really big “thank you” to everyone who so kindly congratulated me on my Quilling Guild Accreditation, both here and also on Facebook. For a while last week I was completely swamped by comments and messages, but I am finally catching up with myself again at last!

The quilled spiral that I featured in my last post was, of course, only part of the work submitted to the Guild for assessment ... I also had to complete a sampler of quilling shapes, as pictured above. Doing this really helped me to sharpen up my quilling technique as you have to focus on getting every single piece absolutely perfect - and I’m convinced that I’m now a better quiller as a result. So, my message to Quilling Guild members is: do consider applying for Accreditation - it really is a worthwhile process. When you succeed, you genuinely feel as though you are contributing to the continuing evolution of our historic Art.

You can read all about the Accreditation process on the Quilling Guild’s website here.

As a final postscript to this story, I was delighted to discover that my Accreditation piece (the spiral) had actually been featured last week on the BuzzFeed online newsletter alongside many other wonderful examples of modern quilling (including the work of Yulia Brodskaya!!). Have a look at the BuzzFeed link here to see their feature called ‘Quilling: the best craft you’ve never heard of’ ... and prepare to be amazed!

Monday 13 May 2013


Yesterday I experienced one of the proudest moments of my life after succeeding in my application to become an Accredited Member of The Quilling Guild.

The Guild’s prestigious Accreditation Scheme is described in detail on the organisation’s website here, and involves the submission of a ‘sampler’ of all the officially recognised quilling shapes plus an original piece of work to demonstrate the applicant’s skill. Mine is pictured above.

The idea for this piece sprang from my fascination with the spiral patterns of sea shells, and was initially inspired by the design concept of a pattern which was originally created digitally by Irene Thompson in Photoshop (

I began work on the piece by re-designing and translating the elements of the spiral pattern into a combination of the required quilling shapes to meet the Accreditation criteria, ensuring that sufficient gluing anchor points were created to hold it all together!

I traced the basic outline of the spiral to delineate the outline of each ‘whorl’ of quilled shapes, and then made two photocopies of the tracing which I mounted beneath cling-film on to two separate blocks of mounting board (into which pins could easily be inserted). The first board was used to create each individual quilled shape to the exact required size. The second board was used to assemble the finished quilling.

When placing the anchor pins for each wheatear and alternate side looped piece, it was important to allow for the thickness of mutliple ‘windings’ of the quilling strip, so that the pieces did not exceed the overall dimensions of the whorl boundaries.

I started by quilling the largest section of the spiral, building up the pattern like individual spokes of a wheel. Making the pieces became progressively more difficult as the pattern became smaller, and it was necessary to modify/simplify some of the basic shapes as they reduced in size. When making the smallest pink flowers, it was necessary to abandon pins and create the huskings in my fingers, sizing them by eye.

The complete assembled piece was lifted gently off the cling-film covered board and attached to the blue backing paper by applying glue to the backs of the solid coils, yellow spacing shapes and the inner edge of the spiral. This selective gluing was sufficient to hold the spiral in place, minimising the risk of glue marks on the backing paper which the Guild Assessors always look out for!

To say that I am delighted with the achievement of my Quilling Guild Accreditation would be an understatement. Now, at last, I can relax and look forward to the presentation of my Accreditation Certificate at the Quilling Guild’s forthcoming 30th Anniversary Celebration of Quilling event which is going to be held in Liverpool, UK on 10th - 11th August 2013.


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