For some reason I always associated quilling with “old fashioned” crafting – kind of like the dried flower arranging that my grandmother used to do. I’m not dissing it as a craft but I kind of always thought that it wasn’t for me – until I actually tried it! I need to stop letting my crafting misconceptions get in the way of just having a go! Which is kind of the beauty of the whole Cliff Craft Challenge. I also did an internet image search of quilling and there are some incredibly talented people out there making beautiful quilled fish, birds, hearts and so much more.
I bought myself a very cheap and cheerful set of quilling tools from Fred Aldous a while back (while on a total crafty shopping spree). Three little plastics thingies – I’m sure they have proper technical names which I have no clue about – and a set of 5mm by 300mm paper strips. I cut this month’s calendar into 5mm by 200mm strips and I was ready to go. I picked up a little wooden box from The Works (an absolute goldmine for crafty bargains) with a view to using this as the base for quilling onto. A lot of quilling seems to be decorative pictures but sticking with the functional and beautiful mantra for the year, I decided a box would be more practical and stand more of a chance of getting used! And having said all that about quilling being seemingly old fashioned I went with a totally traditional floral design!
I based my design on one from Anyone Can Papercraft by Elizabeth Moad (I’ve used this book before, I’m sure I will use it again before this year is through!). I started off making the springs of foliage using one of my tools to curls strips of varying shades of green into loose circles before pinching each side to form the leaf shapes. I then attached the leaves in pairs to a single strip. The background swirls were made by twisting up one end of a strip then twisting the other end the other way to make a kind of S-shape. The flowers are all made of pieces of calendar – more specifically Cliff’s face. I wrapped strips of paper around a 9mm knitting needle and secured the end with a little bit of glue, then pinched the sides to make the petals. The centre of the flowers were made by twisting yellow and orange strips really tightly and gluing them so they couldn’t unfurl. I finally attached all the components to the top of the box with PVA glue.
I also had loads of spare strips of calendar and rather than let them go to waste I decided to decorate the bottom half of the box. Simple but rather effective design, strips glued on then varnished with PVA.
I’m really pleased with the end result and now I’ve seen how easy quilling is to do and how impressive the results can be (not including my efforts!) I’ll definitely be having another try at it soon.
Materials: Pack of three plastic quilling tools and 5mm quilling paper pack of 100 both from Fred Aldous (www.fredaldous.co.uk)
Pattern: Anyone Can Papercraft – Elizabeth Moad