Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Quilling Instructions - Scrolls and Spirals

Quilling Instructions Spiral Shapes free quilling pattern quilling shapesThe shapes we will learn about today are the scroll and spiral shapes.

All of the shapes in the attached picture were made using 4" (10.2 cm) pieces of quilling paper in the 1/8" (.3 cm) width. If you recall, in the previous Quilling Instructions - Coil Shapes, it was recommended that you tear the end that you will glue since the torn edge blends in and is not as visible as the straight cut end. Since you do not glue the end, and in general the end is not visible, you can either tear or cut these strips.

Before we go too far, I wanted to talk about something that you will hear quillers (or any paper artist) talk about and may not know what the reference means. The term is called "conditioning the paper." The best way I can explain this to you is to make you think about what you do to ribbon on a present. With that in mind, you take your finger nail and run it along the end of your quilling paper. The end result is a strip that begins to curve. You can get the same effect by using your needle tool. The reason you want to do this is that it loosens the fibers in the paper and makes it easier to shape.

Now onto our shapes!

Loose Scroll
  • To make this shape, you will notice that it looks a lot like the coil shapes we previously made
  • So, start with the coil shape, but don't coil the entire strip
  • Leave the last tiny bit so that it remains loose
  • This shape is actually kind of neat to use - it gives a very loose look to many patterns that you might use the loose coil for, and if you use your imagination think of waves, clouds, even musical notes, so many options... just with changing the length of the coil
  • As you can see, this shape gets its name because it looks like an "S" when you are finished
  • For this shape I like to condition both ends of my strip, so I do this so that one end is curved one direction and the other end is curved in the other direction
  • Now the paper is ready
  • Take your tool and place the paper in the end and begin rolling the paper in toward the center - but in opposite directions!
  • The shape that I have both ends are approximately the same size, they do not have to be. One end can be smaller than the other. This is a personal choice and may also depend on what you are going to use the shape for.
  • As you can see, this shape gets its name because it looks like a "C" when you are finished
  • This shape is very much like the S-Shape above and you prepare your strip in the same way
  • When you condition the paper, make sure that the paper curves in toward itself (so both ends are curved toward the center of the paper)
  • The difference is that you roll or turn your paper in toward eachother so that they meet in the center
Heart Scroll
  • This shape is also referred to as an Open Heart
  • First I take the paper and fold it in half
  • Next, you want to condition your paper the same way you do for a C-Scroll
  • Finally, roll or turn your paper in toward the center
  • I roll it until I get to the bottom and then start on the other end
Finally, the Spiral shape
  • This shape is not really a spiral shape, but I have included it here anyway
  • You will need to use your needle tool to get this to work
  • The key is to moisten the end of the strip - you can do this either by using a moist towel or sponge (this is the politically correct way
  • I must admit, that many quillers approach this by and to quote a very funny woman, "donating some dna" and licking the end of the paper
  • You take this paper and wrap it around your needle tool
  • The trick is that you want to start at the tip and continue to wrap up your tool
  • As you approach the handle, you want to start sliding the paper off of the tool so that you can continue to wrap the spiral shape until you reach the end of your strip
  • Many people will take very long strips (by attaching them end to end) and will use it to outline a photo mat - not an easy task to do so and keep it even
Well, that is all for now, I hope you have enjoyed this and have been encouraged to try something new!

Copyright Antonella DeFalco

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Another Free Daisy Pattern

free quilling pattern free daisy pattern free quilled daisy pattern
Hello Again,

Before I move on, I wanted to share with you one final flower. You can see that this is still the same teardrop shape, the difference is that in this flower, the rounded end rests on the center of the flower.

I have to admit, I am calling this a daisy, but I am not 100% certain that others would call this a daisy. :-)

For this pattern you need:
  • 6 white (or any color) 12" (30.48 cm) teardrops
  • 2 green teardrop/leaf shapes
  • 1 yellow (or any color) 24" (60.96 cm) grape roll center
  • a length of green 1/8" (.3 cm) paper
Again, I used white but that does not mean that you cannot use a nice hot pink or deep blue color. I am thinking of some of the gerbera daisy flowers that I have seen.

My next post I will provide instructions on how to make the spiral shapes.


Copyright Antonella DeFalco

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Free Quilling Pattern - Basic Shapes

free quilling patterns daisy

Hello Again, since I have had requests to show some more of my work, I decided to combine this with a free pattern... I have many more Free Quilling Patterns, please click on this link.

As you can see from the pictures that I have included, you can create a really pretty flower with only the teardrop and tight coil shape. These are some of my favorite shapes and these flowers are classic designs. You can see in the attached pictures that I have placed them on a double mat - very simple, but elegant (at least I think so). And something that I know you can do!!

The flowers are your basic Daisy pattern. The first 2 are the same flower - 5 petals each, with the yellow center placed on top of the white teardrops. The difference is in the placement of the double mat behind the flower. The first one is a standard square shape, the second is the square turned into a diamond. There is something about the diamond shape that I really like on a card.

The bottom 2 flowers are what I call the "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not Flowers" My reason is simple; the one with the petal that is "falling" down is someone pulling the petals off the daisy to find out about her true love. :-) The flowers themselves have 7 petals each. In addition to having more petals, these bottom 2 flowers have the center coil resting on the mat directly, it is not resting on the teardrop coils. The teardrop coils in this case touch the sides of the center coil.

free quilling pattern grape rollPlease note, I have cheated a bit and modified the tight coil in the pictures to be what is called a grape roll shape, so I will explain it here for you (see the attached photo for a pictorial view). You start with the tight coil and then you shape it so that the center is "pushed out". This picture shows you how the shape starts out - I have placed the coil on its side so that you can see that the center pushes out when you are done.

Keep in mind that I used 1/8" (.3cm) paper in my example.

You can use any color paper that you wish, I selected white and yellow because I was making them to show someone and these were the colors that I needed for this project.

One last thing, I indicated the length of paper that I used, but I encourage you to experiment with different lengths! Please do try some and show me what you have done. I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

Copyright Antonella DeFalco

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Quilling Instructions - Coils - Slotted Tool

Basic Quilling Shapes - Coils
This is a close up of my slotted tool with a teal paper. Sorry it is not as clear as I hoped it would be. :-(

As you can see, the paper goes through the slit at the top.

I think the slotted tool is easier to learn how to use than the needle tool and I use it today when I make my folded roses and when I make fringed flowers and I only use the fringed paper. This is purely choice, as you continue to quill you will start to find your own way of doing things. Don't feel that it is wrong; it is what will make your quilling unique.

For more Free Quilling Instructions, please click on this link.
If you are interested in Free Quilling Patterns, please click on this link.

So, back to the basics of quilling.
quilling Slotted Tool
I would suggest that when you start, you take 4" (10.2 cm) to 6" (15.2 cm) pieces of quilling paper in the 1/8" (.3cm) width. These are very standard lengths and will give you the opportunity to practice the basic shapes. You can take your ruler and measure the length that you wish to use. It is best to tear your paper and not to cut it because you will glue the torn end and the feathered (torn) end will blend and it will not be as noticeable where it is glued.

Ok, here are your basic steps to create your coils:

Tight coil
  • Take your quilling paper and place it into the slotted tool
  • Your paper should be at the very tip of the slot (in my picture, you can see the paper coming through the slot - when you are ready to roll your paper, you should not be able to see your paper coming through the other side)
  • Holding your paper in one hand and your tool in the other, in front of you, start turning your tool
  • The paper will begin turning as the tool grabs the paper
  • Try to keep the edges of the paper as even as possible - if you don't, you will find that your finished coil will have what I like to refer to as a little belly
  • Try to keep your paper as tight as possible
  • When you get to the end, you will want to pull the paper off of the tool. When making a tight coil (like this is) I glue the end and carefully pull the paper off.
Loose coil
  • Basically the same as the tight coil, but you don't keep as much tension on the paper
  • You do not want to make it as tight
  • When you get to the end, a little trick is to turn it in the opposite direction from which you were turning it. This makes it easier to pull the paper off without creating what someone has referred to as a tornado
  • After you pull the paper off the tool let it open up - this is what makes it a loose coil
  • Now you can add a dab of glue and you are done
The remaining shapes start with the Loose Coil shape and are formed in the following way:

Teardrop or raindrop shape
  • Take your loose coil and pinch the end where you glued it
  • I generally pinch with my thumb and index finger
Marquis, marquise or eye shape
  • Take your loose coil and pinch the end where you glued it
  • Take your teardrop shape and pinch the opposite end
  • I like to hold the coil so that I pinch first one end then the other end - but I essentially hold both pinched ends one in each hand at the same time
Heart shape
  • Take your loose coil and pinch the end where you glued it
  • Take your teardrop shape, and while holding the pinched end in your hand, press in from the top (or rounded part of the teardrop)
  • This will create the indentation at the top to make it look like a heart
I hope that you will take these instructions and my pictures and give this a try.

I will cover the Scroll shapes next... Looking forward to seeing you come back!

Copyright Antonella DeFalco

Monday, June 19, 2006

Quilling Supplies & Quilling Links

quilling suppliesHere it is....

I wanted to post a picture of my portable "work area"....
I am not sure if you can see everything, but the slotted tool is green and the needle tool is wooden above it. You can see the tweezers (red) and a few of my scissors. Hard to see, but the T-pins, the office supplies that I use for husking are in there as well.

Everything rests on a corkboard that I bought in the area where they sell quilling supplies. The nice thing about it is that there are circles in varying sizes that I can use and along the 4-sides there is included a ruler (in inches).

I also have the "quilling board" that I sometimes use.

Finding supplies is the hardest part. I live in the US and have ordered from these places that have great selections and have a very quick turn around.
We will start "quilling" tomorrow. I will show you the slotted tool up-close and I will also show you a selection of basic shapes (the ones I tend to use the most).

There are several Yahoo groups that have beautiful photo galleries and also friendly quillers, they are:
  • Quillers (and Quillpictures)
  • AgeOldArtOfQuilling2
If you are interested, don't miss out on the Quilling guilds:
Enjoy! and I look forward to sharing quilling instructions with you...


Copyright Antonella DeFalco

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Quilling Basics - Quilling Tools

Thanks for coming back (and Stefani thanks for posting...), now I will tell you about some of the other basic tools you will need and some that I would recommend…. I think some will surprise you… :-)

I was remiss not to mention the paper strips when I last posted. So I will pick up the list here.

You can cut your own paper and many people do, but I prefer to buy my paper pre-cut. I don’t have the time to cut it myself, and I must admit that my ability to cut a straight line (even with a paper cutter) is not my forte. When starting out I recommend starting with one width and selecting a multi-color pack of paper. I suggest the 1/8” (.3 cm) wide paper, since most of the patterns that you will find are done in this size. I like the multi-color packs because it gives me an opportunity to see the different shades of paper. I have also found that some of the online stores will send you samples with your order and many will also allow you to order samples. One of the places that I shop is Custom Quilling By Denise she has a great inventory and you should see some of the beautiful quilling she does.

A little more about cutting your own paper… I have found that many people who teach classes cut their own paper for their students to use when first learning the basic shapes. There are also shredders that cut paper in 1/8” strips that some people use. You need to be careful with the shredders, because many cut with jagged edges that are not the best for use with quilling. There has been a lot of information posted about shredders, if there is interest I can track it down for you.

The weight of the paper that you use to quill is a personal choice that you will probably make over time. Best advice I can give is to use a lightweight paper as the thicker cardstock does not roll as well. This is another reason why I like to buy my paper pre-cut, the weight of the paper is a good one and it rolls nicely. Note, I have used paper in my multi-pack that is from the same manufacturer and have found that some colors roll differently than others.

After you have quilled your basic shapes, you will need glue to glue the pieces together. This is something that you probably have around the house; all you need is a white glue that dries clear. Elmer’s glue will work. There are many framed quilled work out there that were made over 30 years ago that used Elmer’s glue that are still together. If you are a scrapbooker and have a tacky glue that use for embellishments, this works as well. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I use something like my needle tool or other similar device to apply my glue, if you want, there are glue bottles that have these nifty tops that apply your glue in tiny amounts (this is what Stefani referenced). Everyone raves about them, and I am very tempted to buy one.

Some other tools that you might find helpful and are probably around your house:

  • Wax paper or clear sheet protector – when you are gluing your pieces together, whether you are using a pattern or not, your quilled piece won’t stick to whatever surface you are working on. They easily come up and you can then place the finished piece where you want it.
  • Cardboard, a book, styrofoam, or corkboard – the idea here is to have some work surface that is firm that you can work on your unfinished pieces. The added benefit is that if you need to move your work area (which frequently happens for me) then you can pick it up and move it in one piece. Also, as you start quilling more you will find that you need a place to stick your pins (we'll talk about why later). Now I have a piece of corkboard that I bought where they sell quilting supplies (yes, quilting not quilling).
  • Scissors – I use mine for cutting shapes, and sometimes to cut my strips in half (width wise, to make them narrower) or for a technique called fringing.
  • A small plate, bottle cap, or something that you can use to put a little bit of glue on so that your entire bottle of glue doesn’t dry out. Many people on my quilling groups talk about placing a damp cloth (or paper towel - but this is not good for landfills) in a cup and inverting their glue. This keeps the glue from drying out and allows them hours of use.
  • A ruler – this will help you with keeping your lines straight or measuring your shapes to ensure they are the same size. To help with the size of your coils there is a special device for that (a quilling board) but you may not want to buy one initially due to cost.
  • A damp cloth or sponge (even my baby wipes work) will also help you keep your fingers from getting glued together or so sticky that everything sticks to your fingers and not where you want them to be. Another use is that it will help you moisten your strip when you are finger rolling or using the needle tool and want to start your coil.
  • Tweezers are helpful to help you pick up your pieces and place them in a specific location. Alas, I use ones that were not originally intended for quilling, but they have a very fine/sharp pointed end that makes picking up the quilled pieces so much easier.
  • Dress appropriately... comfy clothes are my preference, and since I sometimes get glue on myself, I recommend something that you won't mind if this happens. (lol)

Now all you need is some time and patience. Keep a sense of humor and don’t worry, everyone loses their coils on the floor at one time or another. I have it on good authority that many cats like to eat coils and think that they are cat toys, so be careful around any felines.

Wow! There is so much more to cover... We’ll get into some basic shapes next time! I will try to take some pictures of the tools and my messy corkboard "moveable" work surface!

Have a great day!

Copyright Antonella DeFalco

How to get started Quilling

You will be happy to learn that getting started in quilling is easy and not expensive. You will need a few basic supplies. I was fortunate to have a local craft store that carried the supplies that I needed, but I have found that the best place to find most items is online. All you need to do is a search for quilling. You can probably start quilling with less than $20, that is if you can prevent yourself from ordering everything you see like I generally want to do.

First I will describe the basic “quilling” tools:

There are generally two types of tools. The “Slotted” tool and the “Needle” tool. I have generally seen them packaged together, but you can purchase them separately.

I found that when I first started quilling I liked using the “Slotted” tool. This is a metal instrument with a tiny slit (slot) at the top. The slit is where you will place your paper. The reason I liked using the slotted tool when I started is because it was easier for me to coordinate turning the paper. I use it today for shapes that I feel I need more help turning the paper.

As I became more comfortable with my quilling, I started using the “Needle” tool. This is a tool that has a wooden handle that has a long, thin piece of metal that looks like a needle. If you do any embossing, it is similar to an embossing tool but has a long pointed end. I have found that I can also use it to pierce my paper, pricking. Don’t tell too many people, but I must admit that I used my needle tool in the beginning to put glue on my quilled pieces.

Today, I will use any combination of the slotted or needle tool, depending on the shape. The needle tool can easily be replaced with quilting needles and pins. Recently I have become enamored with using a pin, yes, those thin pins that you find in most any store that sells sewing supplies. I like them because they help me to create very tight circles with tiny openings in the center.

I cannot continue until I tell you that there is one set of tools that most of us have readily available, that is our hands. That’s right, it is called finger rolling, and you roll the strips of paper in your fingers. This tool is particularly useful because you never leave it at home!

I must also share with you some alternative “tool ideas” that you may have around the house for the needle tool… As I mentioned earlier, you can use straight pins, needles, hat pins, and office supply products. I have heard people say they use paper clips that they straightened, I admit I use those “T” pins sometimes as well. These “T” pins are used to keep things posted on cube walls, but I have begun using them to place my glue.

You will find that many people will use a toothpick for all of their quilling. If you ever go to a class to learn quilling, the instructor will probably provide you with a toothpick if you do not bring your own tools. Look for toothpicks that are round, I have seen some that are more square-ish in shape and will cause your shape to lack the smooth, round lines.

Ok, I have written a lot, so I will pick up with this topic later…


Copyright Antonella DeFalco

Friday, June 09, 2006

Why is Quilling Art?

Quilling is a craft that captured my imagination immediately. I was surfing the web, who know what I was looking for, when I traveled down one of the links in my search I found something that had been quilled. I stopped and immediately had to find out more and I haven't stopped yet.

In future posts, I will show you more quilled work as well as provide you instructions with photos and additional links with more information. I love to hear about people and their stories and would love to share your story with others. Please contact me and let me know if you would allow me to interview you and include highlights of your life and quilling on this blog.

You will soon find that Quillers are some of the nicest, open, caring, sharing people out there. I am amazed every day with the people around me.

I hope you have a wonderful day!
Love Unconditionally, Laugh Uncontrollably, Live Unexpectedly Free!

Copyright Antonella DeFalco

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Welcome to the world of Quilling and Art.

Quilling Quilled Birdhouse
Welcome to the world of Quilling and Art.

Quilling is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to make, well, just about anything.

Quilling is also called paper filigree and dates back to the 16th century when predominantly nuns decorated religious items and pictures with these quilled shapes. The name quilling is derived from the fact that they used a quill as their tool to roll the paper.

The basic shapes involve taking strips of paper and rolling them into tight or loose coils. The loose coils are then shaped into various shapes. These shapes are grouped together to make any shape that you can imagine. This is truly a wonderful art.

The picture attached to this post is an example of a quilled work that I have done. This is one of my favorites... quite possibly because I really like birdhouses, just look around my home (but that is the topic of another post)

This blog will discuss various paper art forms and I invite you to share your thoughts and ideas. I hope to be able to share designs and ideas with you.

Thank you,
Currently under construction:


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