Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pictures of Quilled Hot Air Balloon Project

free quilling pattern Hot Air Balloon Quilled Fill-in Project
I have many more Free Quilling Patterns, please click on this link.

This is a picture of a project using the fill-in technique (follow the link if you want to read more).

This photo collage shows each of the steps in the process. I used the marquis shape for this particular project because I felt it would give me the tightest fit and that was the look I wanted.

These are the Steps to take to create your own project:
  • The process begins by selecting a picture, I found mine in Microsoft's Clip Art Gallery.
  • I cover the picture with wax paper. Note: You can also use a page protector or trasparenty sheet. The key is to use something that the glue will not stick to or that you easily remove the quilled piece from.
  • I used T-pins to keep the wax paper and picture from moving around. You can use tape if you want.
  • I then began quilling the various colors that I wanted for this project. I used the Marquise shape here because the marquise shapes fit together nice and tight in this type of project.
  • After quilling the shapes, I loosefit the quilled pieces to make sure that I have enough pieces. Make sure to quill a few extras of each color, when you glue them, they will fit together more tightly so you will need more quilled pieces.
  • Then you start gluing the pieces down. I use regular sewing pins in this part of the process. I will place the pins to hold in-place my quilled pieces while they are drying to help keep the piece stable and keep it from moving around.
  • Finally, after everything is glued into place and is dry, carefully remove it from your backing and you are ready to place it on your finished project.

The best advice I can offer is to have fun with this process. Remember, you do not have to finish this in one day. That is one of the reasons that you use the pins... It will still be there when you return to it when you have more time. Please go to my Flickr account to see more pictures of this project.

Copyright Antonella DeFalco

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Quilling Patterns and Inspiration

Where can I find a pattern for ... ? This is a question that is often asked by new and not-so-new quillers. If you are up for a bit of a challenge, I can tell you that the answer is anywhere. The beauty of quilling is that it can be arranged to look like anything you can imagine, whether it be a Blue Jay, a Hot Air Balloon, a purse, or a birdhouse.

How is that possible? Through the magic of fill-in work. When you create a fill-in, you can take a greeting card, picture, clipart, coloring book page, drawing, painting, symbol, magazine or anything that you love and you can re-create it with your quilling. It is easiest to work with a printed copy of what you want to create.

The tools that you need are:
  • Printed picture (clipart, coloring book page, magazine picture, greeting card, post card, etc)
  • wax paper, page protector, clear non-stick acrylic or film
  • quilling paper
  • Cork board, cardboard - something to keep your image flat
  • Pins to keep everything in place and not moving around
I start with my cork board or cardboard, lay my printed picture on top, place the wax paper on top. Note: If I am using a pae protector, I will place the printed picture inside and place that over the corkboard. I then use my pins to anchor everything to the corkboard. Try to keep them away from where you will be working so that they do not get in the way.

Although fill-in work can be very time consuming and looks very difficult it is easier than you think. You can make most fill-in work with the basic coil and scroll shapes that you already know. Most fill-ins are made with the marquis, teardrop, and loose coil shapes and the S-Scroll is also used alot. Look at what you are trying to make and decide which shape will work best.

Now you should start quilling your pieces. Most fill-in work uses 3" (7.6 cm) or 4" ( 10.1 cm) strips. Pick the colors that you want to use. If your original was a color photograph, you can use that to select your colors or make this truly your own by picking different colors. Quill your shapes, as many as you think you need and then start arranging them.

Not everyone does this step. I like to dry fit my pieces. By this I mean that I arrange the pieces over the picture without gluing them down. I do this to get an idea of if I like the colors and like the way it looks. One thing, make sure you have extra quilled pieces because when you glue them down, they will be tighter than your dry fit so you will need more pieces. Remember, I do this to get an idea of what the finished piece will look like.

Finally, you glue everything together the same way you do your other quilling. To keep glue as your friend, try to use as little as possible. The real magic and beauty of this is that after everything dries, you can lift the quilled piece off of your page proector or wax paper. If anything sticks, gently use your needle tool to pull it away.

Check out my Hot Air Balloon project using the fill-in technique with clipart.

Copyright Antonella DeFalco

Monday, July 17, 2006

In Loving Memory - Quilled Memorial Frame

quilled memorial frame Quilled Memorial Frame poem
I wanted to share with you the Memorial Frame that I made. The poem is one that I wrote myself and I felt captured the love that mothers have and share with their families. I believe very srongly that the mother, biological, step or adoptive, are the glue that holds our families together. I send this out in thier memory!

Following my mother's death I found that I could not find a frame and poem that I felt was appropriate. In my search for a Memorial Frame I found quilling. I now specialize in creating one-of-a-kind Memorial Frames so that others can have a loving keepsake. Please contact me if you are interested.

Copyright Antonella DeFalco

Friday, July 14, 2006

Free Quilling Pattern (sort of) - Love, laugh, Live Card

quilled card quilled greeting card quilling greeting card

Love Unconditionally, Laugh Uncontrollably, and Live Unexpectedly Free!

I am enjoying making this card, but I am also finding it a bit difficult. Today, July 15th, is the anniversary of my Mother's death. Today I miss her more than ever and wish she were here to see all of her grandchildren and how much they have grown.

The reason that I am calling this a "sort of" pattern is that I want you to be able to take what I show you and make something that is special to you. So take what you see and make it your own. Remember, everyone makes shapes that are little bit different in size. My quilling shapes turn out differently if I use a slotted tool or a needle tool or a T-pin or a straight pin. So please keep that in mind when you are making your design.

I like to dry-fit my designs before I glue them down. What this means is that I take my pieces and lay them where I think they look best without glueing them into place. This is what I have done in this picture. This gives me an idea of what it will look like and allows me to make adjustments. It gives me the confidence that I like the way it looks. The disadvantage is that if you really like the way it looks, it will look different after you have glued the pieces down. You will notice some of the spaces between the S-Scrolls, when I finish the project they would be closer together.

For each of the 1.5 in (3.8cm) hearts I have made approximately 12 - 2 in (5.1 cm) S-Scrolls. Yes, this pattern takes a lot of quilled shapes.

I have a tip for you. Beads and quilling go very well together. You will notice that I added a little pearl bead to my center heart. That little bit of shimmer really adds to the overall effect. I add beads to much of the work that I do. In my final piece, I will add more beads.

I am going to add a picture onto the scalloped circle, and although I said that I would post the final design here today, I have not decided which design element to add to augment the photo. For the moment, this is the card. Maybe after my mini-meet today I will post the final composition.

Please have fun and play with your shapes. For me, I love the way S-Scrolls (and C-Scrolls) frame a design and beads can add a finishing touch. You really can start quilling and make some really beautiful things by simply using these basic coil and spiral shapes.

Simple, yet elegant, that is quilling to me.

Copyright Antonella DeFalco

Photo of card elements

quilled card quilled greeting card pattern
This is the picture of the unfinished card. To review, I selected pink and red as the colors I would use. On this photo the elements are not attached, this allows me more flexibility with the final design. This is arranged so that I can get an idea of the finished card.

The hearts are approximately 1.5 inches (3.8 cm). I have printed the saying on 3 of them and arranged them around the traced 3 inch (7.6 cm) circle that I cut out with scalloped scissors. I am not very good at cutting, so I punched the hearts, I used scalloped scissors because it is forgiving if you do not cut straight. It is not as noticeable. :-)

Now we are ready to start quilling the shapes to add to the design.

I will post that next.

Copyright Antonella DeFalco

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Love, Live, Laugh Quilling Pattern

This is a multi-step project, as such I will present it over a period of a few days. On Saturday I will post the completed project.

Today we will start with the phrase:

Love Unconditionally, Laugh Uncontrollably, and Live Unexpectedly Free!

I want this pattern to use only the shapes that we have learned so far, and provide an example of using the Scroll shapes. Since I want this to be something to honor my mother, I want to use hearts. I have thought about a scrapbook page or a framed piece. After much thought and consideration, I have decided that I want this to be a card that I will send to my sister. That being said, let's organize our tools.

These are some of the things that we will need:
  • Computer and printer - My handwriting is really bad and since this is my phrase, I don't have a stamp with the phrase on it, so this is my best option! :-)
  • A card - I have selected a white 5x7" card
  • Paper - I know that this will sound a bit valentine-ish but I have selected pink and red. I will use the pink for my hearts and red for the background
  • Heart punch - Approximate size is 1.5 inches (3.8 cm)
  • Fancy scissors - I selected a scallop shape
  • I also cut out a circle - I traced a small round container, 3 inches (7.6cm) wide and cut it out using scalloped scissors
After collecting all of the tools, it is time to begin. The first thing that we need to do is print out the saying above and use the heart punch to cut out the parts of the saying.

At this point I have my card, 3 hearts, and a scalloped circle.

Here are pictures from later posts

quilling valentine
quilling valentine

Please click here for more details about this pattern.

Copyright Antonella DeFalco

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

My Hero

Today is a day of reflection for me. This week in fact. I find this time of year very difficult for me because in 2004 my life changed in a way that it will never be the same again.

In 2004, I lost my mother. She was the most beautiful in all the ways a person can be. She loved everyone, but especially her family. We always felt safe and loved no matter what we did. She was a great person from the inside out and everyone who knew her still says that.

In honor of my mother, I am going to create something with each of you that we work on the rest of this week. On Saturday, July 15th I will post the completed project.

Many of you may wonder why I always sign my posts with "Love Unconditionally, Laugh Uncontrollably, and Live Unexpectedly Free!" After my mother's death I had some very difficult times. What got me through was knowing that my mother always wanted nothing but the best for us and wanted us to be happy. So, as I thought about it, I decided that one way to honor her would be to adopt a slogan that captured some of the traits that I loved the most about her, so this led to me to brainstorming and I came up with this slogan. These are some of the reasons why:
  • Love Unconditionally - We are one of those "typical" Italian families with large numbers of Aunts and Uncles who are not related by "love". They are related to us simply because of the love that my mother and father have for them. My mother never turned her back on anyone, I credit her for being able to be a loving step mother. Love doesn't ask for anything in return, it simply is. I always tell my girls, "There is always room in your heart to love one more!"
  • Laugh Uncontrollably - As a family, we have had our moment of rolling on the floor laughter. Laughing is one of those things that I don't think we do enough of. Let's face it, when we laugh our whole outlook on life changes. So this is to remind me to stop and smell the roses.
  • Live Unexpectedly Free - If you can do the first two things, then I think it leads to this. Put your family first set a goal or attempt to reach a dream (I know, easier said than done). If you can, then you are free.
This blog and some of the other "projects" I have in the works are my way of trying to do these things. It is part of a dream I have had and a way to use those "creative juices" that are dying to come out and play. I hope that this becomes a way for people to learn about a beautiful art form, but more importantly a way for them to try something that they are afraid to try.

Let us spread our wings together!

The project that we will work on will be based on the saying
"Love Unconditionally, Laugh Uncontrollably, and Live Unexpectedly Free!" I will tell you more later. :-)

Thank you and I hope you have fun with our project.

Copyright Antonella

Friday, July 07, 2006

Quilling off the beaten path

Isn't the internet great? There is so much you can find if you can only find the time (don't we all wish we had more?)

I was looking around and found some neat things that were a bit off the beaten path, but I thought they might be a fun way to start the weekend...

This is just too funny... I found this on "that Jolie Girl" she has found some great goodwill finds and if you scroll down towards the end of her post you will see the quilling pattern that she found... Don't laugh too hard when you see the pattern for men's underwear that she found... You really make me laugh!

Here is a great example of some quilling by Brenda, here is a link to her Fotopage of a quilled fan that she made. Thank you Brenda for the instructions and beautiful fan. And if that weren't enough, check out the beautiful butterfly box . She is a beautiful artist! Brenda wrote to me and sent this link to her finished fan - Please check it out!

And finally, here is a great example of a mother and daughter working together to complete an underwater adventure project of course mom here says that maybe she picked up the brunt of the work because her helper was too busy having fun being a girl.

Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!
Love Unconditionally, Laugh Uncontrollably, and Live Unexpectedly Free!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

How long should my strip be?

quilling announcement heart flowers How long should my quilling strip be? What size should I use?

This is an age old question that there is no easy answer. Ok, this is going to sound like such a non-committal answer, but I will explain why and then I will offer you a printable tool to help you through the process. :-)

Let us start with this thought... If you have a roomful of quillers and gave each of them a 4" strip of quilling paper, you will find that each coil, although similar, will be a little different. Ok, perhaps this is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point. So the question is why? The following is a list of things that you do as a quiller that have an impact on the size of your coil and helps explain why the same shapes can and are different among quillers. It also gives you permission to be yourself and just enjoy the process and learn your own quilling style :

  • If you use a slotted tool, you will have a larger hole in the center than if you use a needle tool or pin or finger roll your paper.

  • When you make your coils the amount of tension that you apply to the paper as you are turning it has an effect on how much the coil loosens, or how big it becomes, when you let go.
  • The paper that you use has an effect. I will even tell you that I have found differences in using a multi-pack of quilling paper. Yes, even though it is the same manufacturer, I find that some strips roll easier than others.

  • As obvious as this may sound, if you are tired when you are rolling your strips (come on now admit it, you were up past your bedtime because you just had to get some quilling done) your own coils and shapes will look different.

  • I have mentioned this before, but everyone develops their own style and this too will change over time. Think of how you pinch your coil to make a shape, chances are you may hold it and pinch it using a different combination of fingers than your neighbor.
So, the next time you have a pattern and you are diligent and use the exact size specified in the pattern, don't be surprised that yours looks different. This is good! Quilling is a personal experience and these differences are what allow you to make this art your own. This is what handmade means, no two items are the same! Looking for ideas? Don't forget to check out the links on the left hand for lots of free patterns and instructions to making quilling to embellish cards and scrapbook pages, frames, announcements, and invitations.

free quilling coil shapes guide
free quilling spiral shapes guide free quilling scroll shapes guide

The attached photo is a quick way to practice your shapes and be able to have a visual to gauge your rolling style. This file will allow you to create your own personal "Quilling Guide" I recommend starting with the 1/8" (.3cm) wide quilling paper. Feel free to do this for the different widths of paper that you use the most. I have included an example of each shape for your reference, now do the following:

  • Print the image above, preferrably on a thicker paper or cardstock.

  • Select a specific width of quilling paper. Cut quilling paper into various lengths 3" (7.6 cm), 6" (15.2 cm), 9" (22.9 cm) as identified in the printout.

  • Roll each of the shapes. Click these links for instructions to making the Coil Shapes and Scroll Shapes if you are uncertain how to make a particular shape.

  • Glue the shape to the paper and store this with your quilling supplies. The next time you are quilling, take this out as a handy reference guide for selecting the best size strips for the project you are working on.
This is a fun exercise and is good to let you know that you can quill. Now you can use these shapes and compare them to the patterns that you see. This can be helpful to get the correct proportions when you make the pattern.

As you continue to quill, you may want to repeat this exercise and see how much you and your quilling style has changed.

Please be certain to keep a few of your early quilled pieces, you will want to remember them and treasure them in years to come. If you are like so many of us, your quilling will be shared with all your friends and family and you will find that you have none to enjoy for yourself. Everyone will be quite pleased that you did! :-)


Copyright Antonella DeFalco

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Copyright Information

Some very wise people have advised me that I need to mention something about Copyrights.

I have created this blog to share with all of you the wonderful craft that is Quilling. I also plan to share with you interviews with some very interesting artists.

I am providing this information to you through the web because I want to reach as many people as possible. I am sharing free patterns that I want you to use and modify to create your own personal works of art!

For gifts to friends and family please use these patterns, there is no charge. If you are only making a few items, then you should also feel free to use what you find here. I only ask that you credit me with the following information: Created by Antonella DeFalco,

If you have a website or a blog and you would like to use some of this information please let me know and I can add a link back to you.

If you wish to share this information, I ask that you please give me credit for the hard work that I have done by including the following information: Created by Antonella DeFalco, If you wish to use the instructions or patterns and include them in a book, or compile them and include them in something that people must pay for then you must contact me directly by sending me an email.

I may periodically update this copyright information, but I will maintain a link on the first page so that it is easily accessible.

Thank you so much for all your support!
Antonella DeFalco
Proud member of the North American Quilling Guild (NAQG)
Copyright 2005 - present


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