Thursday, September 20, 2007

Slotted or Needle Quilling Tool

slotted quilling tool
Slotted or Needle Quilling Tool

I found that when I first started quilling I used the “Slotted” tool. This is a metal or plastic instrument with a tiny slit or slot at the top. The slit is where you place the paper. When I started quilling this was my favorite tool because I found it easier to turn the paper. This was more of a coordination thing, and as I became more comfortable with making my coils and working with the thin paper I relied on it less and less. Today I use the slotted tool when I make my folded roses and sometimes when working with fringed paper. I have found that using the slotted tool will give a larger hole in the center. Please note: For some quillers and projects, you want this look, so don’t discount this tool for that reason.

As my quilling skills improved, I began using the “Needle” tool, mine has a wooden handle with a long, thin piece of metal that looks like a needle sticking out the top. I have actually used this tool for things that it may not have been designed for, such as pricking or piercing my paper and to place glue on my projects. Strictly speaking, using the tool for glue placement is not recommended because it can cause your needle to rust (so don’t tell anyone).

Along the lines of the needle tool, I find that I use a corsage pin or any pin for that matter for much of my quilling today. I have even been known to use office supplies, primarily the T-pins that many people use to hold paper to their cube walls. I find that my control over my paper is better and I am able to get a tighter center to my coils this way.

When I teach classes or give people a pattern that I have made, I will provide round toothpicks. I do this because I worry that someone might stick themselves with a pin if one were supplied. We don’t want any DNA for the CSI team to find 

Perhaps the most common tool that most of us have readily available 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!

Copyright for Personal Use, Antonella DeFalco

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Quilled Bridal Shower Card - Wedding

Showers, Quilling and Love! A quilled bridal shower card that I made recently. This pattern is more of a guide than a step by step pattern. This is an example of using quilling to accent patterned paper.

  • I love square cards, so I started with a 6x6 square white blank.

  • Selected patterned scrapbook paper with a large floral patterned design.

  • Printed "Love Unconditionally, Laugh Uncontrollably, and Live Unexpectedly Free!" and attach at a diagonal.

  • Affix a tag to the phrase, and place a 4 inch (10.2 cm) Coil Heart to the tag.

  • Using white and gray quilling strips create quilled patterns to place over the patterned design on the paper.

I found a quote that I particularly liked and printed on the inside of the card:
"Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I really love to make cards like this. They are quite elegant in their simplicity, and can be quite effective in a pinch.

Love is in the air!

Copyright Personal Use - Antonella DeFalco

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Quilling Strips - Should I Cut My Own Strips?

Quilling Strips - Should I Cut My Own Strips?

So many people ask about quilling strips and if they should cut their own papers. This is such a personal choice, but I will provide some information for those of you who decide to cut your own paper.

For those of you brave enough to cut your own paper here is some information that may help you when selecting the paper. Not to be cheeky, but you don’t want your paper to be too thick or too light. If it is too thick or heavy it is harder to roll, and if it is too light it will not keep the coil shape as well. A good weight that has been recommended to me is the 65 to 80 pound text paper. I have used the better quality printer paper and the light weight scrapbook paper that is available. I know that many of my quilling friends like to use envelopes as this is generally a good weight and has the advantage of recycling the mail. Included in this is the inside of the business envelopes - the pattern on the paper makes for really neat fringed flowers.

You want to make sure that the paper you are using has a good “color fastness” The best way I can explain this is that you do not want your paper to “bleed” when you glue it as this can damage or ruin your project. The bleeding can happen because the glue contains water that can cause the bleeding. Always test any paper you want to use before you get too far into your project, you would hate to ruin all that hard work.

Some people will use a manual paper cutter and use the ruler as a guide for the thickness of the paper strip. You must be very careful to keep the paper from moving while cutting so that it is the same width along the length of the strip.

There are those who will use a shredder to cut their paper instead of manually using a paper cutter to cut their strips. There are many shredders that cut paper into 1/8” strips. A word of caution, you need to be careful with the shredders, because many cut with jagged edges that are not the best for use with quilling. If you decide to attempt this, please test the shredder in the store before purchasing it to make sure it is what you need.

The advantage of cutting your own paper is that you can more easily match the color of your pattern to the background paper you are using on your project. This can be helpful for scrapbooking or for card making where you can use your scraps to create the embellishments or decoration.

The disadvantage is that it can be difficult to get all your strips the same width and if you are like me, cutting a straight line can be challenging – lol.

I have found that many people who teach classes cut their own paper for their students to use when first learning the basic shapes. This is done so that they do not use the real strips until they feel more comfortable with making the shapes. There has been a lot of information posted about shredders, if there is interest I can track it down for you.

As a side note: I prefer to buy my paper. I don’t have the time to cut it myself, and if I did, my ability to cut a straight line (even with a paper cutter) is not my forte. One exception, because there is always an exception, is when it comes to fringed flowers and some of the roses that I make. Some of the color variations in the scrapbook paper makes for great flowers!

I hope that you have found this helpful.

Copyright (personal use) by Antonella DeFalco

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