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Friday, January 30, 2009

Still working . . . .

Well, I am still working on all of the “quiller interviews”, collecting information and trying to decide which pieces of their work I want to show. I’ve spoken with Malinda Johnston who is the founder and former owner of Lake City Crafts and Betty Christy who wrote the very first quilling book I ever bought. Both are quillers from the early 70’s who helped quilling along its way here in the United States. They are sending me some more materials to work with. This is turning out to be a fun idea; it is making me reach out to all kinds of people. Since so many of my “interview/features” are still in the works, I am back to quilling techniques for this week’s blog.
I made some hearts (after all it is the end of January so Valentine’s Day can’t be far behind). I am actually working on some ideas for a new kit I am working on for Paplin Products. I did two “theme” kits for them; Nothing but Flowers and Nothing but Butterflies. This new one will be Nothing but Hearts, but it won’t actually come out until next year, I am still trying to decide which pieces I will use. it's kind of fun working on kits because I get to do things I normally wouldn't do, except for the directions. I HATE writing directions!

One that I will not put in the kit is this one, mainly because I can’t figure out how to write directions for it. The technique for the actual heart is called bandaging. It is not a technique I use very often, but I really like the way this heart looks. I actually “stacked” six strips of light pink paper together (they are not glued to one another) and then shaped them into a heart. After I glued the heart shut, I “wrapped’ the red strip around the stacked strips and glued it in place. (See what I mean about the instructions? Way too wordy for a kit) This technique is really pretty neat for “framing” things, in this case I put the mini flower spray inside the heart. Try it out . . . you might like it. It is quite sturdy, in fact as I am sitting here typing, I am thinking that this might be a really good technique for a bottom of a basket , cup, or plate instead of a large tight roll. I have been toying with the idea of making something like a quilled luncheon plate, hmmmm. I will keep you posted on plate progress as well as all of the other projects I have in the works. Maybe I should take up juggling!

Oh! By the way, since I moved the blog over here, I noticed a couple of comments on some of the older posts, if you need a response from me, be sure to email me so I can respond directly to you. I noticed someone looking for a cross pattern but didn't get a name or email address. My email address is

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quilling with Sherry Rodehaver

This post was a really easy one; it is about a quiller I have known for many years, Sherry Rodehaver. It’s easy because Sherry wrote it herself, and even though I have known her from the days long before the American quilling guild (NAQG) came into being, there were lots of things I didn’t know about Sherry. I didn’t know that she was interested in medicine as a teenager . . . when I read her piece, I wrote to her to tell her that I was also interested in medicine in high school. In fact I studied Latin thinking about pre-med in my future, and instead fell in love with languages! . . . So the fact that she was interested in medicine came as a surprise. What did I know about her? She is a terrific lady, always pleasant and gracious without a mean bone in her body. She has been a valuable asset to the North American Quilling Guild, and she is very talented. Her creativity is endless, as you will see by some of her work pictured here, but read on . . . let Sherry tell you a little more about herself.

I have always had a love of art and crafting and especially when paper was the primary medium. However my intended career path was one of medicine. I was headed toward medical school with the intention of becoming a veterinarian. I got side tracked. I married soon after graduating high school and began raising a family which eventually consisted of a husband and 4 children.

In 1970 I was co-owner of a craft supply store and attended various trade shows for the business. At one of these shows I met Barbara Maddox owner of “Quill Art” and purchased her line of quilling supplies and kits for the store. Following the instructions included with the supplies, I taught myself quilling, and made all the samples for the store. A short time later I sold my interest in the store and went back to doing local art shows; this time with a “new” product…Quilling.

In 1975 I was invited to exhibit at The Yankee Peddler Festival in Ohio. This was a “high end” art show with a Colonial theme and a strong emphasis on educating the public to the process of traditional American arts and crafts. I have just completed my 34th year participating in this now renowned show.

I worked in relative isolation during the first ten years or so of my paper quilling adventure. I neither knew anyone else who practiced this art form nor saw anyone else’s work. This actually allowed me to find and perfect my own style which was mainly 3 dimensional and free standing work in miniature. Although I occasionally do framed pieces they are almost always dimensional. Designing free standing miniature animals has always been my real passion and annually I design new animals and add them to the ever growing collection. Although I find inspiration everywhere I constantly receive requests from collectors of my work for specific subjects. These requests are acted upon and often result in the “new” or “latest” addition to the line.

One of the most comical and embarrassing moments happened recently at the “Peddler” Festival. A potential buyer was standing in front of the booth carefully studying the display of miniature animals. She picked up an alligator apparently intending to purchase it. Suddenly she put it back on the display and exclaimed “oh, never mind, I wanted one with teeth” and hurriedly walked away. Stunned, we all looked at each other quizzically and then turned the display around to see what she was talking about. I generally work “assembly line style” and it seems that in my haste to complete the alligators I had forgotten to put “teeth” in between the jaws. A quick check of the remaining stock showed this to be true of the entire “batch”. Now when a buyer selects a miniature for purchase, most of use smile and silently ask ourselves……”would you like that one…with teeth, or without”…lol

In several of my designs I use punched out shapes for certain parts of the design such as bird wings. In exploring the world of punches I discovered just how vast it was and how easy it is to make many small accent flowers that compliment the quilling florals nicely. In light of that I began selling punches for “Floral Punch Craft” and offer over 300 different varieties in my eBay store.

To Contact Sherry Rodehaver
Sherry’s eBay Store (Quilling Corner)
Sherry’s Picture Trail

Friday, January 16, 2009

Paper - Treasures

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I plan to take some time this year to highlight some other quillers, some of whom I have met and some of whom I have “met” through the wonder of the internet. That’s how I found Kathie and Gregg who live in Topeka, Kansas. I stumbled across their web site on one of my infrequent “surfing expeditions”. On her web site, Kathie says that Paper Treasures is a business my husband and I started to share my love of quilling. I began quilling many years ago as a hobby and a way to create unusual Christmas and Easter decorations. I taught a few classes to Girl Scouts and elementary school classes, but did not have much time for this intricate art. Now that I have retired from a full time job as an accountant, I am able to pursue what has become a passion”. Their on line business is called Paper - Treasures and they also do shows together. Kathie sells a neat line of quilled jewelry, pins and earrings, along with quilled Christmas ornaments and quilled eggs. Gregg makes all of her display stands for the shows they do, and a really great slotted quilling tool. He makes his tool from music wire and hones it to such a fine point that it leaves virtually no hole in the center of a tight roll. The tool is about 5 ½” long and comes in a clever “no-roll” box. For those quillers who want the look of finger rolling (no hook in the center of the coil), but need to work with a slotted tool; this may be your answer. I bought two of them (I didn’t realize that the box would help prevent me from losing it). I generally finger roll, but when I am making small tight rolls, I like to use a tool. I feel very clumsy when coiling tiny tight rolls with my fingers; this tool solves the problem. I have also built up the handle a little with tape on my tool so my tired old thumbs don’t have to work so hard holding the tool for extended periods. (I’ve done that with almost all of my tools . . . isn’t old age grand?) I’ve included some pictures of some of my favorite things from their site, but be sure and stop over for a full tour.

FYI: The point of this tool is pretty sharp, so I wouldn’t recommend it for children; but Kathie did tell me that Gregg also makes the tool with a “not so pointed end” so kids can use it too.

I couldn't resist adding one more pcture to this post. This is by far the prettiest Star of David I have come across.

Friday, January 9, 2009

North American Quilling Guild Conference 2009

If you are a member of the North American Quilling Guild (NAQG), you have received information and registration forms for this year’s NAQGCON (The North American Quilling Guild Conference). This year the event will be held at the Sheraton Suites Tampa Airport on May1-3, 2009. This post is for those of you who may not have heard about the conference, or who may never have attended one. This annual tradition started more than 15 years ago, long before the NAQG was formed. It started with a small group of American quillers who found each other through membership in the English quilling guild. I was one of those members. I contacted the then 13 American members and began writing an informal newsletter, and that’s all it was, a newsletter to help us stay in touch. A small group of these American quillers attended the English Guild’s International Festival of Quilling and decided a year later to have a little reunion meeting here in the states. Although I didn’t go to England with the group, I did attend the “reunion meeting” the following year. We had lunch and a slide presentation, and then wandered around looking at each other’s work etc. I was blown away by the diversity of the work I saw, we discussed it and decided it should become an annual event, and it did.

A NAQG Conference is a very special event. In addition to getting an opportunity to meet other quillers from all over the world, you will able to see their work and learn and try new techniques. Quillers from around the United States and Canada are in attendance as well as quillers from Japan and often from England. You do not have to be a member of NAQG to attend, but once you meet all of these quillers, you will probably want to join. Just as an aside, we did decide to make our “informal” organization more formal and became the North American Quilling Guild in 2000. Our conference that year was in Nova Scotia, each year it is in a different location.

Over the years, the conference has grown from an afternoon event to a two and a half day conference. The general schedule of a NAQGCON goes something like this. Most people arrive sometime on Thursday, register and meet & greet old and new friends. Friday is a day of classes/workshops. During most of the conference there is an open “hospitality” room for quillers to visit and quill informally, or practice what they learned in the classes. In the last few years a competition is held for those who wish to compete. The competition pieces are put on display and the NAQG members vote to decide the winners in different categories. Only NAQG members are able to enter pieces in the competition, but they don’t have to attend in order to compete. Vendors usually set up their booths so they are available Friday night and all day Saturday. Quillers set up their individual displays on Saturday morning; the day is spent admiring all of the beautiful quilling, giving & attending demos, and having the public come in to view the beautiful art on display. The voting and announcement of competition winners also takes place on Saturday. Sunday brunch is followed by more open quilling and/or demos and then those quillers who are not extending their stay leave for home.

I encourage anyone who has even a passing interest in quilling to attend a NAQGCON, even if you can only get there for the public viewing hours. It is guaranteed to knock your socks off! For more information about joining the North American Quilling Guild and/or the NAQGCON check out the web site or contact this years NAQGCON host Lois Bandt Weber