Meet Pat

Video (Meet Pat) -

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Clareen Bankhead - Quilling from the Heart

This week I am writing about Clareen Bankhead. Clareen is a quiller whom I have not yet met in person, ours is an internet acquaintance. I love the borders Clareen makes and I think you will enjoy reading her story. I thought it was interesting that she “doodles “her designs before she quills them. My drawing or even doodling skills are non-existent. If I am working on a new design, I am more apt to make some quills and start moving them around (dry; not glued) until I get the effect I want. It is interesting to see how each of us differs in the “process” we use to create something new.

Clareen mentioned that she would like some feedback from quillers who look at the patterns on her site. Here is a link to one of her free patterns, check it out and let Clareen know what you think.

Here is her story in her own words:
“When I was about 8 years old an Aunt made my Grandmother a pair of chairs out of tin. A rocker and a chair with a foot stool. I wanted to play with them and my Barbie's together. It was a no go. Anyway I promised myself that one day I would learn how to make them and then let my little ones play with them. I found the tools but not the pattern. Then I found instructions for paper quilling and traded the tools for my first 3 books of quilling.

The borders caught my fancy the most. I did try some of the 3-d flowers, filigree eggs and a baby grand piano. But the response in me just wasn't the same as when I did a border. I did a lot of wedding announcements at first. But I heard of one to many getting thrown away when unhappiness broke up the couple. So I started doing my borders around pictures of Jesus and verses. I've seen pictures of Jesus stay on a wall even if the glass on it is broken. I figured all the work I put into them....Jesus made them secure as a gift to anyone.
I taught myself from the books I had traded for. For a long time I tried to imitate the borders I liked. Then it naturally began to grow. And I started doodling out patterns on my own. I even incorporated doodles my youngest sister Pennie did, into her wedding plaque. Doodles grew into much more interesting designs. I created a little 5 x 7 for my sister Janet (chosen by her son); I was trying for a circle in the middle with a marquis flow of quilling around it. It looked good. But of course that inspired another try for the perfect marquis design. Then the Dots came and what I called the Confetti Curl and I liked what the Lord had inspired very much.

I had very little back ground in drawing types of art. I have always been around talented people. My mother and grandmothers both had a lot of creative talent. I come by it honestly; it’s in the gene pool...teehee. As to changing my life...YES...I plan to go to the University and get my Art Masters in Sculpturing, and taking quilling into an architectural level. Big plans, I just hope I can make them work!

I would say Paisleys are a good place to look for some of my base patterns foundation. But I can get inspiration from just about anywhere. A comment from a person or close friend. A tough time someone is going through. Someone else's quilling creations; there are so MANY talented quillers out there. My favorite place to doodle (I confess) is sitting in the middle of Church, it’s peaceful and the inspirations are there for the taking.

Story: Hearts have played a big part in my designs. When Michelle was maybe 6ish, she was quilling with me. She was making hearts for her picture. She was trying to imitate moms little fat rounded hearts and crying because they were not the same. Well, a new heart (an oldie goldie) was (re-) born at the Bankhead's, the elongated country style heart. Michelle was happy and so was mom. It also inspired my slightly tilted, lopsided hearts.

To see more of Clareen's work visit her site Quilling from the Heart


Colleen said...

Great write up! I've been to check out her!! she has some lovely quilling pieces! The idea of drawing inspiration from paisley designs is fantastic. I will have to have a go. thx!

BlueRose said...

Yes a very nice write up. I can only dream to do quilling like that...THX

Jeanne said...

Hello, Pat! Thank you SO much for commenting on the card I posted on my blog. I'm curious as to how you found me?

I would also like to say WOW! I've just started glancing through your blog and am blown away. I never knew just what can be done with quilling. I'm adding your blog to my Reader so I can keep up with your creative endeavors.

Thanks once again, I definitely have a long way to go, but am feeling inspired!

GiddyGreetings said...


Thank you for showcasing some great quillers out here, or there! It's nice to meet some other greats like you! Thanks Bunches! Monica