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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Teaching/Learning Quilling Part #4 (Husking, Alternate Side Looping(ASL), Wheatears

Teaching Quilling-Part 4
Husking, Alternate Side Looping, Wheatears/Advanced

Oh! The wonderful things you can do with paper! In this class, I try to cover all of the things I didn’t cover in the first classes, easier said than done! This class covers husking, alternate side looping, wheatears, braiding, working with an onion holder (or comb), crimping and bandaging. I leave these topics for the last class making the assumption that by now, everyone is pretty comfortable working with those skinny little strips of paper and no longer feel like they are working with ten uncooperative thumbs! We have put some pictures up for you to refer to, a sampler with a braided basket, wheat ear and ASL (alternate side looping) flowers, alternate side looping designs in the corners (done with multiple color strips) and bandaging along the edge of the mat. We have also uploaded the instruction sheet I use as well as other example of husking etc.

Wheatears- This is a really simple technique. You simply hold the end of a strip and make a loop (you can put a tiny dot of glue where the paper passes the end of the loop.) then you continue by making a larger loop around the first and so on. When you have made as many loops as desired, cut the end of the strip and glue the end down at the starting point. Wheatears can be used for many things, they make pretty flower petals, or leaves; they can be left rounded or pinched to a point. I like to make long looping wheatears for foliage, like daffodil or iris leaves, I pinch them and curve them so they look like the real thing. Wheatears can also be done with pins, like husking, just arrange the pins in a straight line. Read on . . .

Husking-Husking is an interesting technique. Instead of rolling the paper, the paper is wrapped around pins on edge. I like to use some of the specialty papers for husking (graduated colors, two tones) because a husked piece is very open showing both sides of the strip. When I teach this class I give everyone a piece of Styrofoam, a piece of waxed paper, and a printed sheet with patterns marked out on graph like paper, and of course some pins. I start out by showing a couple of ways to get the paper started around pin #1, for me, this is always the tricky part. I show them how to wrap it around the pin several times or to make a tiny glued loop around the pin. Then we go through the steps of wrapping around pin #2, back to #1, around #3 back to #1 And so on. I tell them it is optional as to whether they want to put a dab of glue each time they get to #1, but they might want to the first time out. Once they have completed the shape, they have the option of wrapping the strip around the outside of the shape and gluing it back to the starting point. I tell them to twist the pins to remove them (just in case they got any glue on them) and then gently lift the finished piece off the waxed paper. Husking with pins has the advantage of making all of the shapes exactly the same size. With her boards there is no need for graph paper or drawing out designs. The metal pins are easily removed (they have no heads) and never “tip over” the way they do sometimes on a cork or Styrofoam board. You can see pictures of all of her boards on her web site (although she doesn’t sell retail) or on our web site Whimsiquills  We also carry Quilled Creation’s Husking Hoops & Loops, pictured on our kits page. This kit supplies a small cork board, 6 different printed husking templates, paper and pins. I would suggest making copies of your templates and using the copies for your husking so your originals don’t get too dog eared. I’m assuming you are going to love husking and want to use your templates over and over.

Alternate Side Looping-The best way I can describe this technique, is to call it husking without pins. Instead of using the board you actually hold the paper in your fingers . . . Make a loop, pass the paper under the starting pint and make a loop to one side of the center loop, pass it past the starting point and make a loop on the opposite side . . . hence the name, ASL. This is a little harder to describe without demonstrating, but there is an awesome book, “Quilling, Techniques and Inspiration” by Jane Jenkins (yes we carry it), which has great picture tutorials of all of these techniques (that’s how I learned them). I like to use the ASL technique using different color strips; instead of making the loop with one strip, I use two or three different colors, when you make the loops, pull the different color strips (just a little) so all of the colors show before gluing them.

Braiding-Braiding is just what it sounds like, take three strips (I usually tape the ends together), and then start folding, right over center, left over center and flatten and just continue just as if you were braiding hair. The look will vary depending on what width strips you are using, and when you get comfortable you can try it with 5 strips. The basket in the sampler was braided and we’ve scanned in a couple of braids “in progress” for you to see. Of course you could weave strips to make your baskets, but I think braiding or “plaiting”, as they say across the pond, is more fun. There is another type of dimensional braid which is awesome. It is the trunk of the palm tree. I used four different colored strips for the trunk. I am not even going to try to explain it without demonstrating, but look in your copy of Malinda Johnston’s “Paper Quilling (Weekend Crafter)” on page 38 and 39 and you will see Bobbye Singer’s excellent directions along with pictures. I actually penciled in 1, 2, 3, and 4 on my strips so I wouldn’t loose my place if I got interrupted. What? You don’t own a copy? Call us; we’ll get one right out to you!

Crimping-Crimping is a technique you see in a lot of antique quilling, except the early quillers didn’t have the neat little thingies we call crimpers. They made all of those tiny little folds by hand; can you imagine how long it took? You can tell they didn’t have TV back in the day! I didn’t want to break any copy write laws, by showing pictures from books, but if you have access to the Florian Papp Gallery catalogue you can see lots of crimping. Janet Wilson did a piece on page 4 of her book “The Craft of Quilling” in the style of antique quilling, you can get an idea of the way they used it. When I show how easy it is to crimp a strip with the Paplin crimper, everyone says “Well, what do you do with it?” Actually, I show a couple of crimping ideas in the flyer Paplin puts with the crimper. I like making the center of my sunflowers with a dark brown crimped strip; it kind of gives them a textured look. I also use crimped paper to make ferns in my wildflower pieces. Once again I will refer you Jane Jenkins book, “Quilling, Techniques and Inspiration” for lots of examples using crimping and there is a more recent book out by Molly Smith Christensen, “the new Paper Quilling” which has lots of crimping ideas, each one neater than the last. I LOVE her crimped watermelon and her crimped paisley mobile. Yeah! . . . We have this book too.

Onion Holder or Comb-This is not my favorite technique, although I do have to say I love the little angels everyone makes using the onion holder . . . I just don’t make them myself. We did put up a picture of a kind of snowflake I made using this technique and you can see pictures of the Quilled Creations combing kit  most of us are using onion holders instead of combs, besides the combs don’t have as many tines. You can buy the quilling comb by itself or in the above mentioned kit or you may have an onion holder in your kitchen gadget drawer! Some still refer to this technique as combing even though they are using the onion holder. The paper is wrapped around the tines flat instead of on edge, a totally different look made with the same old strips. Two tones strips work really well on some of these designs. Not to confuse the issue, but you can also make wheatears on an onion holder.

Bandaging-I was not familiar with this technique at all until some of my quilling friends came back from taking a master class at one of the English AGM’s. In this technique the strips are stacked to the desired thickness and then wrapped with a contrasting color. The sampler I keep mentioning (see top of page)has bandaging along the straight sides of the mat. I stacked dark blue, light blue and then dark blue strips and then wrapped them with a white strips. There is a great picture of bandaging in an antique piece on page 9 of Malinda Johnston’s “Book of Paper Quilling.” You will probably have to go to the library to see it as this book is now out of print.

As you can imagine I come to classes with armloads of books, samples, and quilling supplies in an effort to give as much information as I can cram into a session. I just realized as I was proofreading this, that somehow I turned all the pronouns around and it sounds like I am teaching you instead of trying to help you teach others. Oh well . . . I’m sure you got the gist. I hope it has been helpful . . . that’s all for now. Future topics include matting, framing, pricing, and quilling as a business . . . not necessarily in that order. Stay tuned . . .

1 comment:

Molly Smith said...

Wonderful information, Pat! I think you should repost this for all your new blog readers! Lots of time put into this content!

Thanks! :o)