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Friday, February 29, 2008

Quilling Comfort Zone

Quilling Comfort Zone

Today I’d like to talk a little about punches. Many quillers use punched flowers in with their quilled flowers. I actually bought a book on punched flowers at one of AGM’s I attended. But as I sat and read the instructions, I felt like this was a wholly different thing that what I love to do. I never even attempted one flower from that book. I’ve also seen some pretty neat leaf punches, but there are so many different ways to make quilled leaves, that I just never even tried the punched ones I do sprinkle a few small punch flowers in with my work, some simple flowers made with ¼” hole punches or heart punches. But the bulk of flowers I use are quilled.

Like everyone else, I find that sometimes I get into a rut and make the same flowers over and over in different colors. I am in my comfort zone and it is definitely easier to make what I know than it is to think up new flowers and experiment with them. That’s where books come in. On a quiet day, I make a cup of tea, and sit down with a stack of quilling books and just browse. There are all kinds of ideas and techniques to try, even in the books I am not particularly fond of. The next step is to play around with my quilling strips and try some of the “new” flowers. Some come easily and others seem like they are more trouble than they are worth. That seems like a strange thing to say considering how many roses I make. I make the kind made with rectangular pieces of 3/8” paper. Each petal is a separate piece of paper, and I fill the centers with gently curved ¼” holes. I make them using 3 different shades of the same color making the centers darker and the outer petals a lighter shade. What could be more trouble than making these roses? Well, that’s just it; I don’t consider them trouble because I do them easily and I do them well, but some of the other flowers can be a real challenge for me. For example, I love some of Claire Choi’s flowers in her book “The Art of Paper Quilling.” She has a flower on page 44 of her book which she simply calls “yellow flower wrapped in white strips”. She starts out with two yellow half moons and then places an orange four looped wheatear (or she calls it a vertical husking) between the two half moon and then wraps the whole thing with a white strip several times leaving some space at the tips of the petals so she can pinch it to a point. I LOVE this flower. There are several variations of this flower in her book. Do you think I can make one? NOT!!! This one is so far out of my comfort zone it might as well be at the South Pole. But, I will keep trying; I think I might be trying to make it too small . . . but I LIKE small flowers . . . oh well. There is another book, just out called “Quilled Border and Motifs” by Judy Cardinal. She does some really neat flowers, she calls fantasy flowers. Again . . . talk about comfort zones . . . I tend to try and make my flowers look like “real” flowers while she is having fun. Hmmm . . . I think I need to take a good look at this whole comfort zone thing. Well now that I have completely gone off on a tangent, I really didn’t talk about punches at all but I will next time. Next time I will talk about punches that I have come to love, border punches . . . in the meantime, here is another new book Quilled Wild Flowers by Janet Wilson to give you some more food for thought. Maybe I will sit down with Claire Choi at out next AGM (Annual Guild Meeting) and ask her to show me how to make those flowers.