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Friday, October 28, 2011

Here is another fall “Thinking of You” card. While I was working on it, it occurred to me that the scarecrow or the leaves would look cute on place cards for Thanksgiving dinner. We have about 25 people for dinner on Thanksgiving. With that many people in a very small house it sometimes seems like “musical chairs”, so I won’t bother with place cards. I did, however, think of another use for the little cards. Because I, along with my daughter and sister, are “gluten free” and “dairy free”, I have gotten in the habit of labeling the different dishes, especially things like breads and desserts. I think the table will look more festive with these cute little cards (N01331), decorated with quilling.

Here are directions if you would like to make some of your own.

Thinking of You card: I used the leaf punch N244831 starting at the center of a yellow card and then out to each side, I glued a 3/8” strip of brown behind the punched border. The little scarecrow’s head was a 12” tight coil. His legs and arms were 6” marquises, his chest a 6” teardrop pointing up towards his head. I fringed a ¼” straw colored strip and cut and rolled 1” lengths for the “straw” at his hands, feet and neck. (I carefully trimmed a little off the back of the fringed strips before I rolled them) I used a 4” strip to make a square for his hat with a small strip for the brim. I also glued a small dark strip for his belt. I used a marker to make his eyes and mouth.

Leaves: I used a 6” brown strip and made an eccentric teardrop for the single leaf. For the gold and yellow leaves I used 3” marquises, with small curved strips for stems.

Pumpkin card: I used a 12” marquise for the center of the pumpkin. The crescents on either side of the center marquise were also made using 12” strips. I let those coils loosen before I pinched them into crescents so they would kind of wrap around the center marquise. The stem is just a 4” shaped marquise, you might like to add some tendrils around the stem.

I used the leaf punch for the border on the small cards and then glued two 3/8’ strips together so a narrow strip of color shows at the bottom of the border and the wide strip shows through the leaf pattern. I always use the removable Dotto adhesive so I can “play” with the strips until I get them where I want them. Since I didn’t have “gluten free” stickers, I used removable tape to fasten the small cards to a larger piece of card stock and fed them through my laser printer. The computer font is so much nicer than my handwriting!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thinking of You!

I am experiencing something that I am sure many others are going through as well. I thought I would share with you one of my ways of dealing with a sad situation. My Mom, who is now 88 years old, is living in an assisted living center in Florida. One of my sisters lives quite close by, but I am way up here in Connecticut where my other sister lives as well. She is in a wonderful place where she is well cared for and is very happy, but sadly, my Mom’s memory is failing and she gets very confused very easily. For some reason she continually worries about me, and though we speak on the phone frequently, she forgets that we have spoken. So I have started sending her “thinking of you” cards a couple of times a week.  If she has something in her hand that came form me it gives her a little reassurance that I am OK. Her favorite cards are the quilled ones which she displays proudly for all of her caretakers to see. It doesn’t really matter that she doesn’t remember when she got the card, it’s just a way for us to stay connected. Here is the most recent card.
I used a pumpkin card blank (N73148), I glued a 3/8” strip of brown paper down one side of card as shown and then glued a strip of 1/8” rust or light brown in the middle of the 3/8” strip. I then used the Sunburst border punch (N250037) to cut yellow borders for each side of the 3/8” strip. I used Dotto adhesive on the back of the strips because it is repositionable (I’m pretty sure that’s a word) and not nearly as messy as a wet glue. The directions for the flower are as follows:

1 Brown sculptured roll (12”) for center
13 Orange tight rolls (1.5”)
13 Rust teardrops (3”) for petals
1 Green strips (2”) for stem
3 Green marquises (3”) for leaves
1 Green loose scroll (1.5’)
Arrange as shown

Monday, September 5, 2011

Tool Lending Program

September is here, the schools are open and soon scout, church, and after school programs will be in full swing. I have written about the Whimsiquills tool lending program before, but felt it was worth repeating. We offer teachers an opportunity to teach their students quilling at minimal expense. All they have to do is contact us (by phone, fax, or email) and we will be happy to sign them up for the tool lending program. Most of these groups have a very limited budget (if any at all), so we send them the tools they need for their class at no charge, along with some other goodies like mat blanks, bookmarks, whatever we have on hand. They tell us how many tools they need and we will send them out; when they are finished with the tools, they return them to us so we can send them on to another group. If any of their students decide they want to keep on quilling, they have the option to keep the tool at a discounted price. They can download and print shape charts, instructions/refence materials, and patterns right from our web site at no charge; they will get a 10% teacher discount on any supplies they purchase for classes. If you have never taught quilling before there are a number of blog posts to help you get started.

We often send out some bookmarks that can be used for the first class. Here is a design using a few of the basic shapes that would be easy to complete in a first class. I dressed this bookmark up a little by gluing a ½” wide strip of quilling paper up the center of the bookmark and then glued a punched border on both sides of the strip; they set off the quilling nicely.(In the interest of time constraints, I often prepare the punched strips ahead of time) I used 1 ½” strips to make the teardrop petals, tight circles for the flower centers, and for the ring coils (the red flower petals.) I used 3” strips to make the open S-Scrolls. There are lots of seasonal patterns that would be appropriate for gift tags or cards which would also work for a first class. Another option is just to teach the basic shapes and let the students decide what they are going to put on their bookmark or card.

I spoke last week with a teacher who has introduced her students to quilling through this program. She started with ten students, all of whom are have a great time quilling; she just ordered another 16 tools. Hopefully, there will be a whole new group of quillers coming up to keep quilling around for generations to come. That is the goal of this quilling senior citizen.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I was at a nursery the other day, and everywhere I looked there were sunflowers in every possible size. They reminded me of this little card. I put an anniversary sticker on it but you could use it for any occasion. The sunflowers are easy to make. For the larger sunflower I started by crimping an 8” brown strip and then rolling it into a tight (not too tight, you don’t want to “undo” the crimp) for the center. I used a 4” strip for the center of the smaller flower. I made 3” marquises for the petals of both sunflowers. I used 17 marquises on the larger flower and 14 on the smaller. These numbers may vary depending on the weight of the paper and how tightly you wind the center. The leaves are made using the alternate side looping technique. 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 point 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. For these leaves, I only used three loops and the wrapped the strip around the loops to finish the leaf. This is a little harder to describe without demonstrating, but there is an awesome book, “Quilling, Techniques and Inspiration” by Jane Jenkins, which has great picture tutorials of this technique as well as many others. (I also 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. this makeds beautiful flowers and butterflies.)

I used the Sunburst border punch for the border and glued a strip of (½” wide) of yellow to the inside of the card to make the border stand out. The sunflower theme is a very popular one which I have used on other pieces as well. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

More paper storage ideas

Last week, I wrote about storing your strips and directed you to my blog post about the topic. I received some terrific responses and some very novel ideas from some of you, thank you for sharing them with me. Here they are for you to read.

I love this T pin idea. I've tried many tactics to keep the paper explosion under control and this seems like an economical method; nothing to lose by trying. And the portability is one of the best aspects. Thanks a lot.

I keep my strips in a #10 (business) envelope. One color per envelope. I seal the envelope then cut the end off. Bending the 24" strips in half I stick the curved bend in the envelope and the end stick out. I put the envelopes by color in a box lid that is about 12" wide that allows for the ends of each color to stick out of the envelope. I don't pack then in tightly so they don't get crushed. I also paste a strip of each color on the envelope so I can see at a glance what colors I have.
Naomi R.

Thanks so much for this :)I quill using a tray while I sit on the sofa while I listen to the TV. I end up surrounded by paper strips, lol. I do use a craft cart that has three drawers. One is for unopened packages of paper, one for wide paper strips and one for opened packages and pieces I store in baggies. My coffee table is covered with bottles of glue, dishes of completed flowers and shapes, patterns, graph paper, you name it along with the three or four current projects. (I can't just work on one at a time) If I used your idea and created a board to store my paper I could use my drawers for all the stuff laying on my coffee table. Plus I will be able to actually FIND the colors I need and know just what I need to buy next before I run out.

Pat, I wish I had a room I could store my strips on the wall!!! I don't have it. I do my quilling in my recliner in the living room and I want my strip near by.

What I did was order zip lock bags that are 4x12 from ebay. I have trouble with the ones the strips coming in ripping apart. I take off half of the label and stick it in the zip lock bag and then stick as many bundles of strips as I want in the labeled bag. I then take all the reds...all the blues, greens, white/blacks, yellow/oranges, etc in separate very large 12x18" ziplocks. I keep all the same main color together this way. Then I put the large bags vertically in my wooden chest at my feet so I can see the label at the opening of the large bag indicating the color family. Works for me.

When I first started quilling, I was at a loss as to how to store them so they remained in good shape, at budget prices. I got a bright idea, and asked the local pizza parlor for a couple of extra large new pizza boxes. I cut up some cardboard strips and taped them lengthwise to make dividers. Then I could fill each slot with pinks or blues or yellows, etc. It's not as fancy as your idea, but it worked for me. As I gathered more and more quilling papers, I filed the bags in a plastic box - easy to get to, easy to see. But then I don't intend to open a quilling store!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Where did June go?

Well, June sure slipped by in a hurry! It’s hard to believe we are halfway through the year! Let me fill you in on what has been happening. Of course it is wedding season, so that has been keeping me busy. I had some of my favorite pieces on display at our local library for the month of June. The library staff was very pleased with the response to the display. A local paper did a really nice story on the display and quilling in general. I am considering having an open house/demo here since so many people expressed interest.

But the best thing that happened was an email I received which said,” I recently read your article "A Brief History of Quilling". My Aunt is Gini Antoine and she is mentioned in your article. She had taught quillig for years, published two of her own pattern books and had her own line of quality quilling paper and kits. She is now in her 80's but no longer teaching quilling and hasn't for years . . . After a couple of emails back and forth, I finally had a delightful phone visit with Gini. Gini is credited with naming the different coils in the 1960’s. I hope to do a more in depth interview with her for the blog, so stay tuned.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Father's Day

Here are a couple of really easy “guy”cards for Father’s Day (or change the stickers and make them birthday cards for the men in your life). For the first one, I made the “borders” by gluing two strips of the 1/8” brown and one 1/8” strip of the dark green I used in the duck. I use a Dotto removable adhesive for the back of the strips so I can reposition them if I don’t get them straight on the first try. For the Mallard’s body, I use a 18” brown shaped teardrop, and a 6’ shaped teardrop for his wing. For his head, I used a tight roll made with ½”black glued to .3/4” white, glued to12” dark green. Then I added a small piece of yellow for his beak.

The cattails are simply brown 1 ½” tight rolls (I used 4 for each cattail). The leaves are 6” strips made into wheat ears which I pinched at the ends. Add three 1 ½” loose scrolls and the Happy Father’s Day sticker and you are done!
The second card has a fern design. I start out by putting a 24” strip of 1/8” paper through my crimper. Then I cut small pieces ½”-3/4”and glue the cut ends together. Then glue them on both sides of a slightly curved 1 ¼” strip to create the fern. I did add a couple of loose scrolls as well. Again the “border” is just 1/8” strips glued to the card.


Here is the fern design in a coaster/paperweight. Hug somebody's father for Father's Day!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Here is a simple card for all of the graduates in your life. Just change colors and maybe the punch borders to make it a little more feminine for a girl graduate. I used the Upper Crest Border Punch because I wanted something that wouldn’t be too fancy for a guy. I used a removable adhesive to place the two punched strips back to back, then I glued down a 3/8” strip over the seam and centered a 1/8” over that.

My “graduate” owl is easy to make, it only uses two shapes. The owl’s eyes are 6” tight rolls wrapped in a contrasting color. The owl’s “ears” (I know they are not really ears, but they are where they would be if they were ears, confused?) are 6” teardrops. A 3” teardrop is glued point down between the “ears” as shown. Use a 4” teardrop for the beak. The sides of the owl’s face are 6” tight rolls with 3” tight rolls to fill the space next to the beak.

Fringe and glue a 1” strip of 1/8” paper for the tassel. (TIP-if you use a fringer, fringe a 1” strip of ¼” or 3/8” paper and then trim down to 1/8”.) glue tassel to back of head with a tiny piece of string. A triangle cut from 3/8” strip of black makes the top of the “mortar board”.

The “Congratulations “ stickers come in silver or gold

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mother's Day

Those of you who know me, or who have watched the video on my web site, know that I am a tea drinker. When I was growing up, my sisters and I would buy bone china tea cups for my mother for her birthday or Mother’s Day; today I proudly display her tea cup collection in my home. Over the years, my mother and I shared many cups of tea . . . I even managed to find a McCormack teapot like the one she had when we were growing up. (She sent away for it and told me it cost her $1.25). Today, my mother (who is 87) and I still share many cups of tea, but now it is usually over the phone. She lives in a beautiful assisted living center in Florida near one of my sisters, and I live here in Connecticut. We always give each other tea related gifts; in fact, that is what inspired me to make the quilled tea cup featured on the website and here on the blog. This year I am going to get to have tea in person with her in Florida, but I still decided her Mother’s Day card should be tea related. Here are the directions in case you would like to make one.

I started with a Pink card since that is her favorite color. I trimmed the card to exactly 4”x5” so I could use the Quilted Corners combo corner/border punch on it. I cut a piece of light green parchment paper and attached it behind the cover of the card to make the scallop show. Then I quilled a little white teapot. I used two full strips which I rolled together and then formed in to an eccentric circle for the body of the pot. I used a 12” strip to make the half circle for the base. A 12” shaped marquise made the spout, and a 6” open S-scroll made the handle. You will notice I made one side of the S-scroll larger than the other. I then made a 6’ crescent for the top of the pot and flattened a 3” tight roll for the handle.

The flowers in the bottom corner are made with a tiny heart punch. I put a drop of tacky glue on a ¼” hole punch and then fold and arrange the tiny hearts. Once they were dry, I arranged them with a couple of small leaves. I don’t make very many punch flowers, but I love these because they are so delicate. i do have an instruction sheet that includes directions for the little flowers. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Easter Quilling

It has been a long time since I did any “Easter” quilling. I have some eggs I put out at Easter time that I decorated with quilling some twenty years ago. Thses were real eggs that I cut and dyed and then put some Easter/spring quilling inside. Back in 2003, I did some cards and decorated some wooden eggs for Family Circle Magazine, but I don’t think I’ve done any real Easter quilling since then.

While standing on line at the grocery store, I noticed some Easter eggs decorated with what looked like punch flowers and thought maybe it was time to decorate some new eggs. I stopped over at Michaels and found some wooden eggs for $.50 each and brought them home. Here are a couple of designs I came up with . . . pretty basic. These would make cute place setting favors for Easter Dinner.

I first applied the strips to the blue egg. I used my fine tip glue bottle to put a tiny line of glue on 1/8’ white pearl paper, after I finished the vertical strips I glued a horizontal strip around the egg starting and finishing at a vertical strip so the ends would be covered by a flower. I used 1/16” strips to make the flowers since I wanted them to look dainty. For the pink and blue flower on the top of the eggs, I used a 2” tight circle for the center and then glued six teardrops around the centers points facing out. For the blue flowers, I used four closed hearts pointing inward and then glued a 1” tight roll in the center.

For the lavender egg, I glued a ¼” strip around the egg. I think I should probably add something to that strip, but I haven’t decided what yet (and Easter is almost here!) For the center of the design, I rolled a 12” graduated lavender strip and then glued eleven 6” marquises around the center. Next I made eleven raspberry teardrops which I glued (point in) between the marquises. I then added 4” tight rolls which I placed between the teardrops. I used 1/8” strips on this one. I think this one is still a work in progress. I have one more that is almost done but I am taking a time out to have my entire family come and celebrate my husband’s 75th birthday. If I get the third one done, I will post it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Baby Card

Does someone in your family have a new baby on the way? Here is a baby card that works for either baby boy or a baby girl. The baby rattle is easy to make and can be done in any combination of colors. I used pink, blue and yellow. The head of the rattle is made by gluing six 6” open hearts in a circle. Using a contrasting color, make six 3” teardrops and glue them into the points of the open heart. Next make eleven 1 ½” tight rolls and glue them all around the open hearts as shown. The handle of the rattle is made by gluing two “double scrolls with flags” back to back (If you are not familiar with this shape, simply fold a 6” strip in half and then roll the open end. As you roll the open ends, the folded end of the strips will open a little bit. Make two of these and glue them back to back.)
The border on this card is made using the Leave it to Weaver border punch. The punch makes 3/8” inch slots, so you can weave 3 1/8” strips through the slots to create the border. Another variation here would be to weave a 3/8” strip through the slots and then weave a 1/8” strips on top of the 3/8” strip. Enjoy!

Monday, March 21, 2011


I am still thinking spring, even though it is SNOWING in Enfield, CT today. I like having a bunch of quilled cards ready whenever I need them; but if I run out, I need something I can put together in just a few minutes. Here are a couple of simple “spring” cards that only take a few minutes to make.

I started by using a leaf border punch along the bottom of the card, I glued a ¾” wide strip of green along the bottom of the inside of the card to accent the punched border. I made two dark yellow 2” sculptured rolls for the centers of the flowers. I then arranged six light yellow 3”shaped teardrops around one of the sculptured rolls (rounded side toward the center). To make the smaller daffodil, I put the sculptured roll on its side and glued four 3” shaped teardrops along the bottom of the sculptured roll (this time pointed side toward sculptured roll.)The leaves are wheat ears (I used 3 loops) and single strips of finger curved paper makes the stems. Quick and easy!

Even though daisies don’t bloom in Connecticut until June, they say “spring” to me. I used the Isabella multiple shaper punch for the back ground behind the daisies. I put a 6” strip of yellow paper through crimper and then rolled it to make a center for the larger daisy. I then arranged ten white 6” marquises around the center. For the center of the smaller daisy, I crimped and then rolled a 3” strip of yellow, squeezing it into an oval. I used four white 6" marquises for the smaller flower. I finger curved two green 1 ½” strips for the stems and then used two 4” open scrolls to put on either side of the stems. Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tool Lending Program

Are you considering teaching a quilling class; or do you know someone who is? Then read on, perhaps I can help you.

As a long time quiller, and one of the original members of the group that went on to become the North American Quilling Guild, one of my goals has been to ensure that this beautiful art form we all love is passed on to future generations. This was the reason I started this blog, to pass my experience on to other (hopefully much younger) quillers. Over the years, I have taught many people to quill, giving classes, workshops, and demonstrations. Now that I am running Whimsiquills and still doing custom orders for customers, I no longer have time for classes so I decided it was time to help others teach. More teachers mean more students . . . which mean more quillers . . . it’s a “no brainer”.

I have come up with a program which I think is pretty unique, a tool lending program. (I have to thank the people at Paplin Products who are working closely with me to make this possible.) This is how it works; when I talk to someone, a scout leader or teacher who is planning to teach a group to quill, I tell them about our tool lending program. Most of these groups have a very limited budget (if any at all), so we send them the tools they need for their class at no charge, along with some other goodies like mat blanks, bookmarks, whatever we have on hand. When they are finished with the tools, they return them to us so we can send them on to another group. If any of their students decide they want to keep on quilling, they have the option to keep the tool at a discounted price.

We try to keep the costs of teaching as low as possible, suggesting students bring scissors and tweezers from home, using corrugated cardboard or Styrofoam covered with waxed paper as a work board, the old “white glue on a piece of waxed paper with a toothpick trick “etc. We give teachers a discount on any supplies they decide to purchase.. We also make sure they have links to our free patterns and instructional sheets which include things like a basic shapes chart and are all free and downloadable. We also encourage them to visit our blog where we have all kinds of helpful info like teaching quilling which is a four part series. Our hope is that some of the students will decide to continue quilling. We have had an excellent response to this program; if you know someone who might be interested, please feel free to pass this information on.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Just in time for St Patrick's Day

Just in time for St Patricks Day, here are a couple of really simple designs you can use on greeting cards, place cards or table decorations.

The first card is made by arranging nine 5” black squares to make the hat. A black strip folded over makes the “brim” and a small strip of yellow is added for the hat band. A 1 ½” ring coil folded into a square makes the ‘buckle’ for the hat band. The shamrocks are simply 6” open hearts arranged on the short stems. I used the Marta Multi-shaper punch for the border.

The second card has a shamrock made using the alternate side looping technique. I worked with three strips at a time so there would be more “loops’ inside the shamrock. The stem was a 9’ shaped teardrop. I used the Marta Multi-shaper punch for the back ground on this card.

The shamrocks on the third card were made using 9“ heart shapes and 6” shaped teardrops for stems. I used the Quilted Corners corner/border punch for the border on this card. Of course any of these designs can be made larger or smaller by changing the length of the strips used.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Think Spring!

 I don’t know about you, but I am SO done with this winter . . .  so I am thinking butterflies. I like to make realistc looking butterflies. I don’t use a pattern for those, I just look at the pictures in the Audubon book and try to duplicate the look with quilling,, but I also make “fun’ butterflies.

This is a very simple quilled butterfly made with ring coils. You can make a ring coil by wrapping a strip several times around anything round (ballpoint pen, the handle of a wooden spoon etc.) or you can use one of the many quilling templates  available. There is also a cute little item called a circle sizer which serves the same purpose as a template (it’s just smaller.) Once you’ve made your ring coils, pinch them into the shapes you want for the wings. Make a 6” marquis for the body, a 11/2” tight roll (squeezed into an oval shape) for the head, and a 2” open heart for the antenna. I used a new Fiskars butterfly border punch  on the card and glued the little “fall” butterflies around the ring coil butterfly. On the inside of the card I glued a strip of 1/8” quilling paper and a wider strip of colored paper which I also punched. 

The next card is made using a different technique. It is called alternate side looping. I used three strips for the wing and back half of the butterfly. The body is a 6” marquise. The head is a 1 ½” tight roll. The antenna is a 1” strip folded in half and both ends curled in the same direction. The daisy has a 3” tight roll for a center, flattened into an oval. The Petals are 6” teardrops. The stem is just a 2” strip finger curled with 3’ open coils on either side. Enjoy!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Another Quilled Heart

Have you made your Valentine cards yet? No? Well, here is one more Valentine pattern for you. Once again, I started with a lightly pencil drawn heart outline to follow. I then arranged 5” open S scrolls around the outline to be sure I could get the “fit” right. After gluing the S scrolls down, I added 2” tight rolls on both sides where the S scrolls meet. I added a 5” teardrop at the bottom of the heart. To finish the card, I used a heart border punch on both sides of the card and backed it with a contrasting color. I decided to do this card in pastels rather than the traditional red, I think it is too pretty to use just for Valentines Day. Enjoy!

FYI Heart border punches (the one shown as well as the circle heart punch and the heart corner/border punch) are on sale until February 11th)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Special Quilled Heart

I promised you a different kind of heart this week. This couldn’t be any more “out of the box” than our typical quilled hearts.This week I’d like to introduce you to Sarah Yakawonis. She contacted me after seeing the picture of the 3-D quilled scull that Kim Wallace sent me that was posted on this blog. Sarah said that she had done a two dimensional scull and would like to try a 3-D scull. I checked out her blog ( )and was amazed at her anatomical quilling. I asked her permission to feature her here and share her work with you. She graciously accepted.

Sarah is a graduate of the Maine College of Art and works as a graphic artist in a publication design studio in Portland, Maine. “We make books, it's really fulfilling because I love everything about books.”

I asked her how she learned to quill. “, I learned quilling on my own. But I used the skills like flawless glue work from school. My teachers were really hard about stuff like glue showing, it taught me to hold everything I make up to a level of scrutiny I would have never know existed if I hadn't gone to art school. . . . I fell in love with quilling early last summer and played around with a lot of the traditional quilling motifs. While I did learn the techniques of quilling by doing this, none of the traditional themes held my interest for very long. I was looking for a subject that would. I guess I was looking for a something that was more macabre than the traditional flowers and letterforms. I came up with the idea of anatomical quilling while in the wilderness of Maine; it just kind of came to me like being hit by a lightning bolt of inspiration! I did a few pieces and knew I'd do a lot more. I really love repetitive tasks, and I enjoy how long each one takes. For example my quilled heart took about 33 hours to complete. Each part of the body is so complex! I love figuring out how to take the illustration I work from and translate it into quilling! It's so much fun and so satisfying to see the finished work!”

I asked Sarah if she planned to “market” her work, she replied,” I'm trying to figure out how to get my work into galleries. I'm preparing to approach galleries in Portland and nation wide, First Friday is a big art day in Portland so I'm waiting for gallery Curators to be a little less busy when I approach them. I hope it's a fruitful endeavor!

I may start selling them online, I'm looking for the best platform to showcase my work. I also have to figure out how to price my work, no small task when there is nothing out there to compare it to.

Be sure to stop by Sarah's blog to see some great close ups of her work. Good luck Sarah! I’m happy to have made your acquaintance.!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Valentine Pattern

Since Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, I thought I would share another Valentine’s pattern with you. This one is a white filigree heart with a bouquet of roses in the center. I started out by drawing (or tracing) a heart shape. I covered the outline with 6” marquises. The number you need will be determined by the size of the heart you draw. I used 34 including the extra six I placed at the bottom and top of the heart. When gluing the marquises down I start at both the center top and center bottom and then work my way up/down the sides of the heart. (The last inch or so before the sides meet I lay them in dry so I can make whatever spacing adjustments are necessary.) Next, I made enough 3” tight rolls to place on both sides of the heart everywhere the marquises meet; a very simple, but pretty filigree border.

For the bouquet of roses in the center I made tiny folded roses using 1/8’ paper. I used floral wire for stems. I dipped the end of the wire in glue and put in into the bottom of the roses and let them dry before I assembled them. Add a simple bow and you have a pretty card you could use for other occasions a well; anniversary, engagement etc.

I have also used a very similar border on a piece I did for a 40th wedding anniversary. Since the color for the 40th is a garnet/red, I made the roses using a deep red 3/8th” paper. I also placed pale pink buds in between the red roses and a pale pink rose in the center. The piece I sold also had a tiny paper ribbon with the couple's name and "Happy 40th Anniversary on it. These are my “trademark” roses; each petal is a separate piece of paper. Here is a link to instructions for the roses in case you are interested. Enjoy!

FYI My next post will be about a very different kind of heart.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Meet Sandra White

This week I would like to introduce you to Sandra White, a quiller from New Hampshire. I’ve admired Sandy’s work for years. I used to sell some of my work through a shop in North Conway, New Hampshire. On my trips up there, (I LOVE the White Mountains and everything about New Hampshire . . . It has always been a secret dream of mine to live in a cabin in the White Mountains), I enjoyed poking around in the shops in and just enjoying being up there. I first saw Sandy’s work in a shop run by the League of NH Craftsmen. I almost missed it. They were pictures of birds and wild flowers (did I tell you I love wild flowers and have bird feeders right outside the Whimsiquills window?) The interesting thing about these pictures was the outline of the birds/flowers was cut out and the actual quilling was behind the cut out. Recently, I came across Sandy’s blog and read about how she came up with this idea “by accident”. I contacted her and she has given me permission to share her story.

“I started quilling in 1973. I went to a craft shop and came home with quilling paper to frame and embellish my girlfriend’s wedding invitation. I made all kinds of tiny little flowers. When I went back to the craft shop , I showed the girl and she said “you didn’t even have a quilling tool!” She showed me the tool with the slot, I took it home and have not stopped quilling. It was so easy with the tool that I haven’t stopped.”

“In the mid 80’s …………that sounds so long ago………my mother-in-law Dona was making cut and pierced lampshades to sell in the League of NH Craftsmen shops with my father –in-law Dick’s turned wooden lamps…..very beautiful, I even have a couple.

We had thought that perhaps a little quilling on the shades might be pretty. So I made up some flowers and we tried to place them on the shade. We had envisioned that the flowers would show nicely when the lamp was turned on. But it did not. Instead, the flowers slipped behind a cut-out in the shade, and it happened to be that of a loon. And the accident was born. Quilling my way. When the lamp was tuned on, all you could see was a blob of something. But when it was off, the quilling showed very well behind the opening. That’s where the idea of quilling behind a cut-out was born. A happy Accident. So much for quilled lampshades…………I did make flowers for a few lampshades with Dona completing them. And I did sell a couple……………but my interest was in the birds and ducks…………..and on to wildflowers and other wildlife. Quilling, My Way, developed from that little accident……………I do have a lampshade with quilled flowers on it as shown below. I am unable, perhaps unwilling is a little more honest, to make any more, as I do not have any interest in making the shade itself. Too tedious ………like quilling isn’t tedious.”

If you would like to see more of Sandra’s work check out her web site

Friday, January 14, 2011

Be my Valentine

Do you remember being in elementary school and making Valentines for your classmates? I do . . . I remember cutting out hearts from construction paper and decorating them with Valentine stickers. I remember my Mom helping me to make heart shaped cookies and writing classmates’ names on them with frosting. I remember buying “punch out” Valentines with cute little critters and cute little sayings. I also remember those awful tasting little candy hearts that said ‘be mine” or “love”. Too bad I didn’t know how to quill back then; I don’t make too many Valentines now . . . but here are some ideas in case you are planning on being creative this year.

The heart on this card was made with a technique called bandaging. I stacked 1/8” inch strips together (I think I used six) and then wrapped them with the contrasting color. I wrapped the bandaged strips around a cardboard cut out for the heart shape and removed it from the work board (and the cut out) once it was dry. The directions for the little “heart” petals follow.

6 Pink hearts (3”) for flower petals
Wrap red paper around three of the pink hearts
3 Red hearts (3”) for petals
3 Green strips (1.5”) for stems
3 Loose scrolls (2”) for filigree
Arrange as shown

For those of you who have visited my web site , you know I like to use border punches when I make my cards. Here are some that are perfect for Valentines Day. Heart border punch I used for the bottom of the card, here is a Circle Heart Border punch.  , and last but not least "Framed in Love" a corner border punch. I hope these give you some ideas.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed the holiday season and are looking forward to a happy healthy 2011. It’s hard to believe it is January although the temperature and the snow on the ground are pretty good indications. I’m one of those strange people who love the winter! I actually enjoy walking my dogs more when it is 15 degrees out than I do when it is 85 degrees. So in honor of winter I created a new snowflake (no easy task when you have made as many snowflakes as I have over the years) This time I combined husking with traditional quilling, although I used a quilling comb (aka onion holder) instead of wrapping the strips around pins on a work board. In case you would like to try this one, I used the following sized strips for this snowflake

8 ½” strips for the “husked” arms of the snowflakes,

4” strips for the open hearts which I placed between the six arms of the snowflakes.

4” teardrops

2” tight rolls

Once again, I plan to feature other quilling artists, starting with Sandra White a New Hampshire quiller I plan to  touch base with some of the quillers I have already featured, just to see what they are doing this year.

For those of you who may not know, I have set up a Whimsiquills “fan” page on Facebook. (Just do a search for Whimsiquills/Facebook and the page comes right up).I thought it might be a fun way for us to have “discussions” about quilling topics. Two threads I have started include getting quilling into schools ( I have not yet been successful here) and making greeting cards. I hope you will stop by and add your thoughts and let me know what you are interested in discussing with other quillers.