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Saturday, February 15, 2014

A walk down memory lane!

I had a very nice "phone visit" with Marlene Bartels this afternoon. Those of you who are more "seasoned" quillers may remember her company Quill It which she started in the 1970's and ran for 25 years. Marlene was good friends with Malinda Johnston (Lake City Crafts) and Betty Christy (Tree Toys). She called to let me know that Betty had recently passed away. It is especially sad for me since I've known and been inspired by these ladies for many years. They all attended the early conferences/meetings we had before we formed the North American Quilling Guild. We chatted and caught up on mutual friends/quillers for a while and then she told me that she had received a couple of very pretty quilled cards for her birthday and Christmas. These cards were made in Viet Nam! She pulled one out and gave me a web site which I thought I would share with you. There is a video which shows these cards being made and it looks like they are being marketed out of Framingham, MA. Go figure!

Marlene and I talked about how much has changed since the 70's. She remembered how excited she was when the wider strips came out and how so many of the smaller quilling businesses from that era are gone now. She told me how excited she was when she had her first customer from overseas and about a collection of quilled figures she had from a customer who was in a maximum security prison. I told her about the quilling "dies", pearlized and metallic papers and how many companies are now selling quilling supplies. We talked about the internet and the role it plays in bringing artists together from around the world. I am so impressed when I see all of the fabulous quilling art that is being created all over the world.  When I think back to when I started quilling (1975) and wrote a newsletter which I sent out to 13 other American quillers it seems like a lifetime ago. I've met so many wonderful people over the years thanks to quilling.

This is a box my son, Stephen, made for me with a recessed top. This is one of the first ones he made, so I decided to dress it up a little and send it back to him. I used a two toned paper for the quilling: it was a little tricky trying to get the spacing even. It was a different  style for me since I usually quilled flowers but I didn't want anything "frilly or fussy" I used 3" strips for the open coils and and placed them dry on the top to determine how many I needed. It was definitely trial and error since I manage to pop them right out of the recess several times. When I was finally ready to glue the coils down I just dipped the actual coil into a tiny bit of glue so it wouldn't show on the wood. I did have to do some trimming where the ends met in the center and then I covered the center with a tight roll of gilded ivory. I then wrapped the roll in the blue so it would match the rest of the quilling. The picture doesn't really show the effect of the two tone paper. It is really kind of neat!

You can see some of the other pieces he has made on his web site . He does all kinds of neat things like goblets,shot glasses, even a baby rattle. He also restrung one of my wind chimes and replaced the clapper with beautiful wood rings. Another artist in the family!