#handmade · paper art · Uncategorized

Paper Quilling!

In my family, I was always The Artist. This was actually an inaccurate label although the possession of a certain kind temperament may have led to such a conclusion. My mother used to say that I must have gotten the artist’s gene from my great grandmother but although she was a banker for most of her working life, Mom had a real gift for decorating living spaces. My older sister used to say she had no artistic bone in her body but just like my mom, she too had a wonderful knack for design.

Then there’s my younger sister, Pinky, who also draws and does caricatures. She used to do a whole lot of cross stitching which I thought was easy until I tried it. I think I only managed to complete one project and it was a small one. She also knits and crochets. The fact that she knits scarves in a country where you all you want to do is stay under a shower or in a pool or live by the beach is of no consequence. The whole idea of it is for her to be able to give them as gifts to relatives who live in freezing weather a few months every year. She has her own version of practicality.

A few years back, Pinky started doing paper quilling. That was about the time I was into rubber stamping. The idea of quilling intrigued me, specially since I saw what could be done with all those colored strips of paper. There was no Pinterest back then so what Pinky and I saw were those featured in magazines. The intrigue didn’t last too long in my case. I couldn’t see myself cutting and rolling all those strips of paper! It was different for my sister, though. She found a pack of colored strips and she was hooked. The tricky part was that there were no real craft stores in Manila and there was no abundance in terms of supplies. Still, she managed to decorate scrap books with them. One Christmas, the womenfolk received notecard sets from her and we were thrilled because the cards were embellished with quilling. We knew the kind of work she put in to make each and every card. Then when it was no longer easy to find supplies, she moved on to other interests (like knitting scarves in the middle of summer).

Last week I received an email from her asking me to check out something called a quilling fringer. I wasn’t sure how the thing worked until I watched a You Tube video. I could see why anyone who quilled would love to have one! But then it brought to mind the pieces my sister made so I told her she was going to be featured in this blog. Note that the flowers she made were fringed using scissors–the fringer contraption wasn’t available yet!


What got you into quilling and when did you start? 

I’ve always been fascinated with filigree in any form. The idea of twirling something seemed fun. I also like colors so when I saw the paper strips bonded together in colors of the rainbow on display for quilling I just had to get some for myself.


What materials/equipment did you have?
Initially I only had one twirling tool. Come to think of it I still do! There paper strips that come in 3 sizes, paper glue, dressmakers pins, cork board and a very good pair of scissors. The board with the circle came in last. That helped a lot in making consistent sizes.
You used to do a whole lot of cross stitching. How would you compare your experience cross stitching with paper quilling?
Quilling is kinder to the eyes. Both take a certain amount of patience. In quilling the satisfaction comes from putting the pieces together and seeing the finished design. With cross stitch it was seeing the 3D effect when the gradation of a certain color came to life or, inserting the stiff gold or silver thread or bead, painstakingly perfect- that was it!
Is there a quilling artist who serves as an inspiration or mentor?
No one in particular but there are British and Japanese artists that make beautiful almost mural size designs that are jaw dropping. I saw a Mona Lisa quilled. I still dream of making one for the wall but for now I make blank cards. I practiced by making borders for my scrapbook. At least if it ends up bad nobody has to see it.
What’s your process? How do you come up with ideas?
Again it’s the colors. I get excited when I see the shades. Then my imagination gets moving. But to make Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night in quill is a project that’s been in my head for some time now. However, knitting is getting in the way. Still obsessed with knitting for now.
If you had a quilling “wish list” what would it look like?
I still want a fringer!!! Hahaha!!! Wish list? I still wish we had Michael’s or other craft stores in my country!

8 thoughts on “Paper Quilling!

  1. Fantastic items from you, man. I’ve remember your stuff prior to
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  2. Hi, would like to try paper quilling. And I am so amazed on how papers turn to something awesome. Can you advise me where to buy materials in paper quilling around manila. Thanks a lot! 😉


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