The intricate art of Paper Quilling

“Quilling” and not “quilting” is the art of transforming paper strips into elegant patterns. Much to my lack of knowledge, this art has been alive since the Renaissance. Practiced all across the globe, this art has gained immense popularity owing to the cheaper material costs, less number of tools, various form factors that paper strips could be made in to, and the 2D and 3D designs that could be used to make creations (greeting cards, jewelry, picture frames, boxes et al). And thanks to quilling, I got myself another hobby.

First introduced to the art of paper quilling by my sister-in-law (who has “shaped” some exquisite jaw-dropping quilled creations), I would have never imagined that myself getting so involved in the art. After spending some brief quilling sessions with my S-I-L, I experienced my fingers getting the knack of the art. So I started reading over the internet and googling images of quilling work. This was an eye-opening moment for me. I just had to get my hands in to this art.

Quilling is not an art requiring expensive gizmos. To begin with, all the creator needs is a quilling tool (a needle of sorts with a slot to hold and coil the paper strips over) and colored paper strips. For practice purposes, you can also make use of newspapers or unwanted sheets of paper by cutting them into strips of varying width (This is how I started off with quilling). Seeing this light of inspiration in me, my bro-in-law ordered a paper quilling set- this was him encouraging me to not give up the art. Some of the quilling techniques that I am aware of today is more of an internet-based learning. To prove to myself that I am a sincere quiller, I presented a self-made birthday card to my Dad for his 59th birthday, applying the various techniques Image

of quilling. Dad was ecstatic to get it, although he was secretly wishing it was his 29th (and not 59th) birthday. Age is only a number after all, right!

So you see, you can design creations as far as your imagination takes you. Limitless. From simple to complex, 2D to 3D patterns, there’s a lot you can do with quilling. My very recent quilling creations include something you can flaunt off. Earrings. Image

Enthused, I went to the crafts store and bought rings and jewelry wire. Thanks to the 40% off coupon I had, I could also buy a paper cutter (at a cheaper price) and loose sheets of paper to make customized quilling strips. For this, you have to be careful about the thickness of the paper since they curl differently. I have read some quillers recommending 100-120 gms (where paper thickness is measured in grams per square meter such that the greater the weight, the thicker the paper). I was not sure about the nitty-gritties, so I picked up the paper I felt would work best for me. This way you can cut the strips in to widths per your requirements. There are pros and cons of both pre-cut and self-cut strips. It’s up to you to decide. I wanted to explore both options.

I am very fond of these quilled earrings myself since they are almost feather-weight. Unlike most of my dangle-downs which are heavy, these ones are not. For the first pair of earrings (hanging on the swans), I cut my own paper strips and for the rest two, I used pre-cut strips. I used pearl beads (that I had saved from my broken pearl necklace) to add in a dash of elegance. I am experimenting with more designs and techniques. Please keep reading/ following my blog. If you like my creations, make sure to “like” them before leaving the page. This serves as a great encouragement for a novice.

Stay tuned and keep blogging!