Archive for April, 2010

No tools? Try the vortex.

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

This entire butterfly was made with fingers…no rolling and no quilling tools!

The shape is call a “vortex coil”. A talented quiller, Licia Politis, from Australia invented this new shape!  It actually looks really cool when it’s done with a longer strip of paper (16 inches or longer), but I wanted to experiment with  graduated papers. Graduated papers are only 12 inches in length and they fade from white to a color.  I love the effect of this paper…but here’s my attempt with the vortex coil.

- 1/4-inch Graduated Paper (pink, purple, bright green)

- craft glue

- scissors


1.) The vortex coil is like making a wheatear or continuous loops. First, make a small loop.  Then make a slightly larger loop by wrapping the paper strip around the first loop.  Keep the loops close together and evenly spaced. When you get to the end of the paper strips, glue the paper’s end to the base (or point) of the wheatear and trim off any excess paper.

2.) Hold the base of the wheatear. Then push the round end inward.  Release the coils near the base and allow the coils to shift into the “vortex” shape.  You can play around with pinching and reshaping during this step!  (I’ll have to show you what it looks like with a longer or bigger wheatear in a future post! Shorter papers don’t show enough of the vortex shape.)

3.) Make 8 bright green, 4 purple and 4 pink vortex coils. Glue them into groups.

4.) Wrap a 12-inch purple strip around each groups.

5.) Make a body and an antenna.  Glue the pieces together.

Definitely a unique shape and I didn’t use a tool!

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ABC’s of quilling scrolls

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

I just taught a group of kids how to quill alphabet letters to spell their name. Many of them said they were scared and nervous (complaining)  ”this looks way too hard!”. But, after I gave them these simple tricks, they totally changed their tone!  ”It’s sooooooo easy!” said a 8-year old…mission accomplished! It is. Hope you’ll try it!

So, here are some basics in rolling…

Quilled scrolls are different from making loose coils into teardrops or marquises. Instead, it’s a combination of rolling both ends of the paper and reshaping the coils with your fingers. Here are some examples:

For the letters “S” and “C”, I first rolled both ends of the paper toward the middle of the paper strip (the smaller “lowercase” letters). Then I unrolled the coils and re-rolled or shaped them to form the “uppercase” letters.

For the letter “R”, I broke up the letters into simple scrolls and basic quilled shapes (half circle).  Then I glued them together.

If you fold a paper strip in half and roll both ends, then you can create a bunch of different letters and shapes! Adding a dab of glue near the fold will hold shapes like the letter “Y” or “L”.

Here are a few pieces that I made (years ago) with different styles of quilled letters.

To learn more about quilling letters, check out the “Alphabet Letters” quilling kit!

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Under the Sea…quilling and kids

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

The North American Quilling Guild is having their annual conference on April 30 & May 1. If you’re in the area, stop by to see some amazing quilled artwork! There are many talented quillers that attend – my work looks so simple in comparison to some of the elaborate pieces that are displayed. It’s a wonderful conference to see if you want to be inspired!! I’m planning to teach and demo miniature treasure boxes or maybe the little basket.

The conference is in Long Island, New York…by the ocean! Kay Shockley, the co-ordinator of the conference, told me on the phone that they quilled a bunch of sea life using my “Under the Sea” kit as part of the conference decor. I’m excited to see the results!

If you want to see how a child views the “Under the Sea” kit, then enjoy this interpretation by my youngest daughter (7-years old).

She was sick for a whole week in December. So this is what we did together at home to pass the time. The overall size is about 5-inches x 7-inches.

We used 1/4-inch wide quilling paper. The wider width is much easier for kids to roll!  She didn’t want to read my instructions or use my suggested lengths/circle sizes (kids are so smart!). Instead, she just used the front cover picture and eye-balled the size coils she wanted. It turned out great!

“Nemo needs to have his own anemone!”

She scolded me for not putting that in the kit!

Post a comment and let me know what your kids like to quill!

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Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

At a young age, I scored fairly well on spatial relations, 3D visual learning…or something like that.  I think it meant I had an eye for drawing objects with depth, perspective, and proportion (but please don’t ask me to draw people!). I’m thankful for my art teachers who helped develop and fine-tune these skills! Skills that are perfect for quilling!

In return, I love teaching kids how to quill. With kids, there’s something exciting that happens when they pinch little rolls of paper strips into something wonderful!  They see paper in a whole new light! So if you get an opportunity to teach or show a child how to quill, then take it!

Here’s a quilled lemonade stand that my daughter made when she was 8 years old. Those are cars zooming across the road, not turtles!

She even made a “boom box” off to the left. The two girls are wearing dresses made from a large tight coil.  The technique is similar to the Easter Basket project.

“She’s doing a split because she’s happy to buy some lemonade!”

Gotta love their creativity!

(I’ll be posting some other projects made by kids!)

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