An overview of quilling
Quilling is a decorative art in which paper can be used to make pieces such as flowers, birds or animals. Narrow strips of coloured paper are rolled curled and shaped, to create designs that can decorate many things, such as greetings cards and Christmas trees.
A history of quilling
Starting around the 15th Century, though some believe it could have been around the 13th, quilling was a craft used by nuns and monks who used gold gilt edged paper strips to adorn their religious articles. It has seen revivals from time to time over the years, but the most renowned time for this would have been the era of Queen Victoria. Quilling was used to decorate tea caddies, trinket boxes and even furniture. Queen Victoria herself made a piece that can still be seen in the Victoria and Albert museum.
Tools of the quilling trade
A quilling board is essential for creating uniformed pieces. It is normally made of foam or cork and has a template on it with different sized holes to put the curled bits of paper in. The other side of the board can be used to hold pins in, if you are to glue things together or do a technique called husking. Also you will need a quilling tool, which looks like a needle with a slot in it, to which the paper is held while you curl it. Some people just use a needle without the slot, so it gives a very tight centre to the design. PVA glue is essential. A fringing machine can be used to create fringed flowers, but can be very expensive. Instead you could used a bulldog clip on the paper and a pair of scissors to cut, but this can be a very laborious process. Crimping machines can be used to give texture to your paper.
Materials used in quilling
Simple strips of paper in different colours. The paper can be used in different sizes for different techniques. For example 3mm for standard designs, 5mm for roses and 10mm for fringed flowers.