What Is Quilling?

What is quilling? Well its an economical craft that anyone, of any age, can take part in. You do not need vast amounts of equipment or materials to enjoy the craft of quilling. You don't even need much space! It could be described as the ideal craft.

Basically quilling is the art of rolling, folding, twisting or otherwise shaping narrow strips of paper and arranging them to create beautiful designs.

It isn't a new craft, in fact it has been around for hundreds of years. It was originally developed as a means of imitating gold and silver filigree work. Of course paper was much more affordable! In fact almost as soon as paper became easily available there has been reference to paper filigree.

The craft has long been associated with religious uses. In times past nuns were known to quill with gold-edged pages from their bibles, producing church artifacts and pictures. Moving closer to the present day, the Victorians loved to decorate household items such as tea caddies, boxes and even created plaques featuring their coat of arms.

There is a difference of opinion as to where quilling got its name. Some say it is because bird quills, or feathers, were used to roll the paper around, whereas others connect it to the native American art of using porcupine quills to produce decorative items.

What is quilling used for today?

There are so many uses for quilling in our modern life. It is an extemely versatile craft.

Perhaps the most comon way to use it is to make quilled greeting cards for special ocassions. What better way of saying "I love you" than by taking the time to create something unique and personal. Many people have also made quilled invitations, for weddings or christenings, to great effect.

Another popular hobby of today is scrapbooking and quilling can be put to good use here too. But won't quilled decorations get squashed inside the pages of a scrapbook? Actually coiled paper is surprisingly strong and stands up well to being included in your memory books.

So strong, in fact, that you can even make 3D models with it! I have seen quilling used for freestanding characters, dolls house items, mobiles, cups and saucers, christmas tree ornaments and even a whole nativity scene.

How can you learn quilling?

I love it when people ask "What is quilling?" when I mention the craft. They often get confused with quilting! However when I start to explain and show them finished items their next query is normally, "how can I learn to do that?".

The craft of quilling is not difficult and can be taught by anyone with a little experience. However, not everyone knows someone who can teach them how to quill.

Quilling books are useful, of course, but what happens if you get stuck?

I like to think that this website gives you the best of all worlds; quilling instructions, free quilling patterns, exciting new quilling techniques and someone to ask about anything you are unsure of.

So now you have asked the question "What is quilling?" get ready for an adventure and lots of fun!

Quilling Instructions

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The place to start to learn how to quill.

Handmade Cards

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Quilling Tools and Supplies

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What do you need for quilling?

Free Quilling Patterns

Learn the art of quilling with these free patterns.