Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Lesson in Quilling

This blog was initially started just to document the process of rehabbing our home.  But amongst all of the documenting, it's evolved into my little place to share not only these projects but also some crafts and things that I might not otherwise  try without the motivation to "post it on the blog."

One such craft is quilling.  Like most of the folks I have mentioned this to, not many knew what quilling was.  So I'll start with a dictionary definition:

quilling |ˈkwili ng |nouna piece of quilled lace or other fabric used as a trim.• a type of ornamental craftwork involving the shaping of paper,fabric, or glass into delicate pleats or folds.
I first saw this on Martha Stewart's website where I found a tutorial on making a quilled Valentine's card and I thought to myself, "well this looks simple enough."  Ohhhh if only I knew.  But I like a challenge so I went to Michael's and bought my card stock and craft knife.  

The card was going to be for J because a) I didn't have time to mass produce Valentine's for all of my family (they got Hallmark ones though, which I feel is a very close second) and b) even if I could make multiples, I wasn't quite sure what kind of envelope would carry it without smashing the paper.  But enough about that, let's get to work.
For the life of me, I could not find quilling strips anywhere.  So I figured I'd make my own with some card stock.  There isn't any rhyme or reason to the strips, other than to make them uniform in size.  You can make them as narrow or as wide as you like, but I'd go into the project with a plan on whether you're doing letters, flowers, hearts, bells, etc. 

I then took a deeper pink color of 12" x 12" card stock and made the card itself:
Next, I took a piece of white card stock and cut out a square to place inside the card for a space to write:
The actual square is smaller and is centered in the pink.
Once that was set, I looked at the different script fonts on my computer to pick one that I liked and that would fit the card well:
They may all look the same, but I promise you they are different!  I ended up with the middle one because I liked the rounded edges a lot.  And this is where the work began.

Unfortunately I didn't get this done at home because it's hard to find time and space away from J where he wouldn't walk in on my project.  So I took my quilling strips to work and hammered it out there.  

Martha's website doesn't have a step by step tutorial on how to get the letters done, other than to say you make the curls by using scissors like you would to curl a ribbon.  They also suggest printing your script on the card and quilling over it as a template.  I didn't want the words printed on the card, so I printed them out on paper and made the letters separately--mainly by trial and error.  

I took the strips I had and cut those in half both length wise and width wise to make them easier to maneuver when folding into the letters.  I did not buy a rounded quilling tool to make the curves a bit less jagged, but I think I did alright without.  

I started with the M because it looked the most difficult and by the time I got it pieced together, it didn't look half bad:

I continued letter by letter until they were complete.  Matching up each strip to a portion of the letter, gluing the strips together to make a complete letter and then affixing the letters to the card.  Once the phrase was done, I made two hearts and put them on.  With that, the card was complete:

I'm no Martha, but for a first timer working with limited time, I'd say it looks pretty good.

As for the sizes for the card and the strips, I definitely eyeballed it, using a ruler to ensure a straight edge. 

Hope you are having (or had) a great Valentine's Day.  J made dinner this evening (as he does) which is all a girl can really ask for when she gets home from work.  So thankful.


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