Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Quilling Letters E-book, 26 Patterns and Templates for Quilling the Alphabet

Quillling_Letters_Cecelia_Louie

I'm exited to introduce my new e-book, Quilling Letters! I have watched quilling typography projects gain in popularity with each passing year, and hope my book will help you in your next letter masterpiece.



Quilling Letters Measuring Strips

I've pre-measured every side and curve of the 26 letters of the alphabet. Each number corresponds with a template pattern below. Just like my first book, Pretty Quilled Cards, you won't need a ruler or count a fraction of an inch. Just lay your strip on top, score, snip, and you're ready to fold, then glue.


Quilling Letters Measuring Strips

It's much easier to follow along a template when quilling letters. 



Quilling Letters Tracing

Use a dried up pen to trace on top of my template to leave a score line on your work surface.



Quiling Letters Tutorial Pattern Video

I've also filmed a video showing how to outline the letter A. Another video showing how to quickly and easily fill the letter will be coming soon.

I hope my book helps you with your next quilling type project – I love hearing about how you've been inspired to try quilling too! Please leave a comment below or any advice you may have to help me improve my next videos.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Quilling Letters 102 - Part 3

quilling paper letters

So the last word in my paper typography project is "curiosity", made in a cursive style. It took my full concentration, so I don't have much in the way of photos here. The "o" and "s" are deliberately unfinished because I have grander plans for them.

quilling paper letters

The phrase is written by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love. I enjoyed reading her latest book, "Big Magic", and endeavoured to follow her inspirational words to get past my hesitations of going down this path. I was inspired by the color and energy of the book cover and translated it into a quilling piece.



Here's a video explaining how I formed the letter E at the size of a thumb tack, the same used in my project for the beginning of her name.


quilling paper letters

At this stage, I've composed how I want the flow of the swirls to move throughout the piece, gluing some that felt right. And then...I got stuck. For months. 

I'd take it out to look at it, hoping I'd see a way out and resignedly put it back. I felt like the next strip I glued was going to be a big mistake and I didn't want to ruin all the work I'd done up to this point. It also felt like it would take me months to fill in all the negative spaces between all the letters. It killed my buzz.


quilling paper letters

November came around again, and I said to myself "Look, this is a self directed project, so there's no client to disappoint. Who cares if it ends up being ugly? You'll learn from it and that's what this was originally all about." 

And then off I went and FINALLY finished it. I glued the upper left corner in one day and was surprised it didn't take as long as I feared it might. Somehow that "writer's block" loomed larger the more I thought about it.


quilling paper letters

The bottom right corner took another day.


quilling paper letters

As Liz Gilbert's mom says "Done is better than good". In other words, I'm finished this piece, even though it's not perfect in my eyes, and I can see lots of room for improvement, AND that was exactly what I wanted to gain from this experience anyway. 

The serif font is Century Schoolbook and "curiosity" is Zhafira.

So if you have ever doubted your ability to quill a certain piece, or if you felt like it was too embarrassing to show anyone, then just think of me being in the same boat, and know you can push past it. I hope you enjoyed the journey here with me! If there are any questions, I'd be happy to answer them in the comments below. Thanks for leaving me your thoughts!



Quillling_Letters_Cecelia_Louie

Thank you all who tried guessing the last word - that was fun for me! If anyone had guessed correctly, the prize would have been my new e-book, Quilling Letters! I have witnessed such a surge in quilling typography projects and felt there may be some who could benefit from pre-measured strips and templates. More details about the e-book will be in the next post.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Quilling Letters 102 - Part 2

quilling paper letter word monogram

When confronted with a letter like "y", I like to pause for a second and study where the most challenging part of the letter is, and tackle that part first. 


quilling paper letter word monogram

In this case, I want to solidly glue the inner angle first, allowing the sides and bottom to fall into place around it.


quilling paper letter word monogram

Yep. Very happy I'm dealing with the tail AFTER most of the other bits are down {whew!}.

quilling paper letter word monogram

Oops, the curve isn't quite where I want it to be. No prob. I'll just do selective curving.


quilling paper letter word monogram

Ok, just a bit more...


quilling paper letter word monogram

Now to dab glue to the end of the "y" so it can be glued against the other end.


quilling paper letter word monogram

Here I'm using my tweezers to help align the ends so the join looks clean and I'm saved the hassle of having to trim any excess.


quilling paper letter word monogram

Similar to the "w", I secured the top edges of the "u" first, then worked my way down. Since I anticipated this one to be tricky, again I skipped the prior letter.


quilling paper letter word monogram

What would I do without my tweezers?


quilling paper letter word monogram

At this point, I feel like a snake handler, wrestling with the lowercase "r".

quilling paper letter word monogram

Can anyone guess the third and final word? There will be a PDF prize given to the first person who guesses correctly!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Quilling Letters 102 - Part 1

quilling paper letter

I started quilling a typography project around November 2016, starting with the letter "f".

quilling paper letter

The next letter, "o", is the one I find most challenging in the alphabet. There are no corners to diminish a join's seam. 

quilling paper letter

I kiss the glue on the end, then match it up with the opposite end. Since it has no flat sides to align against the surface of my desk, I have my tweezers squeeze the flat sides.

quilling paper letter

Not too shabby of a join. Then comes the smoothening out so the arc of the circle or oval.

quilling paper letter

Wondering how I traced the outline of the letters on the surface of my paper? I used the scoring tool of my Cricut Explore Air, and ask it to trace the outline of the letters. 

If you don't have an electric cutter, simply lay a printed letter on top of your surface, and use a dried up pen to trace the letter on top. I suggest using removable tape so it stays put until you're done.

quilling paper letter

There's something enticing about knowing where a letter is going to be. It's like that feeling I get when I KNOW a puzzle piece is going to fit.

quilling paper letter

In a case like this letter "l", I don't tackle it all at once because I'd end up smearing glue everywhere due to so many corners. I work it a section at a time, slipping a glue smeared strip below, dabbing, then laying that segment down = easy, peasy control.

quilling paper letter

Oh boy, another "o". I like using the metal shaft of my crochet hook for smoothening out letters like this.

quilling paper letter


Another way to align the edges is to butt against a straight edge.

quilling paper letter

I find plastic credit cards to be so helpful with my quilling butting! In this case it's helping me align the top edges of the letter "w".

quilling paper letter

Now that the top edges are nicely secured, it frees me up to then glue the rest easily.

quilling paper letter

Almost there. If you're wondering why I skipped the gluing of the previous letter "o", it's because then I'd have complete freedom when dealing with such a long strip needed for "w". Without the "o" in the way, the plastic card and my fingers can get into and all around "w". It's good to look ahead when quilling words.

quilling paper letter

I'm dismayed over the poor quality of this image, but sometimes when I get caught up in the "doing", I'm ignoring the world around me, not wanting to pause until morning, when the sun can actually let me take a proper picture.

Anyway, I hope these tiny details help you in your quilling of letters! This is the first of three words - can anyone guess what it's going to say?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Quilling Paper Peacock Earrings

quilling paper peacock earring jewelry

Ever since Honey of Honey's Quilling blogged about Paper Peacock Jewelry around the world, it's been on the back of my mind to make a pair for a friend who loves peacocks. 

quilling paper peacock earring jewelry

I wanted to experiment with Aleene's Paper Glaze (left) and Mod Podge Dimensional Magic (right). 
Both gave good results. I found the Paper Glaze retained the color of the paper better, while the Magic tends to deepen the color.

quilling paper peacock earring jewelry

Both tend to make bubbles very easily so I had to pop them using my quilling needle. 

quilling paper peacock earring jewelry

I chose to use the Dimensional Magic because I wanted the dark blue to pop out from the other colors. It comes out cloudy, then dries clear.

I also called the company to find out more about their product. Although it's water-based and non-toxic, it's still not cleared for someone like me who deals with eczema skin issues. Since the area I was covering was being encircled by several rings of paper, I felt it would be safe to give to my friend. So the rest of the paper has been left uncoated in any way.


quilling paper peacock earring jewelry


Instead of using standard quilling paper for the green and gold outline, I decided to use Stardream Metallic cardstock, which has a hefty weight of 285 g/m (or 105 lb), to reduce the amount of loops required. Instead of having to make a 4-ply teardrop, I was able to make the following earring with just 2-ply. 

After softening the strip, I folded it in half. Tuck one end into the fold and apply a dot of glue, then hold until secure.

quilling paper peacock earring jewelry

Add glue along the remaining part of the strip, then section by section, press the two layers together.

quilling paper peacock earring jewelry

If you'd like to give it a try, I made a pattern with measurements for you to download the PDF here. 

I'd love to hear what you think of these earrings in the comments below!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Quilling Paper Teardrop Earrings and Book Review of "The Art of Quilling Paper Jewelry" by Ann Martin

Quilling Paper Jewelry Earrings

For years, I've been tempted to make paper jewelry, but for some reason haven't taken the leap. Then along came Ann Martin's book, The Art of Quilling Paper Jewelry, and BAM! You know what that's like right? For me, it's a weakness behind the knees and an impatient twitch of the fingers. Although I don't wear earrings, I know a few people who do, and immediately embarked on a new adventure in paper.


Quilling Paper Jewelry Earrings

Each project in Ann's book starts off with a concise list of materials, shapes, and finished sizes so there are no surprises. The steps are illustrated and I highly suggest reading the beginning chapters to familiarize yourself with the basics. Although I've quilled for a while, there are many techniques and knowledge bombs specific to jewelry making, such as handling 3-ply quilled paper in Chapter 2.

Quilling Paper Jewelry Earrings

I have been SO curious about a Mandrel Set for eons, and finally broke down with this oh-so-valid justification. The mandrel's sizes are not marked, so I measured and wrote each width on the rings. Since the mandrels are plastic, the quilling paper won't stick to it if any excess glue seeps out. Although it worked adequately, I found it tricky to slide the finished coil off without disturbing the overlapping layers. It'll still come in handy for the other shapes anyway, since a template won't work for a triangle, for example.


Quilling Paper Jewelry Earrings

I actually found it easier to allow the coil to relax within my dollar store circle template. This allowed me to glue the inside end, then pick up all the coils with a tweezer and glue the outside end closed. Look closely and you'll see a small adhesive foam square under my dollar store template to raise it up to about the middle of my strip, keeping the coil well constrained. I also like ensuring my edges are all aligned, and found it easier to keep the edges even while it's lying flat on my table.


Quilling Paper Jewelry Earrings

Ann made her earrings with black quilling paper with a metallic gold edge, but since I already had a Brilliance Galaxy Gold ink pad, I decided to try it with regular quilling paper. This way I could dab both sides of the earring so there would be no "front" or "back". 

Quilling Paper Jewelry Earrings

The coils tended to move a bit while getting dabbed by the ink pad, so I pressed the earrings on a Post-It Note and voila – they behaved!

Quilling Paper Jewelry Earrings

I tried my Post-It Note technique while testing with both Mod Podge Dimensional Magic and Aleene's Paper Glaze, because both are not very thick, and liquid tends to make the coils swell out of shape. I dabed lightly on top with a paint brush, then followed up with a thin brush between the coils to allow them to set in place. Perhaps I was too impatient and removed it from the Post-It Note before it truly set? In any case, the coils did swell a bit, but I think a non-quiller will let it pass. 

Quilling Paper Jewelry Earrings

Here is a 3-ply test strip, with Aleene's and Mod Podge on top. Look closely to see the original Brilliance ink pad sheen in between. Even though both coated the sheen well enough, they worked better for thick strips as shown rather than the thin coils with the teardrop shapes.

Quilling Paper Jewelry Earrings

Finally a reason to shop in the jewelry section at Michael's! I hope you'll let me know what you think of my earrings in the comments below. The friend I plan to give it to loves green and gold. I also dabbed the ink pad very lightly around the outside edge of the paper, creating an organic speckle, which I hope mimics antique metal.


Quilling Paper Jewelry Earrings

New and advanced quillers can appreciate Ann's acute attention to detail. Her impeccable care is evident in all the photos of every project. I'm just itching to try the Blue Bubbles because it seems like pure fun and easy to do!


Quilling Paper Jewelry Earrings

And just look at this divine Petal Power necklace. It's zen-like quality beckons the eye to keep admiring the delicate blossom. I'm so happy Ann's book, The Art of Quilling Jewelry is in my library and pushed me off the ledge of hesitation.

DISCLAIMER: Although I was given a copy of Ann's book, my thoughts in this review are my honest opinion.