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Whimsiquills

Frequently Asked Questions

  • This page will continue to change as I bring information over from the old web site and my blog quillingwithwhimsiquills.blogspot.com. If there are issues you would like to see addressed please feel free to contact us . . .
  • How do you get rid of the little "tag"in the center of tight coils?
  •  Are you one of those quillers who is bothered by that little hole in the center of your tight coils? If you use a slotted tool you probably have a little tag in the paper that goes across the hole. If that bothers you, here are some ideas to eliminate the little tag and make the hole smaller. (I have to admit that after almost forty years of selling my work not one of my customers complained about the little hole or the tag.)

     

    Finger rolling is not that difficult. Start out by “softening” the paper over your fingernail or over a scissor the way you do with curling ribbon. It makes the paper a little easier to roll. Use a damp sponge or paper towel to dampen the end of the paper and then start to roll between your thumb and forefinger. It takes a little practice but is worth the effort. I love to tell the story about the time I was invited to do a DIY taping demonstrating quilling for scrapbook pages. I flew down to TN for the taping. When I went to get my tools out the next morning I couldn’t find them. (Apparently security at one of the airports checked my bag and the tools were buried in the bottom of the bag instead of my little toolbox.) Boy was I glad I knew how to finger roll!

     

    Using a needle tool is kind of the opposite of the slotted tool. Instead of rolling the tool, dampen the end of the paper and roll it around the tool.

     

    Slotted tools are always easy for new and old quillers. There are several slotted tools with narrow shafts that aid in making a smaller hole. The new Quilled Creations tool QCT323 The Savvy slotted tool is one of them, T3197  The Ultimate Quilling Tool is another. Here is a tip for those of you who love your slotted tool. Put one prong of your bent nose tweezer against the little tag and the other prong against the outside of your tight coil and press the tag against the side of the hole . . . the tag virtually disappears.

  • Which is better, using a tool or finger rolling?

    How you roll your quilling strips is really a matter of personal preference. I don’t believe there is a hard and fast rule, although many quillers have very definite opinions about the subject. To see and/or read about all of our tools, just click on the Tools category on the web site.

    Slotted tool- When I first learned to quill, I learned using a slotted tool. You just ‘thread” the beginning of a strip into the slot and then turn the tool until the strip is completely rolled. Let the strip fall off the tool and then pinch into desired shape and glue. Depending on the slotted tool you use, there will be a small opening in the center of your tight rolls (the size of the hole is determined by the size of the shaft of the tool). There may also be a tiny fold in the strip where you first inserted the strip into the tool. This little fold or “hook” is offensive to some quillers. If this is a concern for you, the hook can be eliminated by reversing the tool before releasing the roll. It can also be eliminated when you pick up the roll with a tweezer.

    Today we have a much wider selection of slotted tools with different size shafts. We even have a battery operated tool. (T33023) The newest tool in our collection (QCT323) is one with a wide handle that doesn’t move in your hand. It rests in your palm and you only turn the slotted part. This new tool makes a really small hole in the center of the quill. Another “newer” tool is a double sided tool with a very sharp needle on one end and a slot on the opposite end (T26216) 

    Pin or Needle tool-I know that many of the early “1970’s” kits came with a corsage pin. When you use a pin or a needle, you roll the paper around the pin (instead of turning the tool), the hole in the center will be smaller and there will be no hook.

    Finger rolling-When finger rolling your strips, it helps to soften the paper a little by running it over your finger nail, much like you would with curling ribbon. I usually have a damp washcloth nearby and dampen my fingertips so it is a little easier to get the roll started. Your finished roll will have a very tiny center opening.  I also find that my rolls are a little “tighter” when I finger roll. After using a slotted tool for many years, the repetitive motion began to bother my thumb, so I forced myself to learn to finger roll. I quickly realized this was also easier on my tired old eyes since I was no longer required to ‘thread’ my slotted tool. Now I finger roll most of my strips but still use my slotted tools for rolling fringe flowers and curling back the corners on my rose petals.

     

  • What is husking? Husking is an interesting technique. Instead of rolling the paper, the paper is wrapped around pins on edge. I like to use some of the specialty papers for husking (graduated colors, two tones) because a husked piece is very open showing both sides of the strip. When I teach this class I give everyone a piece of Styrofoam, a piece of waxed paper, and a printed sheet with patterns marked out on graph like paper, and of course some pins. I start out by showing a couple of ways to get the paper started around pin #1, for me, this is always the tricky part. I show them how to wrap it around the pin several times or to make a tiny glued loop around the pin. Then we go through the steps of wrapping around pin #2, back to #1, around #3 back to #1 And so on. I tell them it is optional as to whether they want to put a dab of glue each time they get to #1, but they might want to the first time out. Once they have completed the shape, they have the option of wrapping the strip around the outside of the shape and gluing it back to the starting point. I tell them to twist the pins to remove them (just in case they got any glue on them) and then gently lift the finished piece off the waxed paper. Husking with pins has the advantage of making all of the shapes exactly the same size. We also carry Quilled Creation’s Husking Hoops & Loops, pictured on our kits page. This kit supplies a small cork board, 6 different printed husking templates, paper and pins. I would suggest making copies of your templates and using the copies for your husking so your originals don’t get too dog eared. I’m assuming you are going to love husking and want to use your templates over and over.
  • What is Alternate Side Looping? The best way I can describe this technique, is to call it husking without pins. Instead of using the board you actually hold the paper in your fingers . . . Make a loop, pass the paper under the starting pint and make a loop to one side of the center loop, pass it past the starting point and make a loop on the opposite side . . . hence the name, ASL. This is a little harder to describe without demonstrating, but there is an awesome book, Quilling, Techniques and Inspiration by Jane Jenkins (yes we carry it), which has great picture tutorials of all of these techniques (that’s how I learned them). I like to use the ASL technique using different color strips; instead of making the loop with one strip, I use two or three different colors, when you make the loops, pull the different color strips (just a little) so all of the colors show before gluing them.
  • What are Wheatears?  This is a really simple technique. You simply hold the end of a strip and make a loop (you can put a tiny dot of glue where the paper passes the end of the loop.) then you continue by making a larger loop around the first and so on. When you have made as many loops as desired, cut the end of the strip and glue the end down at the starting point. Wheatears can be used for many things, they make pretty flower petals, or leaves; they can be left rounded or pinched to a point. I like to make long looping wheatears for foliage, like daffodil or iris leaves, I pinch them and curve them so they look like the real thing. Wheatears can also be done with pins, like husking, just arrange the pins in a straight line. Check out the blog for a diagram.
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  • What is the best way to store Quilling Paper?" This question comes up a lot. I did a whole blog post about just that question and gave my answer and a lot of other quillers jumped in and told me how they stored their paper. What you do not want to do is dump it all in a box so it ends up looking like spaghetti. (Although you can iron it to get it straight again,but why bother?) here is a link to that post Storing Quilling Paper.
  • How do I quill without a pattern? There seem to be two types of quillers; those who use pattrerns and/or kits and follow directions to the letter, and those who just go off on their own and do their own thing. Many who start with patterns and kits find themselves making "adjustments"to the directions and are soon off and running. In this blog post I describe both.
  • How do I learn to quill? We get lots of questions about learning to quill. It is not always easy to find a quilling teacher but there are a number of ways you can learn. You can contact the North American Quilling Guild to see if there is a quiller in your area who teaches. You can also check with local craft stores to see if they offer classes. There are tons of tutorials on the internet or if you are a "do it yourself" kind of person you can teach yourself the basics. A very good book for a new quiller is Paper Quilling for the First Time which teaches about 14 different quilling techniques. We also have an instructional DVD Quilling Made Easy . Once you have the basics it's just practice, practice, practice and don't be afraid to experiment.
  • I've been asked to teach a class, help! Teaching quilling can be fun, whether you are teaching in a library, at home, or in a classroom. Your approach can be determined by where you are teaching. Are you supplying the materials? If you are teaching for a store will they require the students to purchase their supplies? I will give you links to the posts I did that cover all of these topics. Introduction to teaching quilling Iteaching Quilling Part Two, I explain exactly how I go about teaching a brand new group their first basic shapes using a slotted tool, a needle tool  and finger rolling. Of course not everyone is going to teach a first class the same way, but this is my approach. I usually teach three classes, in the second (intermediate)class I teach some of the wide quill techniques like fringe flowers, roses (always a favorite), and folded roses. I also show some very basic punch flowers since some quillers enjoy mixing them in with their quilling. The last class (advanced) covers some more advanced techniques like husking, alternate side looping, bandaging  and more. Check out the blog for all of the details.