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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Ohhh…. (02/04/10)

TITLE: I SAID, “QUILLING NOT QUILTING”
By Sandra Eastridge
02/10/10


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There was a time I had a husband, four sons, seven grandchildren, a job and no time for hobbies. My sons and then my grandchildren grew up. My husband and I began experiencing health problems and too young we found ourselves living as shut-ins. After several years of being very sick I gradually began improving and that is when I found myself with empty hours. I love to read and for awhile that was enough but as my health improved I had a desire to use my hands for something more than housework.

That’s when I decided I needed a hobby. It needed to be relaxing, not mentally nor physically challenging and inexpensive. I began looking at crafts but nothing I looked at said, “Pick me!” My sister makes her own greeting cards and on a visit with her she introduced me to a new art form called Quilling. “Ohhh!” I said. “This is just what I’ve been looking for.” It met all my criteria. I jumped in with both feet and have been quilling ever since.

Quilling began in eighteenth century England and was brought to America by women who had little money and little worldly goods. Just as quilling fit the bill for me it did the same for impoverished women who longed to beautify their homes but lacked the funds to do so. Quilling got its name from the tool these ladies used to create their art – an eagle’s quill. That, and a few strips of paper enabled them to create whatever their fancy imagined.

In this modern age we use a quilling tool, not an eagle feather and we can buy strips of paper in myriad colors in craft stores. However, the craft of quilling is unique and mainly forgotten. When I mention the word quilling people think I said, “quilting” and begin talking to me about making quilts. I reply with, “I said quilling, not quilting” and they get a blank look on their face.

If you are looking for a new hobby I highly recommend this little known craft. I find it extremely therapeutic. I listen to music as I quill and as my paper strips take form I get a rush seeing my project take shape while at the same time experiencing total relaxation. Not only does quilling enhance my mood but it has strengthened my finger dexterity – something I thought I had lost for good.

So far I have given all of my creations away and have enjoyed doing so but some have turned their quilling into a successful business. If you are interested in learning more about quilling you may have better luck shopping on the Internet rather than traditional craft stores. Type in the phrase ‘paper filigree’ instead of the word ‘quilling’though. If you type ‘quilling’ you are going to get a list of mostly ‘quilting’ websites. Like I said, “It’s quilling not quilting. Have fun!


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Member Comments
Member Date
Virgil Youngblood 02/11/10
And I thought I knew something about everything --Oops! I think a little more information about what a quilled article looks like or how it is used will make this an even more enjoyable story. Thanks for sharing this.
Brenda Shipman02/17/10
I have had one experience with quilling - it was presented as a class at a ladies' retreat. I loved it! Such a beautiful artform! I'm now a quilter, not a quiller, but I do think quilling is one of those obscure creative hobbies that needs to be presented to the general public more. Your entry here would be a great article for a quilling magazine, or an e-zine. I hope you consider submitting it somewhere.