The art of twirling paper started during the Renaissance when nuns decorated bibles and religious texts with swirly strips of paper. Back then, they used feathers (quills) for writing and it is believed that they rolled the strips of paper around the quill – thus the term “quilling”.
When paper became more readily available, upper class ladies would quill the same way they would embroider. Scrolled and rolled papers were used to decorate screens, cabinets, baskets, coasters and the like. Elaborate quilling artwork from the 1700’s can be found in museums.
Quilling requires very few tools. For a beginner, you will need strips of paper, a slotted quilling tool, and glue. However, as with any craft, you begin to desire more tools as your projects progress in complexity. For example, serious quilling enthusiasts will use a circle template, a cork board, pins, forceps, scissors, and a quilling fringer.
- see full explanation of quilling tools and supplies here
Quilling Book Review
Noteworthy and Different
Check out this amazing “Architectural Quilling” project by Allison Patrick. And she’s not even an expert quiller. Read more here.