Quilling Makes a Comeback

| 8/23/2018 10:38:00 AM

Country MoonRecently, I was with my friend Chris at a quilt shop and was marveling at all the new designs. She is an accomplished quilter; I am not but I do admire the work that goes into making them.

When we were ready to leave, I saw a few examples that looked like no quilting I have ever seen. No wonder, I must really need new glasses because the beautiful patterns were examples of quilling, not quilting.

Quilling has nothing to do with quilting, nor does it have anything to do with the quills of hedgehogs or porcupines, as the name would suggest. Instead, quilling is an art form that involves the use of paper strips that are rolled, shaped and glued together to create decorative designs. It is also known as paper filigree and dates back hundreds of years.

During the Renaissance, nuns and monks would roll gold-gilded paper remnants that were trimmed during the bookmaking process and use them to decorate religious objects. This art form was much more economical than using gold filigree, which is a delicate form of jewelry medal work that is constructed of tiny beads or twisted threads made of gold or silver. Quilling became the pastime of the 18th and 19th century for young ladies in England who would decorate tea caddies, pieces of furniture and other items with paper filigree.

This art form crossed the Atlantic with the colonists who added quilling to candle sconces and other items for home decoration. Of all the items where quilling is used, it is probably best known for bringing personality to homemade cards.

paper quilling
Photo by Getty Images/Oksana_S.

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