Patience and practice

Quilling really does need a lot of patience. And you have to had a pair of good hands too. Although I'm just a newbird in quilling, I'm beginning to feel more and more so.

I know I should have practiced harder on the basic coils and scrolls before I get on to the 'a little more sophisticated' quill work, but I just can't help to try out some of those nice patterns or designs that I see. And when I tried those patterns out, I realised that it all gets back to the root - the basic stuffs. It's like building a house, if you don't produce good bricks, the house is not going to be strong and solid. Likewise, if the coils and scrolls aren't smooth and nice, it affects the aesthetic look of the quill work. But to keep practice coiling and coiling and not assembling them into patterns is rather dry and boring (to be honest). I need to achieve a balance I guess.

And these are some questions that trouble me, if the experienced quillers have answers to them, it's very much appreciated: 
1. How do you protect your quills on cards or frames etc from being 'crushed' when giving them as gifts to others?
2. I don't have problem with small coils but when working with bigger coils, how do you apply the glue to the back of the coils? My problems are either the coils will go out of shape when I try to turn them around or move them around, and the edges of paper strips tend to stick together when I apply glue onto the coils (using toothpick or needle), thus instead of seeing nice layers, I get this 'glued into one layer' look. 
3. How to work with a needle tool? The slotted tool is handy but it produces a big hole in the center which looks disturbing especially when you are working with tight coils.
4. How to produce nice smooth tight coils? Is it necessary to buy a coaching guard for that?


  1. 1. Glued-down quillings are surprisingly tough (especially coils) - I find it's quite difficult to crush them, so don't worry too much!

    2. Try wrapping some cling-film around a sponge, spreading a little layer of glue on the surface (spread thinly with a toothpick!), pick up your quilled piece with tweezers and dip gently into the glue so that the back is well coated. Then place it on your card.

    3. Dampen the end of the strip and bend it over with your fingers before starting to wind around the needle tool. The thicker the needle, the easier you'll find it!

    4, Keep the tension even as you wind. And after gluing the coil, press down on it with something to even up the coils. (I use the handle end of a quilling tool to apply a little pressure.) Turn the coil over and press from the other side as well. (Do this on a flat surface!)

    Hope this helps! You're doing great!

  2. Dear Philippa: thanks a bunch for the advice and also those encouragements along the way!! I used to pour the glue onto a piece of paper and dip my coils into the pool using tweezers. no wonder all the layers were glued together. i just bought a small paint brush yesterday, with the thought that perhaps by painting the glue onto the back of the coils, it'll improve (it does improve but a bit only). I'll try the method you suggest on my next experiment!!


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