Posted by: eventgal | December 7, 2010

The Revival of Renaissance Art of Paper Quilling – Featured Artisan Quilling Queen Designs

You may be asking what is ‘Quilling’ well it is the art of creating decorative designs from thin strips of curled paper. This age-old art of paper quilling has been around since the Renaissance, or even earlier (it has been documented as early as the 1200) – the nuns used small edges trimmed from the Bible pages to create simple but beautiful forms of artistry such as religious articles and pictures. They used simple tools taking long strips of paper which were tightly wound and released to form complex shapes. This form of art is also known as “Paper filigree“. The paper was wrapped around goose quills to create coil shapes and it eventually became know as quilling. Metal was also used in quilling to wrap around vases and make exquisite pieces of jewellery.

In the days gone by quilling was a pastime for ladies of leisure in the upper classes, where they would spend many hours creating decorative screens, tea caddies, cribbage board, wine coasters, urns and baskets. Only those that were affluent could afford to purchase supplies needed to quill which included materials such as foil, mica or flaked shells which they used in the backgrounds of the designs. Quilling was seen as a proper hobby for the upper-class ladies whiling away their days as the awaited an eligible bachelor to marry.

The settlers brought quilling to America and it is once again experiencing a revival in this millennium. There are many guilds and quilling clubs surfacing and scrapbooking has definitely participated in it’s revival as many use this technique to add to their scrapbooking albums and cards.

My featured artisan in this blog is Quilling Queen Designs by Cheri – Cheri says that her quest is to see that quilling does not become a lost art and she truly has a passion for design in this Renaissance Art with its rich and interesting history. It is exciting to know that when you quill, you are sharing something done by many different people over many hundreds of years and you are keeping this delicate art alive!

No longer to you have to be from upper class to enjoy quilling, as was the case in years gone by, when it was never considered a pastime for working-class women.

Cheri handcrafts and demonstrates the historic art of ‘Paper Quilling’, which involves the rolling and shaping of narrow strips of paper to form various designs. Traditionally it is floral work for inlaid boxes and frames, but in modern times it has many other applications. She has enjoyed quilling for the past eight years, teaching and selling at craft fairs for the last three years and in 2009 she became a member of the North American Quilling Guild. One of the objectives of the guild is to promote paper quilling to ensure it doesn’t become a “lost” art.

For the craft fairs Cheri mainly focuses on seasonal cards, gift tags and snowflake ornaments for the tree. What a great story you could tell about how the art of quilling originated when friends commented on your spectacular Christmas ornaments.

She also creates special shadow box scenes for children’s bedrooms filled with whimsical designs. You may want to commission Cheri to design one specifically for your child. When you visit Quilling Queen Designs at the Langley Artisan Christmas Fair perhaps Cheri will be doing a demonstration and get you hooked on it too….I am sure all you scrapbooking enthusiasts would love to learn how you can add this to your creations. Be sure to ask her about the classes she teaches.

The Langley Artisan Christmas Fair is on Saturday, December 11, 2010 @ the Eureka Masonic Hall, 20701 Fraser Hwy., Langley. 11am – 5 pm. Just imagine how fun shopping can be without all the Christmas crowds at the malls – a warm and friendly atmosphere, individual attention from the artisans and being able to give gifts to your friends and family that are one-of-a-kind and handcrafted locally.

See you Saturday! To view the full list of artisan vendors please visit


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