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The Art and Mastery of Paper Quilling

Discovering Paper Quilling: A Journey with Rachel Warrilow

Dive into the intricate and mesmerising world of paper quilling, where strips of paper are transformed into stunning works of art. Guided by the expertise of Rachel Warrilow of The Quirky Quillers, this blog post will introduce the history and accessibility of paper quilling.


What is Paper Quilling?

Paper quilling, a historic art form, involves rolling, shaping, and gluing thin paper strips to create ornate designs. These designs range from simple shapes to complex compositions, depicting everything from abstract patterns to lifelike flowers.


Rachel Warrilow's Approach to Paper Quilling

Rachel brings a unique perspective to paper quilling, emphasising the balance between precision and creativity. Her methods focus on the importance of understanding paper behaviour, the role of colour theory in quilling, and the intricate techniques that turn paper into art.


How to: Paper Quilling

Paper quilling starts with selecting the right paper—often lightweight and colorful—and a quilling tool. The basic technique involves creating coils by wrapping paper strips around the tool. These coils are then pinched, twisted, or rolled to form various shapes. Rachel will talk through all of this in detail should you choose to join her course on the Curious Creatives Craft Retreat. Or, you can get ahead and purchase a Beginners Bundle Kit right now by clicking on the photo above.

Is Paper Quilling Hard?

While paper quilling requires a steady hand and patience, it's an accessible art form for all skill levels. Beginners can start with basic shapes, gradually moving to more complex designs as their confidence grows. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Have you ever tried paper quilling before?


A Brief History of Paper Quilling


The art of paper quilling dates back to the 15th century, with some experts even suggesting its roots may extend to Ancient Egypt. While its precise beginnings remain somewhat enigmatic, it's a known fact that during the 18th century, quilling was a popular craft in countries like France, Italy, and England.

During the Renaissance Quilling was practiced by French, Italian, and English nuns and monks, who would use the rolled paper strips to decorate relics and holy artwork. The paper strips would often be gilded or silvered, making them almost indistinguishable from gold or silver filigree artwork

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the art of quilling reached its peak, particularly among wealthy women. As highlighted in the 1786 New Lady's Magazine, it was celebrated as a delightful pastime, offering

"...a delightful array of varied pleasures to the feminine spirit, while also providing a wholesome and engaging way to spend free time..."

Furthermore, the charm of quilling was even captured by Jane Austen in her novel, "Sense and Sensibility."

Paper quilling has seen a resurgence in recent years, embraced for its therapeutic benefits and creative potential. What would you create? Let us know in the comments below.

The Craft Retreat Experience with Rachel Warrilow:

You can join Rachel at the Curious Creatives Summer Craft Retreat from 15th to 19th July 2024 for an immersive experience in paper quilling. The course will cover:


  • Basics for beginners: Starting from scratch, understanding tools and materials.

  • Advanced techniques: Exploring 3D quilling, intricate designs, and mixed-media approaches.

  • Project-based learning: Creating your own unique quilled art under Rachel's guidance.

  • Connecting with fellow craft enthusiasts in a serene, nature-rich environment at Kingham Hill School in the Cotswolds.

Limited spaces available—this is an exclusive opportunity to learn from a master quiller. Book your place now.


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