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Friday, May 4, 2012

New Quilling Technique Tutorial - How To Quill A Landscape/PictureE

See my first  quilled landscape here.    There are many more landscapes in this blog .
Choosing the landscape or picture
·         Choose a picture or landscape with clearly defined elements. Colors cannot be blended smoothly with quills. You can blend only by encircling quills or making mixed color quills
·         Choose a picture with large elements. Remember the feature or element should be larger than the smallest quill you can make.
·         Choose a landscape with only a few elements.
I usually try and use vector art for quilling as they have clearly defined elements and colors and avoid one which has blended colors. I have still not tried to create a blended look but I plan to try something soon.

·         Decide on the colors you are going to use.
·         Decide if you want to combine colors and which areas you want to combine colors in.
·         Decide if you want to define the flow of elements by using strips or by encircling quills and arranging them to get the flow.
·         Decide on the size of the quills you are going to use. Landscapes or pictures with uniform size quills look better in my opinion. I also think smaller quills are better for creating quilled landscape mats.
·         Decide on the basic shape/shapes you are going to use. I prefer to use different basic shapes that resemble each element better. For example my basic shape for grass or turf are likely to look spiky while treetops are made of rounded or  leaf shaped basic quills. I will probably use strips to form the branches or bark of trees. Take a look at quilled Landscape.
·         Get a clear print out of the picture or landscape.
·         Fasten printout on a board or Styrofoam backing that can be pinned on.
·         Overlay the printout with a plastic or polythene paper and secure firmly with pearl head pins.
·         Remember you are going to create the landscape by pasting each quill to the other and creating a quilled mat. The printout serves only as a guide.

Items Required
·         Required color strips –5”  3mm strips
·         Pvc  gum.
·         Pearl head pins  50 to 100 depending on the landscape elements
·         Cork, card board or Styrofoam sheet to pin the printout on. ( I use a large cushion foam on which I pin a > A4 size box board.)
·         Polythene or plastic sheet to overlay on the printout. The quilled Landscape/picture mat will be created on this.
·          Plenty of toothpicks to apply gum with.
·         Printout of your landscape or picture.
·         A sponge with a hole to stand your gum bottle upside down on.
·         A clean napkin to wipe your hands on and a wet sponge to clean your hands with if you get gum on them as I often do.
·         A quilling guide board in order to get uniform quills. ( not essential)

Basic Shapes
I have used 3 basic shapes to quill my lone tree landscape
·         Grass - for the main hill
·         Honeycomb circle- for tree-top
·         Fleur  de lis circle- for distant hills in yellow and pink
·         3mm Crimped strips – for dark green distant hills – you cannot discern the shapes clearly when they are far do I used crimped strips.
·         3mm strips – to outline each element and to create required shapes.
I have named them as above for convenience.

Since I do not have quilling strips I cut them from colored printer paper. I use a 3mm shredder to cut my strips. It is a mini hand shredder which is inexpensive.

Crimped Strips
I make crimped strips by using the can opener since it has two gear wheels that turn into each other and this is how the crimper works. Any gadget which uses gear wheels  which turn into each other can be used to crimp as long as you are able to guide the strip through them.

Take a 3mm strip and fold it down at a distance of 1cm or any other suitable size. Gum the edge to the strip. Then fold it up and down again. ( zig- zag like a fan fold and stick all the bottom folds together to form a grass shaped quill). On each bottom fold apply a itsy bit of glue with a toothpick to form a grass like shape. To gain stability make the last bottom fold wrap around the bottom like you do when husking.
You can also create the grass shape like you create husked leaves except that you do not wrap the strip around the husked leaf. Pinch the top to get the grass to be spiky. You need not used pins just hold it in your hand and do it.

Honeycomb Circles
Take a 3mm strip and insert  your quilling tool 1.5cm away from the edge and roll your tool clockwise. Give it a slight anticlockwise twist and remove the tool . Insert once again 1.5 cm away from your last mini coil and twist your tool clockwise. You will get two mini coils joined in the same strip. Create two more mini coils in the same strip then wrap the strip around these 4 mini coils encircling them to form a circle and gum it. You will get 4 tiny circles enclosed within a circle like a rounded   honeycomb.
I got the many colors on the tree top by pasting different color 2.5 “ strips in random order and creating one long strip and then making honeycomb circles from them. This gave me a lovely combination of colors.

Fleur De Lis Circles
Take a 3mm strip. Hold the edge between your thumb and fore finger  breadth wise ( ie your thumb will be 3mm away from your forefinger) so that the rest of the strip will be hanging down. Now and curve it upwards at about 1/2cm length, and downwards at 1/2cm length and hold the curve along with the edge between your thumb and forefinger. Once more curve the strip up at ½ cm length and on the next downward curve wrap it around to encircle  all the curves to form a circle. Do not pinch like you did for the grass as you want a rounded look.
This is very similar to the Zig zag fold you do for the grass. Just note that you do not fold it up or down but simply curve it and encircle it to form something like a peace symbol.  Have a look at Pouting penny for a clear look at the shape.


Creating the Landscape
 This is an example of another landscape I am working on
  1. Begin by pinning the printout of the landscape to the soft board with the polythene or any other see through, non-stick paper on top. You are going to paste on top of the non-stick surface.
  2.  The next step is to decide which elements form the background and which form the foreground. In the quilled tree landscape, the tree and the flowers on the hill are in the foreground and the rest of the scene is part of the background.
  3. It follows that the background has to be quilled first and the foreground elements will be quilled separately and blended into the background.
  4.  Next is to outline the elements in the background with strips so that you can fill each element with the chosen basic shape. So, use pins to get the strips to form the outline   of the grassy hill element.
  5. In my landscape I have outlined the bottom border and used yellow grass to form the top outline. It was pretty easy to outline, as it is straight and forms three sides of a rectangle. You can start and end the outline by folding the double strip around the pin and gluing the strip onto the pin. Once the landscape element is done remove the pin gently by twisting it around while pulling the pin out.  Use double or triple strips to get a clear firm outline.
  6. Now stick the basic grass quills to the outline and onto each other to create the turf. Use glue sparingly and only at the tips and bottom of the grass.  Do not stick the basic shapes to the bottom polythene. The direction of the grass does not matter as long as you have most of it facing upwards. Fill the in-between spaces by fitting the grass in any direction but down. 
  7. I usually do not pre-quill the basic shapes, I make and paste so that I can make the shapes to the required size. It is easier to get the grass to fit without empty spaces when you adopt this method.
  8. There that was easy wasn’t it?
  9. You can mix greens for the grass making some places dark to indicate that the ground is not even.
  10. Once you have pasted the grass to form the shape of a hill, paste the yellow grass basic toform the top outline.
  11.  Now use strips and pins to form the outlines of the distant hills.
  12. Use crimped strips instead of regular strips for the dark green and yellow distant hills.
  13.  Fill the bottom yellow and pink hills with fleur de lis circles by sticking each circle to the other with the minutest bit of glue. Apply the glue by rolling the toothpick on the surface of the circle.
  14.  If your crimped hill has space, cut more crimped strips to the required size and pate it to fill the spaces.
  15.   Note that there must not be too much space in any of the elements. If there is, make basic shapes to fill the space size and fill it in.
  16. For the green and yellow striped hill use green and yellow grass basic to form the pattern.
  17. Now you have completed the background double check that all the elements are stuck properly to each other if not, don’t be shy to use your glue.
  18. Once dried remove this from the non-stick surface and it will look like a quilled mat and you will feel a rush of adrenalin!! Wow, did I just create that!!! I am blilliant!!
  19.  If it is stuck to the surface in some places, nudge it out with a new toothpick.


Creating the Foreground Elements
I usually like 3d effect in my quilling so I try to make my quilled landscapes in different levels. In the quilled tree landscape I have put the tree and the flowers on the hill in the foreground in order to lift them out of the scene.
Quilling the tree
1.       Print  another copy of the landscape and cut out the bark and branches of the tree with a sharp craft knife.
2.       Place the cut-out on brown printer paper and cut out the image in brown. You will use this to paste the strips on.
3.       Remove the quilled background from the backing plastic sheet using a toothpick to gently nudge it out if it is stuck to the polythene. Store it carefully.
4.       Place the cutout, brown trunk element on the printout and put a few pins around it to hold it in place.
5.       Now paste a combination of brown yellow and black strips to form the tree trunk. Crush the strips to get a more gnarled look.
6.       Paste it on the brown backing by rolling a toothpick dipped in glue along the edge that is being pasted to the paper. Don’t  paste it in a uniform manner just cut long and short strips , crush and paste to make it look like a tree trunk .
7.       If you want to have knots, combine brown and black and make a loose coil, crush it and smoothen and then paste in a place that is appropriate for knots.

Quilling the Tree Top
1.       Take a combination of either greens ( include two shades of yellow as well) or orange and tear the 3mm strips to 2.5 “ pieces.
2.       Paste the small strips to form a very long strip. Change the order in which you combine the colors  to make it as random as possible.
3.       Now quill honeycomb circles and paste them one to the other around your strip quilled branches.
4.       Do not paste the circles onto the branches. Just leave space so that you can fit the branches into the spaces later.
5.       Use the backing picture to guide you.
6.       Once you have completed the tree top lift it off the polythene like a mat.
7.       Place it on green or orange backing paper and paste the treetop mat to the paper .
8.       When pasting apply little specks of glue at ½ cm intervals along the edge of the treetop mat and paste. Do not put gum onto the center area of the mat. You could also cut out the shape of the treetop in green or orange and apply the gum on the paper and stick the tree top mat on it.
9.       Once the tree top mat is pasted to the backing paper allow the gum to dry and then cut out spaces to fit the branches into.
Making Wild Flowers
1.       Make tiny flowers to paste on the hillside. These may be flat quilled or 3d flowers which pop-out of the hillside.

Putting it All Together
1.       Quill plenty of pegs to elevate the tree trunk, tree top and some of the flowers if required.
2.       Whatever element you want to lift out of the landscape should be lifted by sticking pegs (tight coils) to the back.
3.       Now take the quilled hill mat and paste an appropriate colored backing paper to the  mat and cut it out.
4.       Paste the hill mat to the backing paper as indicated for the tree top.
5.       I paste the elements to paper and cut out but this step is not essential. All the mats can directly be pasted to the framing board or to acid free card .
6.       Paste the hill mat to the background card or framing  board.
7.       Now place the roots of the tree slightly  touching the hilltop and  paste pegs along the trunk and branches. ( pegs should be pasted on the paper side which will be pasted to the framing board or card.
8.       Do the same for the treetop.
9.       Now place the tree correctly on the scene and glue the roots to touch the quilled mat hill top and gum the pegs slightly with a toothpick without allowing the glue to touch the board, then paste the trunk firmly to the board.
10.   Repeat procedure  with the treetop taking care to fit it into the branches
11.   Now you will have a 3d scene where the tree pops out slightly.
12.   Now paste the flowers onto the hill mat and elevate some with pegs before sticking it to the hill mat.
You did it !! You now have a lovely quilled landscape that is a work of art!! Well done give yourself a pat on the back.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thank you for a great tutorial, this is what I've been looking for and could only find thank you!!! I am a bit confused on what to glue to what when it comes to transferring and when to cut out and when not to, but I'm sure it is just me and not your instructions. I think once I try this it will all make sense. Thank you so much again! Cindy


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