Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ideas and Inspiration for New Quilling Projects

This iron-on book, mostly for use
as a source for embroidery patterns,
is also a great source for quilling ideas.
So you want to quill, and you don't know where to start.  Or maybe you've been at it a while and want some ideas for, well, finding new ideas.  Here is my list of places I go for inspiration.  Starting simple and easy with "kits" and ending with some more strange stuff like "fractals."  Hopefully you'll find something useful here!  Let me know if any of this works for you, and what your own unique ideas are for inspiration and imagination :)  !

Note:  If you use someone's pattern, or create a piece that is reasonably similar to theirs, then you should contact/acknowledge them if you end up posting pictures of that piece, or putting it up for sale, etc.  Kits, for example, are offered with the understanding that you might craft and then sell a piece exactly like it.  Permission isn't necessary in those cases.  But some art is utterly unique, and one should not take a copyright for granted.  When in doubt, ask the artist.  At the least, it is a common courtesy, and at the most it could be a legal requirement, depending on the specifics of your situation.

Quilling Kits:  The easiest place to start is to simply buy a good quilling kit.  There are several companies that make them, and they are relatively inexpensive.  (Some are listed on my sidebar.)  A quilling kit contains instructions and enough paper to complete a specific project.  Some are very basic, and others quite involved.  You can do the kit exactly as is, make your own adjustments and embellishments, or use it as inspiration for a completely different piece.

Some patterns are easy to adapt, just
start filling in with quills!
Patterns in Books:  Books about quilling generally have patterns for you to follow.  Books are more expensive than a single kit, and usually do not come with paper, so be sure you know what you are getting before you buy.  Some are for beginners, others are for the more advanced and do not have tutorials.  Many books follow a theme like "cards" or "flowers" so be sure the theme resonates with you.  Books often have great galleries of finished projects at the back that are great places to find inspiration.

Images of Quilling:  Need ideas?  It's time to just go browsing.  I can spend hours looking through places like "tumblr" or "pinterest."  There are no patterns of course, or step by step directions.  But it is a great way to spot new techniques, ways to blend colors, and more.  The best part is that browsing is free, except for all the time I spend doing it, anyway :)

Motifs and Designs:  There are resources that are specifically created to offer copyright free motifs, designs, borders, illustrations, and patterns around a theme.  Many of the motifs are bought to be used as clipart, sewing patterns, tattoo sources, and more - say quilling!  I'll be posting here on the site about a few of the motif resources I have to give you a better idea what I mean ...

Some patterns are a bit more complicated ... but
perfect for more involved projects.
Other Arts and Crafts:  This is a biggie.  Other arts and crafts can be excellent sources of ideas.  Quilting, embroidery, origami, beadwork, and so much more all have their own kits and patterns.  One may be just what you are looking for to adapt for a new quilling design.  And if you are also practicing that other craft, you may find innovative ways to combine them into something extraordinary.  Quilling and sculpture, for example, are perfect partners for amazing paper art in three dimensions.  My personal favorite craft to keep an eye on is stained glass!  Gorgeous colors and clear designs are the hallmark of that craft, and they are often easily exported to quilling. But not to be overlooked are more unusual art sources, say fractal art.  A place like deviantArt.com has plenty of great pieces to spark your imagination.  Fractals already are a basic aspect of nature, so their repetition can fit in very well with quilled designs.

Nature:  The biggest biggie, really.  I can't draw very well, so I use my camera and take pictures of whatever I find compelling in the world.  Using my quiller's eye, I see things very differently than when I'm just randomly enjoying a simple walk.  Sometimes an image breaks down into a pattern hardly without trying, and other times its a struggle.  But like any artist, if you want to capture something amazing to share, sometimes there is no other way than the hard way!

What are your sources of inspiration for quilling?

Image Credits:  From the Butterfly Iron on Book by Barbara Christopher, sitting on my shelf.

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