Thursday, August 11, 2016

Playing with Paper: Quilled Creations

As a result of some recent purchases to restock, as well as a few impulse buys at the NAQG conference, I found myself with several different types of paper from the Quilled Creations line, and figured I'd go ahead and play around with them, comparing and contrasting.  I thought you might be interested in some of my experiments and findings.

Do note that I do not endorse any particular supplier.  I'm happy to buy what I need from whomever has quality items at a good price.  I will buy glue from one dealer, paper from another, and tools from another.  And then books from anywhere at all.  I have a list on my toolbar of several different dealers and suppliers of quilling materials (and if you see someone missing, I'd be happy to add them!).

Note also, that this is not a comprehensive review of all the paper products from Quilled Creations, either.  All widths here are the standard 1/8 of an inch.  I didn't try any of the wider or more narrow paper.  Also, I haven't included things like their metallic or corrugated paper, either.

Still, using similar colors in the same widths from five different types of paper was certainly enlightening.  Here we go.

1.  Basic Paper.  I started off with their basic paper, here provided in the "sampler" pack.  And first I have to say, what fun!  This excellent little pack has so many colors and in a neat, compact form.  Would be perfect for people just starting out, or in my case, to have on hand when you need a bit of a very specific color.  Update - At first I said I didn't see where you could buy these, but stop here for the link, $1.95 each at this writing.

The purple petal that I made from this paper (in the approximately 7 to 8 o'clock position on my flower, there) is the only one not made from a single strip.  I used two on this one because the strips are so short.  Normally, I have a strong bias towards longer strips of paper, but in this case it is a sampler pack and short strips are expected.

The paper has a nice hand and feel, just the tiniest bit slick.  Glue takes just a touch longer to dry on this paper than other (especially older) papers I have.  The weights of the strips are pretty consistent from one color to the next, which is a change from the old papers where the black strips would be twice as heavy as the white ones because of the dye process.  I didn't have to discard any of the strips in the pack, either, which was nice.  Many times, as you know, there can be strips on the ends of packs that have slightly ragged edges, and need to be discarded.  All the strips had good color saturation and were very even and consistent in width.  A solid quality product.

2.  Jewel Tone.  Next clockwise around the 'flower' is the petal in the 10 o'clock position, made from the 'Jewel Tones' collection.  This paper is somewhat stiff, and has a glistening, sort of pearly finish.  In spite of the stiffness it holds a good coil.  The colors in my mixed pack were all bright and shiny, with very deep color saturation.  I think the red and green will make very nice Christmas poinsettias.  The general slick feel and stiffness made it less fun to use than other paper, but the end result I think is worth the trouble.  Glue takes a little longer to dry with this paper, but not enough to be a deterrent to using it.  Good length.  Will be getting more of this.

3.  Graduated Paper.  At the 12 o'clock position on my flower is the petal made with the purple 'Graduated' paper.  This paper is white at one end, and gradually turns to another color (in my example, purple) at the other end.  I rolled the strip so the white end would be in the center of the petal, and the darker color on the outside.  The paper has a bit of a slick feel to it, and glue takes just a tad longer to dry.  Somewhat short length.

A few things that didn't work for me - the color saturation at the 'dark' end of the paper just does not seem that dark.  Some of the colors are rather pastel, actually, which might be what you need in some cases, but limits the drama of the effect.  Also, the 'core' of the paper seems to be white, so you can see it on the torn/glued end, and you can also see white on the edge of the entire petal.  I have no idea how you'd go about creating graduated edge color, but that would really be pretty amazing (and see number 4 below about the 'Color Blends' Vellum).  As it is, this just didn't have the punch I was looking for.  I think I'll still be using two kinds of colors (white and then dark) and gluing them together end to end when I'm looking for this effect.

4.  Color Blends Vellum.  The petal in the 3 o'clock position, with the greenish center, is made from the 'Color Blends' line, which isn't really paper.  Instead it is vellum, a slightly translucent material.  I have very mixed feelings about this 'paper'.  I don't like the way it feels at all; it is sort of plastic-y and very stiff.  It needs to be wrapped tight to get it to hold a good coil in the center.  The color saturation also suffers because the paper as noted is just a touch translucent.  Length is a bit on the short side.

However, the paper does produce a very interesting effect.  The paper transitions evenly from one color to another as the strip goes end to end.  There is no white 'core' to the paper, so the color you see on edge is the color of the strip at that point on the flat surface (which differs from number 3 above, the 'Graduated Paper').  A feature of dying vellum vs. paper?  It is just not easy to get this nice effect even with rolling strips together or doing end to end gluing.  So if you just have to have this blended effect, there really isn't any other way to get it.

5.  Highlights Paper.  The last petal in the 5 o'clock position is made from the 'Highlights' line of paper.  This paper is one color on one side, and another color on the other side.  In this case, the primary color is a light blue (which is on one side, and forms the core color, so that's what shows on the edge.)  The other side is purple.  It is very hard to capture the effect in a photograph.  It is something you see as you view the petal from different angles - the color transitions from blue to purple.  It is a really interesting effect.  The paper itself is a nice length, holds a good coil, and like the regular paper has a nice feel with just the slightest slickness.  Glue dries relatively quickly.  I think the paper feels good to work with and I think the effect is very pretty, so I'm likely to be getting more of this. 

Image Credit:  All my own pictures of my own quilling supplies.

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