I spent Christmas in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and was so inspired by the beautiful snow there that I just had to quill some snowflake ornaments.  I gave most of them away as gifts, but kept a couple behind to hang on my windows here at home (where we have no snow).  2 of the snowflakes were quilled using 1/8″ wide paper strips and the rest were quilled using 1/4″ strips (which is my preference for appearance and strength)… all were quilled in the color “bright white.”  I wish I had gotten better photos, but these will have to do––click on the photos to see them up close.


Holy Family

It was a beautiful Christmas and, like last year, I enjoyed making several miniature nativities to give as gifts.  The ones I made in 2010 included an angel, star, a “stable,” Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.  This year, I kept it to just the 3 figures of the holy family––Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.  I made the change partially because it is much easier and faster to make 3 figures than 4+, but I also realized that the arrangement of 3 figures looks better too.

Joseph stands about 2 inches tall, just to give you an idea of size.

I would like to give a shout-out to Cheryl at a paper {life} ( who originally inspired the design with her own beautiful (and more comprehensive) nativity.

Fluttering Butterfly

This is the 3rd and final piece for the same family who ordered the pieces featured on the Family Fun and on Flowering Tree posts.  I have received very positive feedback from the family on all 3 pieces, which always does my heart good.

This piece was for the youngest daughter in the family and it was surprisingly difficult because I didn’t want it to look too much like her mom’s.  I wanted it to be unique, just for her.  I can’t tell you how many flowers got scrapped in the process.  And drawings of layouts.  Finally, however, I did decide to go with something similar, but using different flowers.  Of course, there is only one butterfly (representing the little girl) instead of a whole family of winged creatures so I was able to slightly dramatize the butterfly fluttering delightfully among the flowers with just a few dots of a fine-tipped Sharpie.  What fun!  🙂

Something kind of fun about the pieces for the 2 daughters is that they will be displayed next to each other on a wall.  So I was careful to use the same color for the background and the same font and color for the text.  I also wanted the colors of the quilled elements to go well together.  I started out using all the colors in this piece that I used in the “flowering tree” piece.  Yikes.  That did NOT work.  The red, orange, and gold colors looked hideous and those were the flowers that got scrapped (as did at least one of the shades of blue I tried0.  Once I paired down the colors to pink, purple, yellow, and blue–with some white in there too–it came together very quickly and, I think, nicely.

I’ll share some photos of the piece on it’s own and also one next to the flowering tree since they’ll be wall buddies.

Flowering Tree

I hadn’t quilled trees in a long time before this project and had missed them very much.  That’s why there are a zillion photos with this post.  Enthusiasm.

This order was for the same family who ordered the “Family Fun” piece.  That piece was for the mother and this piece if for her oldest daughter.  The request was for a tree and a butterfly (to represent the daughter).  The tree, it was suggested, could be inspired from Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.  And it was… kind of.  All the same, I was very pleased with how it turned out.  It has a very simple look to it, and I really like the color added by the blossoms.  There is quite a bit more open space (I can’t remember what the “artistic” term for that is) than usual, which was intentional.

The trunk is basically a bunch of marquee rolls all squished together.  I line the sides of the trunk with a single strip of paper just to smooth out the appearance.  The leaves are also marquee rolls, I think they were mostly 4″ strips, 1/8″ wide.  I used 3 shades of green for the leaves and 2 shades of brown for the trunk.  The blossoms were mostly 1″ tight coils.  Honestly, this is a piece a beginner could make… the shapes are very basic and the creative options (i.e., the shape of the tree, how to place leaves, blossoms, bluebirds, etc.) are endless.  This was a very fun piece to quill and I look forward to doing more trees in the future.

The photos show the piece from just about every angle.  I blurred out some of the birthday for the sake of privacy.


I recently renewed my membership in the North American Quilling Guild and have been pleased with my membership over the last year or so.  They send out regular publications, which feature full-color photos of quilled work from around the country.  I am always inspired to continue to improve my own skills, and to share and teach quilling when ever the opportunity arises.  Members have special access to patterns, forums, etc. online… it’s a really fun community and I look forward to being a member for years to come.  If you’re a quiller or a supporter of quilling, check out the website:

Here’s a photo of of their most recent publication along with some of the gold seals (which are an additional purchase) I now place on my pieces to identify myself as a member.  I get a kick out of adding a little something to make it all look more official/professional.  : )

Family Fun

This request was for a 8.5″x11″ piece featuring a “Mommy” butterfly leading her 7 children… 2 daughters, represented by butterflies; 5 sons, represented by dragonflies.

I originally arranged the “children” to follow in a line directly behind Mom, but thought I’d try more of a sweeping upward arrangement, which I really liked.  It allowed more movement in the piece and for more of a purpose for the flowers since it seems as though they are emerging from fluttering among the flowers.

The recipient’s name and birthdate were requested to be featured on the piece as well, I’ve blurred the birthdate for the sake of privacy.

Over the next month or so, I’ll be working on a piece for each of the two daughters as well.  3 pieces for one family—what fun!

Irish Hymn

This quilled piece is for a man who is currently battling a terminal illness and has experienced profound suffering.  He is proudly Irish, so the words to the Irish hymn Be Thou My Vision were requested on his behalf (which is a favorite of mine as well).

The burned edges of the paper symbolize the trial he has been experiencing, and to show hope and truth (as spoken in the song) are untouched by the flames. The green underneath is a nod to the Irish and is placed under the burned paper to represent the constant, life-imparting love of the Father (God). The dove represents peace through the Holy Spirit.  The dove also carries a small branch to represent God’s promises. The Celtic-type cross (also meant to look Irish-ish) represents the redemptive and eternal work of Christ. The plants on the top and bottom symbolize a changed, but ongoing life, despite the flames. The symbols are white to represent God’s holiness and purity… characteristics of God which, in my experience, seem to take on new meaning in the midst of the most difficult and pain-filled moments.

It has been awhile since I did a piece in which each element had special meaning. Knowing some of this man’s story, I was humbled by the opportunity to make this for him.