Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Guest Blogger Teresa Reasor

Please join me in welcoming my first guest blogger of 2009, Tereasa Reasor. Teresa's hobby intrigued me, and she's been kind enough to share her love. I'm sure you'll find it fascinating.

Hello everyone.

My name is Teresa Reasor and I’m a writer, artist, and teacher. I live in a small town in southeastern Kentucky. But that isn’t the only place I’ve lived. When I was young my father was in the Marine Corps and we traveled quite a bit. It was during those years of travel that I took up the solitary pursuits of reading, writing, drawing, and painting, as well as several other art forms. I think I was nine or ten when I was introduced to Quilling in Girl Scouts.

I’m not talking about the traditional Native American Quilling that’s done using porcupine quills, though that form of quilling is just as old and worthy of mention. And if you’re interested in Native American art forms, which I have to teach in my curriculum as an art teacher, there is an excellent website called Native Tech, Native American Technology and Art which contains some wonderful information about this art form and its history, as well as several others. Since I’ve tried about every kind of art work over the years, I’m not ruling out trying porcupine quilling one day.

The type of quilling I was introduced to as a child is also called paper filigree and has just as long a history. Some sources say it was created with the invention of paper in China in 105 AD. Others claim that it began in ancient Egypt. Since paper deteriorates, we have no record of the very first project done using paper. But with some of the similarities seen in the beautiful metal filigree works done in the Middle East and Egypt, it is not far fetched to speculate that the craft had it’s beginning in a far distant past.

Quilling began its rise in popularity in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in France and Italy. Nuns cut the gold tipped edges from the pages of religious books and rolled the paper around a feather quill to curl the paper and fashion it into decorations they used on religious artifacts and pictures. The paper was cheaper and easier to use than metal.

Later the art form spread to England where it took off during the Renaissance but became most popular in the Georgian and Victorian eras. Ladies of that time used quilling to decorate personal items and furniture. Quilling traveled to America with the Pilgrims and was used in Colonial times for the same purposes as in England. Tea caddies, boxes, fans, hand bags, and frames were only some of the items embellished with it.

Today the art is used in scrapbooking, cards, frames, pictures, boxes, gift bags, tags, and the list goes on and on. I’ve done three-dimensional miniatures for dollhouses, jewelry, cards, boxes, plagues, frames, Christmas ornaments, and created whole pictures with quilling. It’s a relatively cheap art form, and very easy.

There are numerous places to buy quilling papers and objects to embellish on line. And some of the more well known arts and crafts supply stores carry them as well. A kit that contains the basic tools, ( a needle tool, slotted tool, bottle of glue, paper strips, a ruler, and a plastic covered cork board) can be purchased for about twenty dollars. I’ve had my newest set of tools for about ten years and order my paper strips on line from either The Quilling Superstore, The Lake City Craft Co., or Quilled Creations . Lake City always has free patterns on their site if you want to check it out.

I’m not the first author to quill. According to Jane Jenkins in her book Quilling Techniques and Inspiration, Charlotte Bronte quilled a tea caddy for a friend, and in Jane Austin’s book, Sense and Sensibility, a character was “rolling strips” for a friend. I found The Jane Austin Center had an article from the Jane Austin on line magazine that talks about quilling done at that time and shows a beautifully quilled box produced during the Regency period. Also, in one scene of the A&E/BBC collaborated movie of Pride and Prejudice the Bennett sisters are rolling paper as ladies of that time might have done.

I find quilling paper a relaxing past time while I’m mulling over plot problems and working out characterization issues. And if I create something unique to give a friend or a member of my family, I know I’m following in the footsteps of one of our first romance writers, Jane Austin, in more than one way. Maybe one day my books will be as popular as hers still are.
And for those of you who are interested in quilling, there are numerous books on the subject and numerous websites dedicated to the craft. I’ve just mentioned a few in this blog.
Thank you Terry for having me and allowing me to share one of my passions with your readers. I appreciate it.

Blessings to all,
Teresa Reasor

Teresa Reasor is the author of two historical romances, Highland Moonlight and Captive Hearts, both published by The Wild Rose Press. Both are available in ebook format from The Wild Rose Press, or in print at Amazon or other on line bookstores. You can find out more about her and her books at her website or her MySpace page, or at Inspiration, Inc.


Taryn Raye said...

Wow, Teresa! I didn't know what that kind of art form was called, but I've seen it in plenty of places and thought it was unusual and unique.

Thanks for sharing some of the history and information about it. Next time I watch the A&E/BBC version of P&P, I'll have to pay more attention and watch for the girls rolling the papers! Now I'll know what they were doing! :D

Very cool blog!

Jessie Verino said...

What an unusual and delightful art form! I'd never heard of the term quilling, but I have seen it. Thanks for the information, especially the very interesting websites.


Arkansas Cyndi said...

How come I didn't know this about you? How interesting, and unusual. You've given us some interesting links too.

Excellent article. Thanks for sharing your talent!

Quilling with Whimsiquills said...

I enjoyed the quilling article; I would like to invite those who want to become a little more familiar with this art form to visit my web site http://www.Whimsiquills.com and/or my blog www.quillingwithwhimsiquills.blogspot.com I have tons of free patterns, instruction sheets, reference materials, and in the photo gallery many pictures of finished pieces. It is a beautifl artform with a facinating history (which you just read) and is alive and well today. Give it a try!
Pat Caputo

Terry Odell said...

Cyndi, you've nailed the reason I started inviting guests. Everyone has that "other side" filled with hidden treasures. I thought it would be nice to shift the focus from writing -- after all, writers are people too. (Aren't they?)

And to Taryn, Jessie, and Pat -- thanks for dropping by.

Teresa Reasor said...

Hey Gals:
Taryn, I'm so glad you enjoyed the blog.
Jessie, thanks for popping on here.
Cyndi,I don't know why I haven't mention this before. I bet you have hidden talents, too.

Pat, thanks for the site, I'll be checking it out!

Helen Hardt said...

Wow, what a beautiful art form! And one that's totally new to me. Thank you for sharing.


Teresa Reasor said...

Hellen, Quilling is very addictive. Once you learn how to quill, you can't help yourself. I've made some beautiful jewelry, boxes and decorated picture frames, matts and other items. I love to give things as gifts. And it's very inexpensive to do.

Kathy Otten said...

Wow, I'd never heard of quilling. The pictures of what you created were beautiful. Thanks for sharing. It's wonderful activity for one of my future, historical heroines to do while having dialogue.

Teresa Reasor said...

I agree. It would add some historical detail that would add to your manuscript.

Teresa Reasor said...

I thought I'd post some of my favorite quilling books so if your interested you can check them out.
Teresa R.

Paper Quilling for the First Time by Alli Bartkowski ISBN 13: 978-1-4027-2216-5

The Book of Paper Quilling, Techniques and Projects for Paper Filigree
By Malinda Johnston ISBN 0-8069-0599-0

The New Paper Quilling , Techniques for Scrapbooks, Cards, Home Accents, and More
By Molly Smith Christensen ISBN 13: 978-1-57990-691-7

Quilling For Scrapbooks and Cards by Susan Lowman ISBN 1-4027-1922-1

Twirled Paper by Jacqueline Lee ISBN 1-57054-808-0

Elaine Cantrell said...

Your work is beautiful even though truthfully, I've never heard of quilling. At first I thought you meant quilting. I'll check out your web site to learn more about it.

Teresa Reasor said...

I think there are lots of people who aren't aware of it as an art form. Now you can buy machine quilled butterflies and things to go on objects. It's much more rewarding to do them yourself.
I've even taught my elementary and college age students to quill using shreaded paper and toothpicks to wrap the paper around.

Teresa R.

Tracy Preston - Romance Writer said...

Hi Teresa & Terry!

This blog was so interesting. I'd heard you talk about quilling before, but to be honest I wasn't completely clear on what it was. This stuff is truly neat.

I'd love to see an example at one of our meetings!

Tracy Preston

Teresa Reasor said...

Thanks for joining us.
I'll bring some of my quilled projects with me to the next KYRW meeting. I'm making some things for our give away basket on inspiration-ink.blogspot.com


Teresa Reasor said...

Here's some more quilling books that you might want to check out.
Check with your local library before you purchase books, they may have them and you can figure out if you want to try quilling.

Quilling Techniques and Inspiration by Jane Jenkins ISBN 0-85532-990-4

Quilling for Beginners by Jean Woolston-Hamey ISBN 0-7318-1231-X

The Art of Quilling by Trees Tra and Pieter Van Der Wolk ISBN 0-86417-519-1

Decorative Quilling, 50 New Designs by Trees Tra and Malinda Johnston ISBN 0-86417-560-4

The Craft of Quilling by Janet Wilson ISBN 0-85532-797-9

Milner Craft Series, Popular Quilling by Helen Walter ISBN 1-86351-338-8

Teresa Reasor said...

I'm so glad you asked me to do this blog. I'm having a great time here.

Terry Odell said...

Teresa, I'm so glad you're here--and it looks like you're turning others on to quilling.

jj Keller said...

Fabulous! You are so talented, Teresa.

Teresa Reasor said...

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Sling Words aka Joan Reeves said...

Oh, but paper quilling brought back memories of when I was a Girl Scout leader and had to come up with crafts. Too bad I didn't have you as a resource because I sucked at paper quilling!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Teresa,
Great article. I have heard of Quilting before, but didn't quite know what it was. Your historical novels sound interesting. Being an historical author myself, anything to do with history always leaps out and grabs me.

Sheryl said...

Hidden depths, Theresa! How wonderfully informative. I love the watch-face. How intricate is that? I too will keep an eye out for the skill on P&P. :)

I am also drawn to the arts, as in painting, sculpting, anything that allows me to express (including writing, I suppose :)). My last project was sign-painting for a boat. Have you ever tried that intricate art in finger-less gloves. Brrrrr!

Nice interview, Terry!

Teresa Reasor said...

I taught my girl scouts how to quill, too. I was a girl scout leader for 5 years. Had we known one another I'd have jumped right in.
I love research and spend a great deal of time trying to get things right. So I understand getting hooked in to history.

I have done sign painting on windows. I wasn't very quick so it took me forever. But being an art teacher I'm always on the lookout for different arts to try.

All of you,
Thanks so much for visiting!

Jess said...

Impressive! I still do a bit of origami now and then, but nothing so fantastic!

Teresa Reasor said...

Thanks for stopping by. I do origami with my students at school but nothing elaborate. I'd like to learn how to do more if I had time.
I'm starting to learn teabag folding to make cards which starts out with a square and a kite fold.If I hadn't done origami I probably wouldn't be very good at it.
Keep folding,
Teresa R.

Jan McDaniel said...

Fascinating, Teresa. I'd never heard of quilling! Thanks!

Magdalena Scott said...

Omigosh, Teresa, I had no idea. You constantly amaze me!

Amy Durham said...

Having seen your work first hand, Teresa, I can vouch for how beautiful it is! And wow... you are a fount of information! I had no idea it was such an old art form. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. Very, very interesting.


Jenyfer Matthews said...

My aunt used to do quite a bit of quilling but I haven't thought about it in years. I particularly love that watch face in your post. Thanks for sharing!

Custom Quilling said...

Quilling is very addicting... I've been a quiller since I picked up my first hat pin (still my tool of choice) in 1975!
I guess there are worst things in life to be addicted to!!!

Wonderful article.

Keep on Quillin',