Quilling, also known as paper filigree, is the art of cutting and curling narrow strips of paper and laying them on edge to form intricate filigree designs. The process, which dates back to at least the 13th Century, originated with religious orders who used the gilded edges of old manuscripts to decorate religious artifacts. It is believed the paper was curled around the base of a quill (or feather), hence the name quilling.
The art form has survived over the centuries, falling in and out of fashion. During the past two decades there has been a resurgence of interest in quilling throughout the world. Quillers have been informally organized through membership in quilling guilds (Australia, England, Japan, Netherlands & North America), and most recently through e-groups on the Internet. The quilling artists who belong to the guilds work in an effort to promote the art of quilling and ensure that its beauty is passed on to future generations. Quillers from all over the world can now communicate and view photos via the Internet. They take an active role by teaching, demonstrating, and exhibiting their work in their local areas.
The North American Quilling Guild (NAQG) publishes a newsletter, Quill America, four times a year, which includes pictures of quilling, tips, hints, patterns and a forum for the exchange of ideas. An annual conference is held at a different venue each year where quillers attend workshops and display their work. Check our website for information about the next NAQGCON.
The NAQG celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2010 with a special project by, and for, its members. Forty-five members from around the globe made quilled flowers, many of them characteristic of their locale, from which a floral tribute was created by Helen Pierce, a member from Illinois who conceived of the anniversary celebration project and brought it to fruition.