For those of you who are like me and continue to be amazed at the possibilities of paper quilling, do I have a post (and a giveaway) for you!
The work of Diane Boden Crane is synonymous with teeny-tiny perfection. You may recognize Diane as the author of the book, Miniature Quilling, featured here earlier this week.
Diane kindly sent these pictures of her designs to share with all of you. The top lifts off the sheep box and yes, even the knitting needles are made of paper! Just look at the ball of yarn - such perfect spirals.
Diane works almost exclusively with 2mm strips (1/16 inch here in the U.S., usually called "narrow" by suppliers). Not only that, but she often cuts them in half to make spirals which she uses as a length, or chopped up to give texture... for example, the covering on the sheep box... such infinitesimally small bits, practically as fine as glitter!
Feast your eyes on this whimsical wedding scene...
Diane and her husband, Tris, are the new owners of JJ Quilling Design in England. If you've been quilling for a while, no doubt you are familiar with the name Jane Jenkins, as she is also a fabulously creative quiller and book author. (Quilling: Techniques and Inspiration is one of my favorites.) Jane and her husband are the original owners of the company.
As a way for us to get to know Diane and her plans for JJ Quilling Design, I asked her to tell us about herself.
How did you get started quilling?
I first discovered quilling in 1982 when I came across Elizabeth Aaron’s book “Quilling The Art of Paper Scroll Work”in a bookshop, followed by “Quilling Paper Art for Everyone” by Betty Christy and Doris Tracy, in my local library. I borrowed this book so much, it was in my house more than it was on the library shelf! More than 20 years later, someone unknown to me brought this book into the Arts Centre where I was teaching quilling one morning. I took one look at it, and thought, “Oh no, it can’t be!” It was – the very same book that I had borrowed so many times all those years ago – it was like seeing an old friend again after a long absence. So dear Betty and Doris have much to answer for!
You're active in The Quilling Guild of England, aren't you?
Not long after my first tentative steps in quilling, I discovered The Quilling Guild and became a member. I consider myself to be one of the “old girls” as my membership number is quite a low one! Around this time, I sent off for some quilling strips from a supply company called JJ Quilling Design. I remember being so impressed by their efficient, friendly service, that I wrote a letter back to tell them so. Little did I know that nearly 30 years on that I, together with my dear husband Tris, would be the new owners of JJ Quilling Design – the quilled coil has turned full circle!
I'm sure customers are happy that the company is the competent hands of another expert quiller.
Now it is my turn to be on the receiving end of customer comments, and I am pleased to say that we are receiving some nice feedback from our customers – definitely one of the perks of the job. Jane and Paul Jenkins are a hard act to follow, but we want to continue their tradition of service and giving customers confidence in our products because we understand the needs of quillers. We are still producing paper strips ourselves, and are still offering the full range of colours and varieties of paper strips.
Any future quilling plans you can share?
Once the business side of things has settled down a bit, my hope and desire is to find a little more time to design and produce Diane Boden Designs, as Jane has done before me – it is all in my head at the moment!
Where do you find inspiration for your delightful designs?
All things paper, to coin a phrase, has been a life long fascination for me, and the longer I live, the more things quillers find to do with a strip of paper – surely one of the most versatile materials ever made by man. I get my inspiration from a variety of sources, but the same topics seem to crop up over and over again . I enjoy gardening, but often my quilled flowers bloom more gloriously than the ones I had been aiming to grow in my back garden! Another recurring theme is food – I love the challenge of trying to represent something delicious in paper. Hopefully, my baking sessions in the kitchen result in tastier creations than my paper versions! It is nice though, when people look at a piece of foody quilling and say, “Oooh, that looks good enough to eat!”
The work of other quillers is always an inspiration, often prompting the response, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Perhaps that is the beauty of it, that everybody sees the world in a slightly different way and, as with handwriting, our quilling is personal to us, and no two hands produce the same work.
Taking over JJ Quilling Design is bringing many opportunities to be in touch with quillers not only in the UK, but by the magic of the wonderful web, with quillers all over the world. It is fascinating to hear how people have been introduced to the craft, and then take their new found enthusiasm to a whole new audience.
As a way of introducing the company and its brand new website, Diane and Tris are offering the opportunity to All Things Paper readers worldwide to win 12 packs of quilling paper of your own choosing! (excluding edged strips)
To enter, visit JJ Quilling Design, select your dream quilling supply, come back here, and name it in your comment.
Mentioning the giveaway on your own site or via Facebook or Twitter will count as up to three extra entries... let me know in your comment how many of these things you have done.
Giveaway ends Saturday night, the 19th. The winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced on this post on Sunday morning.
A personal note... I find that JJ papers handle very nicely. Here in the U.S. they're available from Whimsiquills and Custom Quilling, and perhaps via other suppliers too... if you don't see them listed, ask for them by name.
Update: Random.org selected #59, Jackie Njeri, as the winner of a dozen packages of quilling paper. Congratulations!
Jackie wrote: What an inspiration! I wish I could quill like that. I love the gold edged strips! Hugs from a quiller in Africa.
Many thanks to everyone who entered. Your enthusiasm for Diane's quilling was fantastic and your comments were a delight to read!
Disclosure: I wasn't paid or perk'd by JJ Quilling Design for this post. Book titles are affiliate links.