The choice of gilded ivory and moss green quilling paper was a nod to the bride's bouquet that contained ivory and blush flowers with succulents. Metallic-edge quilling paper from England (JJ Quilling Design) never fails to amaze me... it truly shines like gold.
The client and I were in frequent contact... I always appreciate input because I want the result to be as close as possible to what is envisioned. A black fabric-covered mat was chosen for the top layer with an underlying blush mat. Cut outs for the invitation and reply post card that featured iconic New Orleans architecture were spaced to allow for quilling at the top and in-between.
First, I visited my local frame shop to select and place an order for the mat boards. Meanwhile, I completed the quilling before returning with measurements.
I find the easiest way to communicate accurately what is needed is to make a paper pattern. This also helps me to visualize the layout and to ensure the quilling is not crowded. The shop uses a mat cutting computer program... we fine-tuned the spacing and I was emailed the final layout to approve before the mats were electronically cut, an ideal way to avoid do-overs.
Ornate filigree ironwork is a characteristic of New Orleans buildings and French fleurs-de-lis are often seen as well. I replicated the one on the invitation, while the topmost quilling is a re-creation of a wrought iron scrollwork design on the reverse side of the reply card.
Because I was using traditional quilling paper, I glued two strips together to create double thickness strips for most of the top quilling... they needed to be strong enough to stand on edge. I have to admit the design took considerable time due to its symmetry (trickier than a quilled snowflake, my usual nemesis at this time of year, ha). Worth it in the end though, when all was glued in place.
Lastly, it was packed and shipped by the helpful folks at The UPS Store who probably groan when they see me coming. They know my cautioning words by heart... "Handle only by the edges!" An elegant golden frame with a beaded edge was chosen by the client when it reached its destination. Perhaps I'm overthinking this, but in my mind the beads are a subtle, classy nod to The Big Easy and Mardi Gras time.