Quilled "A Day at the Races"

If you're a longtime reader of this blog, perhaps you'll recognize the name, Licia Politis. She's an exceptional quiller from New South Wales, Australia whose outstanding art pieces have frequently won awards.

Quilled Day at the Races
Day at the Races, Licia Politis, 2011

This past April, Licia's newest work, Day at the Races, took
first prize in the "Any Other Quilled Item" category at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, where it was featured in the Showcase of Excellence for the two week duration of the show. Composed entirely of paper, the piece also took first place in the "Masters" category of the UK Quilling Guild's annual competition last month.

Licia told me the
inspiration behind Day at the Races came from typical Australian and British racetrack fashions of whimsical high heels, the increasing popularity of fascinators, and lavish accessories.

I admire the way her complex works have so many intriguing components, one doesn't know quite where to focus first! Let's start with the amazing high heels...

quilled shoe construction

As a nod to shoe designer Christian Louboutin, Licia used two layers of vivid red mat board to construct the soles of the shoes. The front and the back straps have marquise shapes covering black card and are edged with contrasting crimping. A large three layer flower, outlined with silver metallic, was positioned on the top of each shoe. This same flower features in the fascinator.

Quilled shoes

She said the shoes were the most challenging part of the whole piece, especially the rolling and shaping of the high heels. "
When constructing the shoes, I made three different styles before deciding on the one you see here."

Quilled purse construction

"The clutch bag was the most fun to construct and quill. Each outer spill
was quilled with black tissue paper around a piece of florist wire. I glued the
spills side by side to the black card base. Japanese specialty paper, the same as used to line the shoes, was used for the bag lining and gussets."

Quilled purse

"Once all of the spills were in place, the clutch was folded up, gussets glued into position, and purple crimping was used to cover all joins and give definition. Small daisies were randomly glued to the top of the spills; daisies also feature in the fascinator decoration."

Quilled fascinator

"The fascinator is made up of marquise shapes glued together to form a skullcap base. Flowers and paper feathers were attached to one side and were probably the easiest part to construct and quill."

Quilled fascinator feathers

The base/checkerboard measures 16” x 12” and is a piece of craft board
that Licia covered with 1630 (!!!) one inch cylinders.

Quilled checkerboard

"While making this piece I nearly didn’t finish it several times. When I came to a crossroad, I would think of what my mum would have been advising me (as she passed away last November)…"Don’t give up yet.” This thought inspired me to keep on track, literally, and so I dedicate this piece of quilling as a tribute to my dear mum.

Additional congratulations go out to Licia for being named a Fellow of the English Guild, the highest honor possible, in recognition
of her outstanding quilling, promotion of quilling, and support of the Quilling Guild.

Watch for a post in the near future about the unique tools Licia uses to create such elegant work.
Ann Martin
Ann Martin

This is a short biography of the post author and you can replace it with your own biography.


  1. oh my gosh... are you serious! The shoes are all paper too! At first glance I thought wow those decorative flowers on real shoes are a nice twist. Then it sunk in... the entire shoe was paper. Holy cow! And by the time I got to the checkerboard and saw that it's all little rolls and not just cut crinkled paper squares, I practically had to pick myself up off the floor. WOW!

  2. How very brilliant. Ann. Thanks for giving all the details about this fabulous piece. The high heels ,so perfect. I wish I could watch her quill . Can't wait to learn about her tools.

  3. Marvelous feature, Ann. The work is so beautifully realized. I'm in awe of the labor that must have gone into it.

    This makes me think how fun it would be to have an art exhibit for the Kentucky Derby or the big race in New York.

  4. I had the great privilege of seeing this piece at The Quilling Guild's recent display of work in the UK, and believe me it certainly does have the 'wow factor'!! Licia's award is so well-deserved, and it's just great to see it featured here.

  5. Such amazing creations. I am speechless. Very very inspiring. Thanks Ann for doing this post.

  6. 'm speechless as something beautiful I have great admiration for your work!
    Greetings Baukje

  7. oh my goodness 1630 1 inch cylinders. WOW. That is an awesome piece. Simply brilliant

  8. a delightfully captivating post and exhibit of fine craftsmanship; well done Licia and a huge congratulations on your achievement. Finishing that project; I'm so glad you were able to get to its end with the encouragement you gathered within. I’m also a N.S.Welshman. A lovely story; thanks Ann for sharing with us.

  9. Wow! Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing Ann.

  10. What delightful work. Amazing how much goes into these projects. Thank you for posting.
    Hope you do not mind. I love to share your posts on FB.
    Cheers, Doodles

  11. Litia´s creativity and talent is absolutely amazing. Her award is so deserved. She is a quilling master and an inspiration to all quillers on this whole world.
    Thanks for sharing Ann!!
    Have a marvellous week!

  12. Ann,

    Thank you so much for sharing the incredible "Day at the Races" quilling pieces done by Licia.

    I too thought the quilled flower on the shoe was a nice touch, until I took a closer look and realized that the shoe was also quilled. Amazing! Everything is so beautiful.

    Licia, I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your Mum, she would be so proud of you for not giving up.

    Congratulations to Licia for being honored for her work.

    I can't wait to hear about hear about the tools that Licia uses to create her art.


  13. Congratulations to Licia on a wonderful creative piece

  14. This truly boggled my mind! AMAZING! Such talent out there! Well deserved praise, indeed.

  15. When I saw Licia's 'Day at the races' in person at the Easter Show, it blew me away (as does all of Licia's work): the idea for the piece is brilliant, the execution is so amazingly good and the colour choices are so striking. What is really impressive to me is that Licia has made two matching shoes. Sounds silly,I know, but it would be no mean task to quill such perfectly matched heels etc. Meg Crawford

  16. Amazing Piece of Art! Thank you for sharing Licia's work.
    Quilled Hugs,
    Linda K.

  17. Wow!!!it is a great artist, amazing, all your work of art!!

  18. Thankyou Ann for showcasing my "Day at the Races" and taking the time and effort to compile the post, you have done a wonderful job! I appreciate all the comments and kind words expressed by Ann's readers worldwide, as well as fellow Aussies...and you too son! Thanks again Ann.
    Licia Politis

  19. I would love to have the pattern for your brilliant amazing shoe, it is gorgeous!!!!!!!!! My email is colevada@aol.com


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