Quilled Wedding Invitation Mat - New Orleans Style

A few months ago I created a quilled wedding invitation mat for a couple who married earlier this year in New Orleans. They had chosen a French Quarter-themed invitation from Etsy shop Seahorse Bend Press in Houston that provided a design I enjoyed translating into dimensional quilling.

Quilled Wedding Invitation Mat

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. [As of 2022, JJ Quilling has been sold, however, Quilled Creations now sells metallic edge strips. #affiliate link]

Quilled Wedding Invitation Mat - Detail

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.

Quilled Wedding Invitation Mat - Gilded Fleur de Lis

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.

Quilled Design for a Wedding Invitation Mat - in Progress

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.

Quilled fleur de lis on mat mock-up

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.

Quilled Wedding Invitation Mat - Detail

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.

Quilled Wedding Invitation in Frame

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.

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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  1. Yes.....the frame choice was a nod in keeping with the NOLA theme.....result overall was both unique and elegant, and so well captured the theme of the wedding. Thank you, Ann

  2. Your quilling springs out of the black background. So beautiful and precise. Interesting design too.

  3. It was the perfect frame choice; you're so welcome, D!


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