Monday, 29 July 2019

Quilling: The Art of Paper Filigree, by Philippa Reid. Review.

By Philippa Reid
The Crowood Press Ltd, 2019
Paperback, £9.99

ISBN 978-1-78500-613-5

Star rating: *****

This superb new quilling technique book by Philippa Reid is a treasure trove of invaluable how-to information, whether you are a quilling novice or an experienced quiller looking to up your game. Quilling, the art of paper filigree, is a delightful decorative papercraft in which narrow paper strips are manipulated into ornate curls, twirls, and arabesques. This book attests to the versatility of the craft and the inventiveness of its practitioners.

The book describes myriad quilling techniques both traditional and modern in a concise and articulate manner, with great enthusiasm and humour. You can tell that this book was a labour of love. The author, Philippa Reid, has impressive quilling credentials – and a delightful blog (

Technique books – rather than project-led books – are my favourite type of craft book because they provide the user with the know-how to create and innovate on their own. This book will truly get your creative juices flowing. It is jam-packed with essential knowledge and invaluable tips. (My highlighter was on overdrive – so very many useful tips, terms, and ideas.) Going through the contents, the chapters are:  Starting Out, Working with Paper Strips, Making Spiral Coils, Looping Techniques, Tight Coils and 3D Modelling, Affixing Your Quilling to a Background, Special Effects, Creating with Paper Strips, Borders, and Infilling. 

The text is plentifully accompanied by photographic examples.
The author is quick to attribute the quilling innovations of others and her overview of the craft is right up-to-date with descriptions of modern methods (more open designs, typographic outlining).  I am happy to report that paper beads receive a brief look-in (and  are officially recognized as a quilling variation).

Wheatears, Spreuer shapes (like keystones), huskings, ring coils, eccentric coils, vortex coils, pixie hoods, paper spills, tracery, bandaging, edgework (shitateru) – quilling has a vocabulary all its own. In fact, my only minor quibble with this gem of a craft title is that a back-of-book glossary would have been a useful addition (there is an index and a resource page).

So, thank you Philippa Reid, for this essential quilling book. I will be keeping it to hand. And I’ll be attempting vortex coils really soon!

Note: I was supplied with a review copy of this title.

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