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Welcome to the North American Quilling Guild (NAQG) Website
The North American Quilling Guild (NAQG) is a group of enthusiastic and dedicated quillers with one mission: to promote the lovely art of quilling and ensure that it is passed on to future generations. The NAQG was officially formed in 2000, after several years of informal meetings.
The NAQG celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2010 with a special project by, and for, its members.
Forty-five members from around the globe made quilled flowers, many of them characteristic of their locale, from which a floral tribute was created by Helen Pierce, a member from Illinois who conceived of the anniversary celebration project and brought it to fruition. The project is highlighted in the images here.
This nearly forgotten art form has survived over the centuries, falling in and out of fashion. During the past two decades there has been a resurgence of interest in quilling throughout the world. Quillers have been informally organized through membership in quilling guilds (Australia, England, Japan, Netherlands & North America), and most recently through e-groups on the Internet. The quilling artists who belong to the guilds work in an effort to promote the art of quilling and ensure that its beauty is passed on to future generations. Quillers from all over the world can now communicate and view photos via the Internet. They take an active role by teaching, demonstrating, and exhibiting their work in their local areas.
Many people have discovered that quilling is a highly versatile and rewarding form of artistic expression.
The NAQG is committed to providing support and assistance to help quillers discover and perfect their quilling technique, and share information, patterns, and tips. We are not affiliated with, nor in competition with The Quilling Guild in the UK, but are an independent and separate entity. All guilds are dedicated to promoting and preserving this unique and beautiful art form.
The NAQG publishes a newsletter, Quill America, four times a year, which includes pictures of quilling, tips, hints, patterns and a forum for the exchange of ideas. An annual conference is held at a different venue each year where quillers attend workshops and display their work. Check our website for information about the next NAQGCON.
What is Quilling?
Quilling, also known as Paper Filigree, Filigrana or filigree work, is the result of rolling or coiling thin strips of paper into delicate-looking shapes and using these pieces to form a design. This art form is very old and is traceable to the 15th century and possibly as early as the 13th or 14th century. It is believed that quilled items were used by French and Italian nuns and monks to decorate religious objects in order to simulate more costly handiworks such as carved ivory or wrought iron.
Filigree work became popular in England in the 18th century and was taught along with needlework as a “proper pastime” for fashionable young ladies. Boarding schools of that age often featured “filigree” among the subjects taught. The 18th century New Lady Magazine described filigree as “the art which affords an amusement to the female mind capable of the most pleasing and extensive variety.” Signatures, dates and school names were often penciled in on the back of surviving pieces. Tea caddies, cribbage boards, wine coasters, work baskets, obelisks, urns and even pieces of furniture were commonly enhanced with filigree work.
“Quilling” as defined by Webster’s Dictionary is “a band of material fluted into small ruffles so as to resemble a row of quills.” The term “quilling” may have been adopted when filigree work spread to the American colonies. Others believe it was called this simply because the coils were rolled over the end of a goose quill.
Early American quill work continued to be used as a decorative adornment for pictures, trays, boxes, candle sconces and other practical items. Just as the woodworker carefully carved intricate patterns and designs into wood, so too the quiller would laboriously and painstakingly roll and sculpt paper with amazingly similar results. Many times quillwork would be combined with shells, wax flowers, twisted wire, and chipped mica to add a sparkling effect to designs viewed under candlelight.
– Compiled by Sherry Rodehaver
Join the NAQG Today!
Join NAQG today and start receiving the Qull America newsletter and more! Meet other quillers. Attend mini-meets. Attend our annual conference where learning techniques and new methods is everywhere for 2 wonderful, fun filled, quilling days. Held at a different venue each year, where quillers can display their work, enter competitions as well as attend the workshops.
Membership is open to quillers of all levels and quilling enthusiasts worldwide. No matter where you live, or what your skill level, we invite you to join your fellow quillers at NAQG! Click here for more details.
Upon paid membership you will have access to our Members Corner where you can review past copies of Quill America, look through our bibliography list, our membership list and much more.
Members have the opportunity to become accreditated in the field of Quilling. NAQG Accreditation is a 2 part program which consists of a grid to be filled in with specific shapes and then a piece you design using those shapes.
Accreditation is a personal choice. For those who wish to pursue accreditation, they will find support, encouragement, plus great personal and artistic satisfaction when they have achieved their goals. Click here for more details.