I'm often asked about paper, so here's a post that goes into the paper I used for this typography project. I do buy standard quilling paper online, but since buying my digital die cutter (a Silhouette SD first, and now a Cricut Explore Air), I prefer to cut my own for projects with larger arcs and more open areas.
For my first sans serif type project, I decided to use a thicker paper like Canson Mi-Tientes, which is 160 gsm, cut to 1/4" wide. I wanted the thicker paper to hold up better with the open letters and long arcs I planned to be making. This project is much larger than the greeting cards I typically do.
When I do cut the strips, I leave the ends intact on one side, and end up with a comb-like shape. You can download my free DIY quilling strip patterns, for both hand and machine cutting here. I like a comb shape because it keeps all the strips orderly and tidy. They are never fighting in my storage containers.
I also like the Mi-Tientes color selection because there are many shades between them. I wish constantly for more, but I'm at the mercy of my local fine art stores and what they carry. I will lay them all out like this photo and assess if they "go" together. I knew I wanted a bold color like the #507 Violet for the letters to be seen easily, and felt the greens, yellows, and oranges were a good complement.
I usually use the Kemper Tool (meant for pottery) because of the tight coils it makes. However, with the thicker Mi-Tientes paper, it requires more effort to coil. I liked the results of using a thick sewing needle, but it was tiring my hands, since it had no handle. So I ended up using a crochet hook.
Here is a better close up of all three coils.
Here is a better contrast between the coils made with a needle tool vs a crochet hook. Can you see the miniature kinks in the smaller coil? This is the tension I dislike when trying to force the smaller coil on the thicker paper. It's not a big deal, really, and I prefer the smaller coil look overall, but my fingers tell me what they want to do.
Here is a comparison between standard quilling paper (left) and the Mi-Tientes (right), both coiled with my Kemper quilling needle tool. As you can see, the thicker paper can't be forced to be much smaller – I actually tried re-making it a couple times so that my innermost coil could be super tiny (and that's why it looks a bit different from the first few photos).
Another tip for using Mi-Tientes paper is to tear the ends. The green here joins nicely with the yellow because of the taper, where I tore the end.
Here is a close up of the tear from the side.
Here is another example of subtle joining, where the middle green strip nicely disappears.
In contrast, this is what it looks like if you don't tear.
Why didn't I tear these ends? Um, well, you know how those temperamental artist types are... I was really in the flow. I'll live.
After trying to photograph my word, I realize cutting the strips 1/4" was a tad thick. It casts deeper shadows than I prefer. Next time, I'll cut them 1/8" instead.
I hope this helps you with your own quilling, no matter what paper or tool you choose to use. Please let me know if this impacts your own projects by leaving a comment on my blog!
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