Introduction: DIY Quilling Fabric

Picture of DIY Quilling Fabric

Quilling is a type of craft/art technique that involves rolling and shaping thin strips of material into decorative designs. The shapes are adhered in place, usually added to a larger design. Paper is most commonly used, but other materials have the potential to be quilled as well.

This instructable is going to show you how to turn regular fabric, scraps, ribbons etc. into fabric "paper" that is able to be quilled and get you on your way quilling with fabric!

Don't forget to check out my instructable on how to make your own slotted quilling tool!

Step 1: BoM

Picture of BoM

Fabric

Ribbons

Fabric stiffener (I have Terial Magic, Aleene's Fabric Stiffener & Draping Liquid, and Beacon Stiffen Stuff)

Fabric glue

Quilling tools(can also use toothpicks, chop sticks, knitting needles, etc)

Disposable gloves

Cutting tools, rulers, etc.

Iron/Heat set tool

Fray Stop (or other similar product)

(I got a 3 pack of small bottles of Aleene's Fabric Fusion, Flexible Stretchable Fabric Glue, and Stop Fraying for $2.50 at Michaels)

Step 2: About Fabric Stiffeners

Picture of About Fabric Stiffeners

Before you can start quilling, you need fabric that can be quilled and will hold its shape. This is where fabric stiffener comes in handy. Some stiffeners call for soaking the fabric, involve ironing etc. but some don't and I'm using a spray type that doesn't. Follow the manufacturer instructions for whatever type of stiffener you use.

I have three types of fabric stiffener on hand (I bought two for a Halloween instructable last Fall that I've yet to begin). I bought the Beacon stuff because I couldn't find Aleene's Quik Stiffen Spray which is supposed to be a pretty decent stiffener and doesn't require gloves, ironing, etc.

Most stiffeners are water soluble, so fabric that has been treated will lose it's shape if washed or has too much contact with water. This is a pro and a con. Pro if you make a mistake, con if you don't seal the stiffened fabric properly.

Step 3: Fabric

Picture of Fabric

So far the only type of fabric I've experimented with that doesn't yield good results is baroque that's been treated with Aleene's stiffener. While fabric stiffeners dry clear, the baroque was much darker and brittle looking than I would want for quilling. Baroque is also thicker, so it might not have made for good coils anyway.

The rest of the fabric I used was all scraps. You don't need a lot of fabric or even a lot of length to get good coils. Most of my strips are 4-6" and yielded pretty decided sized coils.

Step 4: Spray Stiffener

Picture of Spray Stiffener

Before you start spraying, make sure to protect your work surface.

I bought a bottle of Beacon Stiffen Stuff from A.C. Moore for about $3.50 (with a coupon). The instructions for this spray say to spray until fabric is wet and let dry (approx. 1 hour). If the fabric isn't stiff enough, spray and dry again. You can do this multiple times until the fabric reaches your desired stiffness.

With the Beacon spray, I found that 2 rounds of spray yielded a fabric consistency similar to paper, which is what I'm going for.

Tip: The drying time can be sped up with the use of a hair dryer or heat set tool.

Step 5: Non-Spray Stiffener

Picture of Non-Spray Stiffener

Non-spray stiffener, like Aleene's, is very thick---thicker than white glue. You need to wear gloves when using this product because you have to work it into the fabric you want stiffened. Aleene's starts to dry as you are working it and you can begin shaping at this point if you want. To aid in drying time, make sure to ring the excess stiffener from the fabric and then lay out to finish drying. The Aleene's stiffener is VERY stiff and can be hard to work with after it dries, so it's a good idea to make sure to lay your pieces out flat or iron them.

With this type of fabric stiffener, you can get away with not using a fray stop spray. This stuff is so thick that I haven't had any problems with fraying.

Step 6: Strips

Picture of Strips

When your fabric is dry and the right consistency, begin cutting your strips! I used a quilting ruler to hold the fabric in place and for measuring purposes. All of the strips I cut are between 1/8"-1/2" wide.

One thing that is nice about quilling with fabric compared to paper is that your strips don't need to be as long and you can get some great coils with just a few inches.

Step 7: Basic Shapes

Picture of Basic Shapes

Using a slotted quilling tool, tightly wrap a piece of fabric around the tip until it's completely wrapped. Add a dab of glue at the end of the coil. This is a closed coil (the green fabric pictures). To make an open coil, which is the base of most quilling shapes, once you are done wrapping the fabric you want to remove the coil from the tool, set it on the table and let it open all the way before adding glue to bring it all together (the pink fabric).

With the open coil you can make many other shapes, such as the teardrop. Grab one end of the open coil and arrange the layers, then carefully pinch to make the teardrop shape.

Comments

JPod (author)2016-06-23

What a fantastic idea !!!! I'm sure woven fabrics would work the best, as apposed to knits. A great idea for anyone who uses fabrics, as there is always some left over bits, and many times, they are too small for even quilting. I can see me using this idea indeed ! Don't forget just plain ModPodge. Well coated fabric will not fray when it is cut. Well thought, and thanks for the idea!!

parisusa (author)2016-06-21

I hand sew (appliqué) and quilt. So I love this idea! I like the idea of quilling but paper seems so temporary unless framed. What have you done with this? Or is it also fragile? Small bags? decorating gifts? Jewelry? Scarves? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Not_Tasha (author)parisusa2016-06-22

I think you can definitely make some nice stuff with the fabric, I'm working on a couple more instructables specifically with quilling fabric :) but definitely can be used for embellishments, appliques, etc.

Not_Tasha (author)parisusa2016-06-21

As long as you protect the quilling with some kind of varnish, it should last a while---not forever, but with proper precautions it shouldn't be easily damaged.

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