Creating Smooth Tagless Centers
Some people are bothered by the tag in the center of the quills that a slotted quilling tool leaves behind. I’m not one of them. But in all honesty, keeping those centers round and smooth and open does add an extra level of professionalism and perceived quality to your work.
For a long time I had no idea how to solve this. If you are like me and have no talent with the quilling needle, you might have thought you would never get those perfect little centers. Well, that’s not the case. You can have a smooth, round, tagless center even if you use a slotted tool.
It’s really quite simple. All you need to do is overwind your coil until you feel it start freely spinning on the slotted tip. You will know when this happens because it won’t continue tightening, it will kind of pop or give way and then start spinning with no resistance.
The advantage to this technique is that it removes the little tag that appears in the centers of your coils when using a slotted quilling tool.
As you can see from this photo, the coil on the left (yellow) has no central tag. It is smooth and tagless and shows how well this technique works. The coil on the right (pink) was made using the same slotted quilling tool, but it didn’t overwind it, I just left it with normal tension and glued it closed.
Though I’ve used tight coils in this photo, this doesn’t have to be done with just that type of shape. You can overwind with any quilled shape – loose coils, closed coils, teardrops, etc. Like I said, I just used tight coils for illustration purposes only.
There are a few disadvantages, however, that you need to be aware of.
Do not use this technique with extremely fine-tipped slotted tools, like the new Savvy Slotted Tool from Quilled Creations. If you overwind when using one of these very slender, fragile slotted tools, you will most likely bend your slotted tip. Only use this technique with a regular slotted quilling tool like the Quilled Creations Original Tool or similar. If you bought it because it had a teeny weeny tip to begin with, you might damage it by overwinding.
It’s more difficult to get consistent-sized coils. You will find that each time you use this technique, the paper wraps a little differently. Sometimes it’s really tight and sometimes it’s looser. This seems to be a result of how much of the end of your strip you put in the slot before you coil it. You can keep your coil sizes more consistent by just catching the very end of the strip in the slot. If you put it all the way through, you end up with really tight quills. So, if you are working on a project that depends on coils that are all similarly sized, you’ll want to take care where you start your strip.
Another disadvantage is that because you are literally causing the tag to tear off inside your slot each time you roll a coil, you then have to remove the tag that’s stuck in it each time you remove the coil. This can slow down your work flow considerably.
So I guess in the end, it’s a technique that works, but you’ll have to decide it if works for you, too.