Quilled Blue Swirls – Paper Graphic Tangles

Quilled Blue Swirls – Paper Graphic Tangles.

After I finished the paper graphic project with cats, I really wanted to try and quill a more elaborated pattern simply to see if I could do it and, of course, for the fun of it. So I searched for some images with swirly designs until I found one intricate enough and decided to give it a go. Long story short, this is how I ended up making the quilled blue swirls:

Quilled Blue Swirls

 * This project was never meant to be posted on my blog, so please try to overlook any mistakes I made.

And now a little bit about the process:

*I printed the image, placed it over the surface where I wanted to quill it and drew the contour of the lines with an embossing tool, thus transferring all the details on my working surface. I ended up with an embossed background which showed me where to glue the paper strips.

*I started gluing the paper strips starting from one corner and worked my way in a clockwise direction until all the surface was covered with blue paper, according to the pattern. You can read my tutorial on quillography here for more details about this technique (with the only difference that here I embossed the background, instead of drawing fine guidelines with a pencil).

Quilled Blue Swirls - Work in Progress

 The total size of the project is only 15cm * 15cm and paper strips used are 7mm wide, hand cut from 160gsm paper.

Quilled Blue Swirls - Side View

 This is a possible framing option, I am still not sure if it suits the project or not. What do you think?

Quilled Blue Swirls in a Shadowbox Frame


Thank you for your visit!

Happy Quilling!




  1. avatar
    MySpecialist says:

    Your quilled tangles rock!! Another idea is for a slimmer, more hugging frame that will make this stunning blue tangling stand out. Try black surrounding this blue, or a navy frame.

    • avatar
      ManuK says:

      Zoe, thank you so much! For now I only have this frame on white and another one black. I never thought of using the black one, but I will give it a try and see how it looks.


  2. avatar
    Nikita Azad says:

    This is superb!!! You won’t believe.. Even I am working on something similar, and I printed the design on tracing paper, drew the design on the reverse with pencil marks and was rubbing it on my base in the hope that the design will transfer, but it didn’t. So I used a stylo to press the design and the pencil marks transferred. But it also gave me the contours just like yours. Next time, I am going to directly emboss it and forget about the pencil marks… 😛

    As for what you have made, I love how neat the swirls are!! So so pretty… Glad you shared this even though you didn’t originally plan to 🙂

    Nikita.. 🙂

    • avatar
      ManuK says:

      Nikita, thank you!

      Don’t worry if you ended up with both an embossed background and pencil lines! When I was gluing my paper strips, mostly in the middle section of the project, I could hardly see the embossed lines and I had to keep checking the original drawing for directions. Some fine pencil lines would have been very helpful!

      Looking forward to seeing your finished project!


  3. avatar
    Erin Curet says:

    I think you did a fabulous job! I would love to see it framed with a larger square mat in grey with a white frame. I think it would make even more of a statement. Can’t wait to see what’s next 🙂

    • avatar
      ManuK says:

      Thank you so much, Erin! Unfortunately I don’t have too many frames and mats to choose from. But, I really like the idea with a grey mat, so I will try to improvise something!


  4. avatar
    roopal says:

    Hi, beautiful work. I am a beginner in quilling. Would surely like to try your design. Just wondering what is the best background for such work? Is 120gsm ok to do such swirls or ideal is 160gsm?
    Reply would be appreciated.

    Thanks alot

    • avatar
      ManuK says:

      Thank you, Roopal! I started with 160gsm paper, but ended up gluing it to a very thick cardboard. Depending on how large your work is going to be, I’d say the heavier the cardboard, the better. Hope that helped!

      Happy Quilling!

  5. avatar
    Sofia says:

    I did an Egyptian cat too. It is different from yours because it has a son and it is sitting like in a small table. I love everything Egyptian. My grandmother was from those parts of the worl so I think I have her genes. I love your work. And framing the swirls looks very delicate another success for you again. Good luck!

  6. avatar
    arline says:

    Beautiful work, Manu. Just found it from Pinterest. Any chance you can send a link to duplicate the drawing/embossing? I love the design and would hate to have to hand-draw it. Also, I HOPE you are far away from the horrible incidents that just occurred in your lovely country.

    • avatar
      Nadou says:

      Vraiment très beau et merci pour les explications, c’est quel outil que vous utilisez pour embosser ?
      Est ce que je peux mettre votre site sur mon blog ?
      Bonne soirée

  7. avatar
    Nadou says:

    Vraiment magnifique – vous avez fait comment pour les petits morceaux vous les vez mesurez un par un ?
    Bonne soirée

    Really gorgeous – have you done how to small pieces you measure them one by one?
    Good night

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