by Verlie Edwards

It’s no secret we are all spending more time at home because of COVID, plus we are having to adjust to the end of Daylight Savings Time. I hate that it gets dark around 5:30 p.m.! With both of these colliding at the same time, I realized I needed a new project. Something that would produce results…not like being more of a couch potato watching TV. What project could I attempt?

Over the past few years, I have become enamored with greeting cards that featured a quilled decoration. What is quilling? It is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped and glued together to create decorative designs. An Internet search notes that paper strips are rolled, looped, curled, twisted, and otherwise manipulated to create shapes to decorate such things as greeting cards, boxes and jewelry. The exact origins are a mystery but it is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt by the nuns who decorated book covers and religious items.

Throughout history a number of well-known individuals have been quilling aficionados. The Quilling Guild has identified Elizabeth, daughter of George III, Mrs. Delany (pioneer of other paperwork and friend of Jonathan Swift), Jane Austen (who mentions it in her novel ‘Sense and Sensibility’) and the Bronte sisters as distinguished quillers.

While scrolling on Facebook I saw an advertisement for a beginner quilling kit. I was hooked and made an impulsive purchase. I now haunt the Internet and craft stores for instructions and patterns to assist with my home-schooling efforts. It’s exciting to assemble the individual pieces and see your design take shape. Quilling is definitely a hobby that requires focus and patience. It’s been fairly easy to learn, but perfecting it will take time and practice.

I’ve included pictures of my first attempts along with professional designs.

If you are looking for a new hobby, I hope you will consider quilling. Kits and beginner instructions are available online and in local craft stores. Check them out.

Verlie McAlister Edwards was raised in Abilene, Texas and it’s there that she realized her love for writing. She enjoyed a special high school English teacher who happened to be the school’s newspaper sponsor. In order to take another class under her, Verlie signed up for journalism and the journey began. Unlike many students, she never changed her college major – she was always focused on journalism as a career. She graduated from the University of North Texas (UNT) with a degree in journalism and political science.

After graduation she returned to her hometown and worked as a reporter at the Abilene Reporter-News covering the local education scene from the students’ perspective. Following a year of graduate work at UNT she moved to Fort Worth where a career in public relations and political affairs flourished. She always wanted to work in academic PR and achieved that goal early in her career at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.

After many years providing public relations consultation to the osteopathic profession and serving as the communications director/special events fundraiser for Lena Pope Home (a residential treatment facility for abused and neglected youth) she joined the staff of the Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors (GFWAR) as the communications and governmental affairs director. It’s here that she found her calling and further developed her skills in the political arena.

After 11 years in that position she took her writing, political and organizational skills to serve as chief of staff for Texas State Representative Rob Orr, a past president of the GFWAR. She remained on Rep. Orr’s staff throughout his 10 years as an elected official and then served as District Director for his successor, Representative DeWayne Burns, during his first legislative session. At that time she retired from the Texas Legislature and began working part-time as curator for U.S. Congressman Roger Williams’ personal museum.

Verlie is excited to use her writing skills to help the Iron Butterflies Project as both a writer/co-creator and Editor-In-Chief.


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