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Rolled Paper Crafting and Quilling

rolled paper crafting

Try your hand at Regency rolled paper crafting…

“It is amazing to me,” said Bingley, “how young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are.”
“All young ladies accomplished! My dear Charles, what do you mean?”
“Yes all of them, I think. They all paint tables, cover skreens, and net purses. I scarcely know any one who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time, without being informed that she was very accomplished.”
Pride and Prejudice

If you are familiar with the BBC/A&E production of Pride and Prejudice, you may have wondered what the Bennet sisters were doing with a number of pieces of rolled paper spread over the table in one scene.

One genteel pastime for young ladies in the late 18th and the first part of the 19th century was decorating objects with rolled paper crafting.

Undecorated wooden frames were often sold for this purpose. Ladies then decorated the object with pieces of paper rolled and cut into different patterns. After being rolled up, the papers were cut in short lengths and glued to the wooden frame in a filigree pattern. The project might be finished by painting and gilding. Sometimes a focal point was created using a watercolour or print. Objects decorated in this way might include mirror frames, jewel boxes, tea caddies, and even a screen.

Similar results to rolled paper crafting can be created by experimenting in Quilling, an ancient art form that has been practiced since ancient Egyptian and/or 4th Century Grecian times. Although they obviously would not have used paper in the 4th century, it is believed the Greeks used thin metal wires to decorate containers, especially boxes, and Egyptian tombs have been found containing similar wire shapes akin to modern quilling.

During the Renaissance, nuns and monks picked up the art to decorate book covers and religious items. They used gilded paper strips in order to imitate the original metal wires. The name quilling is said to be derived from the fact that the nuns and monks originally used feather quills as their tool to roll the paper. Later, the rolled paper crafting spread throughout Europe and to the Americas.

Quilling is seing a resurgence in popularity today. You will very often see it used to decorate wedding invitations, birth announcements, greeting cards and such.

According to the DIY network:
The art of paper quilling dates back three or four centuries to a time when nuns used the gold edges trimmed from Bible pages to create simple but beautiful works of artistry. The scraps of paper were wrapped around goose quills to create coiled shapes — hence the name “quilling.”

These instructions for a Quilled Flower are reproduced from Nancy’s Wonderful World of Quilling

Step 1:

You Need: Four 6″ strips of 1/8″ paper(your choice of color)

Roll into loose circles with end glued. Pinch to form teardrop, make sure the glued end falls in the center of rounded part of teardrop.

Step 2:

You Need: One 5″ length of 1/8″ green paper.

Roll into tight circle for flower center. Glue four teardrops to tight circle.

Step 3:

You Need: One 4″ length of 1/8″ green paper.

Fold paper in half and roll each end into a loose scroll in the same direction, rolling about half-way to fold.

Step 4:

You Need: One 6″ length of 1/8″ green paper

Roll into loose circle with end glued. Pinch at seam and exactly opposite of seam to form leaf shape. Glue greenery to flower and attatch flower to gift tag, card, scrapbook, or wherever desired.


Sharon Wagoner is Curator of The Georgian Index. Visit this site for a historical tour through Regency London!


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Roast Michaelmas Goose with Apples and Prunes

“Mr. Rob. Mascall breakfasted here; he eats a great deal of butter. I dined upon goose yesterday, which, I hope, will secure a good sale of my second edition. Have you any tomatas? Fanny and I regale on them every day.”
Jane Austen to Cassandra,
October 11, 1813

September 29, the Feast of Saint Micheal is one of the extant quarter days which survive from the agricultural calendar. In medieval England it was the start of the fiscal year,and even through the Regency and Victorian times it was celebrated as an end of Harvest holiday with feasting and special food. In Ireland and northern England, it was thought that if you ate goose at Michaelmas you would have good fortune for the rest of the year.

This image was selected as picture of the day on the English Wikipedia for August 27, 2006.

‘Green’ geese which had fed on pasture, made a traditional feast for Michaelmas, in late September, and were less fatty than Christmas geese. The roast bird was always accompanied by apples, as windfalls were plentiful. Geese are in season from September to December but are not so widely available nowadays.

You will roast a [Goose] after it has been well plucked, cleaned and washed; and after roasting it, put it into a dish before it cools off and pour over it either orange juice or verjuice with rosewater, sugar and well-ground cinnamon, and serve it to your guests.
Cariadoc’s Miscellany

Roast Michaelmas Goose with Apples and Prunes
Oven-ready goose with giblets – 4-5 kg (9-11 lb), thawed if frozen
Butter – 15g (½ oz)
Onion – 1 large, chopped
No-soak prunes – 450g (1 lb)
Port – 4 tbsp
Fresh sage – 1 tbsp, chopped
Fresh breadcrumbs – 110g (4 oz)
Cox’s Orange Pippin apples – 6, cored and cut into 8 pieces
Dry white wine – 300 ml (½ pint)

1. Pre-heat oven to 200 °C / 400 °F / Gas 6.

2. Prick the skin of the goose all over with a sharp skewer or fork and pull the inside fat out of the bird and reserve.

3. To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a large pan, add the onion and cook for 5-6 minutes, until softened. Separate the goose liver from the giblets and chop finely, then add to the onion and cook gently for 2-3 minutes.

4. Remove the stones from half the prunes and discard. Chop the prunes roughly and stir into the onion with the port. Cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add the sage and breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly together.

5. Spoon the stuffing into the neck end of the goose, then truss with strong cotton or fine string. Weigh the bird.

6. Put the bird on a wire rack placed in a roasting tin. Cover the breast with the reserved fat and then with foil. Roast for 15 minutes per 450g (1 lb) plus 15 minutes, basting frequently.

7. Thirty minutes before the end of the cooking time, drain off the fat and discard. Add the apples to the tin with the remaining prunes. Add the wine. Place the bird on top, standing on the roasting rack. Remove the foil and fat and cook, uncovered, for the last 30 minutes.

8. Serve the roast goose with the cooking juices and the apples and prunes. Plain boiled or mashed potatoes complement the richness of the goose. Braised red cabbage is also a traditional accompaniment.

Copied from Helen’s British Cookery

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