NativeTech: Native American Technology and Art

to Attach Quills to Birch Bark

satin pattern The satin pattern is used to fill areas is similar to that of the satin stitch used in embroidery. Sets of holes and the inserted quills are placed parallel to each other. In filling large areas with this stitch, the perforations are often stepped slightly in a zig-zag to avoid making weak areas by too many lines of holes in the bark.

chevron pattern The chevron pattern arranges quills in a zig-zags. Often the second quill set at an angle to the first quill will share one of the holes with the first quill so there is no space or interruption in the design.

outline pattern The Outline pattern is used to form feathery curved lines like those for plant stems and they are made by slightly starting the next pair of perforations halfway between, and to the side of, the last pair of perforations.

running-stitch The running-stitch pattern creates thin straight stitches. After the first quill is placed through the first set of holes, only one new perforation is made through which the new quill which is threaded, and then the new quill passes through the second perforation of the first pair.

cover-stitch pattern A cover-stitch pattern is like the running-stitch and is sometimes used to 'neaten up' a line of perforations or to emphasize certain lines of the design. The quill is placed through a hole in the end of a line of holes, is laid over the ends of the quills in the row, and passes back through the hole at the other end of the line. Several cover stitches must be taken over curved lines of holes, with each quill covering three or four holes.

fan pattern Quills can be arranged in rays using the fan pattern. All the quills on the tapered end of the fan pass through the same hole, while at the opposite end the individual quills pass through evenly spaced separate holes.

lattice pattern Using a variation of the lattice pattern, a small raised star can be achieved by repeatedly crossing quills over each other at their center point. A circle of 8 or 12 holes formed by the holes punched through the bark. Each quill is 'stapled' through the perforations at the opposite side of the circle. Sometimes the quills are crossed so that the last quill placed appears to bind all the others at the center.

The basic stitch and variations of the fan stitch can also be used in various combinations to achieve woven and 3-D effects.

Materials & Tools for Decorating Bark with Quills
Quill Decorated Boxes and Other Bark Objects
Designs used in Quilling on Birch Bark
Instructions for Making a Quilled Birch Bark Pendant

Return to Porcupine Quillwork on Birchbark

Porcupine Quillwork Bibliography and Books to Buy On-Line

Return to NativeTech's Main Porcupine Quillwork Menu

NativeTech Home Page
Text and Graphics
© 1994 - Tara Prindle
unless otherwise cited.