Quilled Gothic Blackened Heart | Dark Heart

A few years ago, during the time I was running Contemporary Quilling, I made friends with a woman from the group and then promoted her to be one of my moderators. I really liked her and thought we were friends. Let’s just say she wasn’t. This Quilled Gothic Blackened Heart was the result of the disastrous and painful end to our friendship. (I might add that the very same week she decided to stab me in the back, I had shipped her two of my most prized pieces of artwork as a gift… all the way to Australia…)

Needless to say, there is a happy ending after all. One of my other moderators has become a dear friend and just before the pandemic became a real thing, I shipped her this piece (all the way to Portugal!) It took weeks to arrive and was poked and prodded at by customs, but eventually, she was able to claim it. I know it’ll be cherished and it felt really good to give this gift to someone that has made such a huge impact on my life.

I’m not sure why these pictures are so horrible, but they will have to do for now. I plan to go through my photo files soon and update this post with the “good” pictures I took. These don’t really do the piece justic.

Quilled Gothic Blackened Heart


I wouldn’t exactly call this “quilled.” It’s more just straight paper art made “with” some quilling strips. The entire piece is 8″ x 10″ and sits up off the paper probably close to 2″. It’s really deep. The aorta and other major arteries were made by wrapping 1/4″ strips around a marker and then bending them to get the “elbows.” The vena cava is made with a single piece of black construction paper rolled into a tube.

Quilled Gothic Blackened Heart

The heart was really tricky… I built a scaffolding of On Edge carstock in the rough shape and then stacked sections to create depth. Then I set 1/4″ strips down on top of it, slightly overlapping to made the surface of the heart. It’s very difficult to explain.

I used beehive to create the right atrium. I cut gray paper into little waves to simulate the fatty deposits around the coronary arteries. I created those same arteries with the spiral tube technique. And finally, I inserted 1/8″ black strips “artfully” to simulate blood spurting from cut arteries and veins.

The final component were the red roses. I made these from a gorgeous handmade red paper I found at a local art shop. The paper was either a leftover from the Dark Tower piece I made as a tribute to Stephen King or I used the leftovers for that piece. I can’t remember now as it’s been so long.

If you love this piece, I have an 8″ x 10″ art print available on my Etsy shop. If you’d like a larger print, I can do that too – but by special order only.

8x10 Dark Heart Art Print
8×10 Dark Heart Art Print

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