There are two potential ways (and probably more) to harvest quills.  The first is from a live porky.  Because they move rather slowly, you can get close enough to toss a hat onto one.  It will move on and the hat will have quills attached.  This is not the method of choice for most of us.

For those not so brave crafters, look for a road-killed porky.  Say prayers of thanks for its life.  Lay down a gift - tobacco, kinnickkinnick, or a strand of your own hair, thanking the animal for its gifts to you.

Using the large piece of Styrofoam that you keep in the car just for such an occasion, press the foam onto the quills and pull it up.  The quills will be attached.

Be careful not to let a quill puncture your skin because they have backward-facing barbs and will be hard to remove and may fester and become infected.

At home and using pliers, gently grasp the quill in the middle and pull.  The interiors are very soft and delicate and can be damaged easily.  Place the quills in a bowl.  When you have enough, snip both ends off with scissors, being careful to aim the ends into another container.  Dispose of them and the Styrofoam into a sealed container.  You donít want a child or pet to get stuck with them!

Using a few drops of dish detergent and warm water, wash the quills in the bowl and rinse thoroughly.  If they are really dirty you may let them soak before rinsing.

Dry completely and store in an airtight container.

Quills were used for Native American decoration prior to contact by Europeans who brought with them glass beads for trade.

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