Do you remember my 3-D quilled family of mice? They have the cone shape in their base, with some traditional 2-D shapes used for other elements. The same technique can be used to make various characters, including animals, fairies, etc. For example, something like this small squirrel I created some time ago.
As you can see, I used orange paper strips 1/8" in width (3 mm) for this miniature. The squirrel holds a tiny acorn in his paws. The acorn is made of 1/8"- and 1/16"-wide strips (3 and 1.5 mm correspondingly). Two blue rhinestones seem a good solution for the eyes. Making a squirrel like this will not be difficult even for a beginner. You can then use it as a toy or a finger puppet for a miniature puppet show. Size of the squirrel is about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm).
If you are new to three-dimensional quilling, don't forget to check out my tutorial for making a lion. It shows the basic techniques and methods, and will allow you to start creating your own characters.