Friday, October 7, 2011

Hanging Doll Exhibit

My doll club was given the opportunity to display our dolls in  local jewelry store, given one stipulation:  the dolls needed to be hung on the walls- shocker!

I had plans to make a plush seahorse doll that would fit into a pocket of seaweed on an embroidery hoop.  It was going to be a cute toy, but what came to be was entirely different.  I knitted the background fabric with a wonderfully soft yarn, Mochi Plus.  (The scarf I made of the same yarn is a little too short because of this project, but it was worth it!)  The seahorse is batiked cotton, embellished with beads.

The other club members found clever ways to display their dolls as well.  Katie Jones, Nita Butler, Julie Gausvik, Martha Jungclaus and Andrea Baughman contributed many beautiful dolls.

And my future doll maker hung out with her favorite artists at the gallery opening.

Julie, Bea, and Martha

Friday, September 23, 2011

Quilts in Progress

I have a bunch of projects that I started and put down for one reason or another.  I hope that posting them for all the world to see will force me to finish them.  Here are three quilts that I would like to finish in 2011!

My Sister's Wedding Quilt

This is my sister's wedding gift, but her wedding was in 2009...  I have the top pieced and I started stitching in the ditch to quilt it.  I am about a quarter of the way done with quilting, but Guterman stopped selling the color thread I was using.  After I ran out of thread, it got boxed up and forgotten about.  My sister has been very patiently waiting for long enough!  It's time to pull this out of the closet and finish it already.

My Daughter's Crib Quilt
I wanted a Muppets theme for our nursery, which meant making most everything.  You can't just buy a Fozzie Bear bedding set at Babies R Us.  I have this applique quilt and matching curtains almost done.  I just have to finish the decorative stitches on the curtain panels and machine quilt the blanket.  I want to learn free-motion quilting for this project, which has honestly scared the bejeezus out of me.  So I put it aside.  
(Actually, I just left it on the dining room table for the last 5 months.)
But I want to finally take some pictures of B on it while she's still a baby.  She just turned 6 months old, time to pick it back up!

My Niece's Crib Quilt

I have loved every step of making this Clamshell Quilt.  My neices' nursery is ocean themed, get it?  This one is just time consuming because each clamshell has to be hand-stitched to the shell below it.  I work on it when I go to various craft nights, but same story as my daughter's; it's going to have to get finished before her first birthday!

My goal is to finish these and some handmade Christmas gifts, B's halloween costume, a scarf for me, and some more fairies to sell at my doll club's annual Show and Sale in December, all by the end of 2011.  I think I need a drink.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fairies in their Natural Habitat

I love this pattern for fairy houses by Julie McCullough. I've made it smaller than suggested, and modified it a little bit so that each house is unique.

I designed this simple fairy to sell with the houses, but got stuck sewing their arms and legs on. My doll club recently had a little class on jointing techniques. I decided ribbon jointing would be perfect for these fairies. It allows the limbs to swing free while being completely attached to the body. In fact, it will be hard for little hands to tear the limbs off because the arms and legs are all connected inside the body. So, if you pull the left arm, the right leg moves with it.

I also love working on their hair. I've been using Homespun yarn because it looks wavy and the colors are so pretty with lots of highlights.

I've started an Artfire shop, so stop by if you'd like to buy some handmade dolls!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


In high school I worked at JoAnns. At the time, I was making a lot of clothes. But I would look at all the magazines, and I was intrigued by the fairies in the doll magazines. I fell in love with Lisa Lichtenfels and her realistic nylon sculptures.

I didn't make any dolls, though, until I found a library display by the Indy Cloth Dollmakers. And I joined, and found a very encouraging bunch of ladies (and one gentleman)!

My first doll was from the Norman pattern by Ute Vasina. I made him out of felt because I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a "trial." The felt made him difficult to turn, but I love how he turned out (even if he is naked).

This is a cloth version of architect Philip Johnson. I modified a pattern by Shelley Hawkey to make his peaceful face. His face and clothes intimidated me, though, and I kept putting him away. I think it took 2 years to finish him!

This little munky only took a little while to finish, though. He's from the Aranzi Aronzo book Cute Dolls. I've made a few of the dolls in the book, and have a few that just need the faces sewn on. I have a problem with follow-through...

Until I jumped in, I didn't know that there was such a large community dedicated to making dolls and selling patterns and supplies. If you are interested, Dollmaker's Journey has everything you need to get started. Have fun!