Saturday, October 4, 2008

FOCD swap

I recently participated in a rag doll swap in my Friends of Cloth Dolls group. This was my first doll swap and I couldn't be happier with the doll I received from my partner, Jeanne Hughes, in Colorado. We kept in contact throughout the process and I've made a wonderful new friend. Jeanne and I decided to use Kezi Matthews' patterns to make our dolls. This is the doll I received from Jeanne. She was made from Kezi's "Dilly" pattern and her name is Amy. She traveled across the country with her little chick to live at my house. The doll in red is "Hoedown Hannah." I made her from Kezi's "Millicent" pattern and dressed her in a patchwork jumper and straw hat. She now resides in Colorado with Jeanne. This swap was so much fun! I can't wait to do another one.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sweet Willie the Elf

This is Sweet Willie. I started him when Maggie and I had our play date just before Labor Day. I didn't get much work done on him that day because his slippers wouldn't behave. I used a free pattern by Lotus Vele from the files on one of my yahoo groups. I modified the feet so he could wear slippers and gave him 5 fingers instead of 4. I hope Lotus doesn't mind the little changes. His face was very easy and his expression is so sweet. He's ready to go to work in Santa's workshop.

Here's a close up of his sweet little face.

I also made a doll for the FOCD ragdoll swap. She's finished and ready to travel to Colorado as soon as my swap partner, Jeanne, returns from her vacation next week. I will post pics of her and the one I receive when the swap is completed. Swaps are so much fun. Jeanne and I have been in regular contact since we started and I have made a wonderful new friend!
Posted by Picasa

The Pirate Queen

I've been so busy making dolls that I've been slow about blogging. I've made 3 dolls in the past two weeks. I started the Pirate Queen last year, didn't like the head I made and put the body parts in a bag. I went on to other projects and completely forgot about her. While cleaning up my studio I found the parts and decided to make a new head and finish her. Needless to say, the cleaning came to a sudden halt and the dollmaking bug took over! I pushed aside the big mess on my work table and forgot about everything else. I'm very pleased with how she turned out. She's made from Mary Tressler's "Captain Blyth" pattern. This is my second Tressler doll and I love the way her patterns come together. The vest is ultra suede and the leggings and cuffs are very soft leather salvaged from an old jacket. I used the suede side of the leather.
Here's a closeup of the base. I had fun making the gold coins and filling the treasure chest with jewels. I covered both sides of a small piece of cardstock with gold, then used a hole punch to cut out the coins. I covered the base with a thin coat of craft glue and sprinkled sand over it, then added some shells. Because I was very new at dollmaking when I made the body parts, I had no clue about armatures or how I would mount the doll on a base. I finally inserted a short knitting needle into the base and slid it inside the legging. Now she stands without falling over.
The hair is regular curly doll hair. I rarely use it, but wanted the curls. It's glued and needle felted in place.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Play Date with Maggie

Have you ever had a friend who started out as a friend but became your sister? I have one of those and I thank the Lord every day that she's part of my life. Maggie leads a busy life and was never involved much with hands on hobbies. She was always content to accept my hand crafted items for Christmas and birthdays and such and continues to display them proudly in her home. Maggie ooh'd and ahh'd over my dolls, then one day decided she wanted to give it a try. We got together a few months ago for a "play date" and I helped her make her first doll. The doll was simple, but sweet. Well, with her hubby doing a little weekend overtime on his job, we decided it was time for another "play date." We got together on Saturday for a few hours to play with dolls. Maggie decided that this time she wanted to make a troll. I had a free pattern from one of my doll groups designed by Lotus Vele that I had never tried so we used that. Maggie is extremely smart! You only have to show her something once and she can do it! She worked on sewing body parts, turning little fingers, and stuffing them on Saturday. We ran out of time so we continued on Labor Day til the doll was done. She took to needlesculpting like a pro. Maggie's troll began as a male doll, but after the features were sculpted and soft yarn hair was applied, he evolved into a female.Our dolls really do speak to us and tell us who they want to be! Her face was so sweet and serene that she was appropriately named "Serenity." She is very casually dressed in fleece pants and poncho, just the thing for relaxing on an old tree stump! I am so proud of Maggie and her "Serenity." I think I may have created a monster!! And competition as well!! It's a good thing we are "Sisters"! Great job Maggie!!
Posted by Picasa

Sew Busy

I've been busy making handbags the last couple of weeks. I need to downsize some of my fabric stash so I'll have room for more! It seems no matter what I make, I can't make a dent in what I've accumulated. I may have to start giving fabric away again so I can make a run to Mary Jo's in Gastonia to buy more.

My good friend Jo gave me a huge roll of a polyester type batting some time ago. It's a little too thick and stiff for quilts (I prefer thin cotton batting for quilts), but it's perfect for making handbags, placemats, wallhangings, and various other craft items. I have enough of this stuff to insulate my house with it!! I guess the handbags will suffice for now in helping to use this stuff up.

Here are the pics of the bags I made. I used a commercial pattern for the two bottom bags in the group picture and the other bags are my own design. The red crazy patch bag has a snap out cosmetic bag with pockets on the side. All have inside pockets. The rounded top bags have outside pockets on each side.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I haven't had time to post in a few days due to my Mom having surgery and taking care of her since she's been home. She's doing great now, so I'm back at the computer with a new picture.

This is Jedediah. I used a pattern by Jane Houck to create him. This was my first attempt at sculpting a head from a styrofoam ball and covering it with felt. I added teeth to his silly grin. The vest is made from a recycled velvet dress and outlined with metallic string. His medallion is strung on the same string that I chain stitched to make a chain. He was a lot of fun to make. My Mom fell in love with his toothy grin and he now belongs to her.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Granny Stumpledorf

I was so hooked by my first doll I couldn't wait for the arrival of my first pattern from Dollmakers Journey. Ute Vasina's "Mopsy" pattern was originally a pin cushion, but my dear Dad said she needed clothes so I repositioned the limbs, dressed her and sat her in a twig chair. She was transitioned into "Granny Stumpledorf."
Next came "Ichabod," another of Ute's patterns.

My addiction was becoming stronger so I enlarged the pattern and "Harry" was born. Harry's on the right. His sandals are made of craft foam and elastic.

Having been severely bitten by the dolly bug, I ordered my first book by Patti Medaris Culea, "Creative Cloth Doll Making." Patti inspired me so much that I now own four of her books and am eagerly awaiting the fifth. I haven't made pictures yet of the dolls I'm working on from her books, but will upload them soon.

As my skills increased, I tried patterns from other popular designers. Here are the results.

From Alison Marano's "Elfshot." His boots are made from real leather and my Dad made the slingshot from a twig.

This is "Alethea." She's my first mermaid and is a wall doll. I spent days overlapping and gluing sequins as scales. Pattern designer is Donna Schramek. Alethea is the first doll I have sold.

I decided to try a little something different so this one's made from Kezi Matthews' "Millicent."

I fell in love with Arley Berryhill's "Minerva" and had the pattern for months before I attempted it. Once I started, it was hard to stop. I love the way she turned out. She has many hours of beading and the fabrics are very shimmery. It's hard to see that in the photos. She's called "Neptune's Daughter."

That's all for today. I'll post again soon.

Hello world

Hello World....I'm Terry and this is my first post. Please bear with me as I jump into new territory. My friends encouraged me to start blogging about my adventures in creating all sorts of things from fabric. So, here goes..........
I've been sewing since I was a child. I made my first quilt 20 years ago. I had no idea what I was doing but jumped right in and have been quilting ever since. I've come a long way in 20 years, but as I get older, my quilts are getting smaller because I'm just too tired to struggle with big bed quilts any more. Now my quilts are mostly for wall decor or gifts. After the sudden loss of my daughter almost 2 years ago, I needed to find something new to help me through my grief and the quilts just weren't doing it for me. I surfed the web and stumbled on a doll making site. I was in total awe of the beautiful and whimsical dollie population that exists on the web. I knew from that moment I was hooked and had to try it for myself.
My first attempt at doll making was a free download pattern by Judith Prior. She was easy and so much fun to make. She sits perched atop my computer desk most of the time and guards it well. I've come far since making her and I see things now that I could have done better, but I wouldn't change a thing about her. She brings a smile each time I look up and remember the sense of satisfaction and joy I experienced making my first doll.
Posted by Picasa