Sunday, January 2, 2011

Year's End

I know there hasn't been any new quilty (or beading) material on this blog in a while. Bear with me, it's coming. Even though I'm pretty much at home 24/7 the holidays always manage to throw me off my game. It's beginning to take a toll too. I'm missing my blogging buddies, wondering what they've been up to, and I'm afraid my sewing machine won't recognize me when I return to her. I just hope a battle doesn't break out between the sewing machine, Phoebe, and Ruth, my new NookColor. That could get ugly.

For now, let me take you back in time by two weeks. Or maybe a little before that even. When my Darling Daughter was a wee tyke one of my friends made a cloth doll for her. This was in the 1980's when "country style" decorating was in vogue. The doll is quite big to a little girl, maybe 24" tall. I'm sure she came with a dress and apron but I don't remember them. What I remember seeing the doll dressed in was my own little girl's clothes.

Years pass. My little girl now has little girls of her own and they want to play with Mommy's "Emily doll". Mommy reluctantly allows it. Suddenly Emily's head is about to come off. DD brings her to Grandma's Doll Hospital and Grandma does her best to fix her up.

It's hard to tell from the photo but I freshened up her mouth a bit and secured her eyes after strengthening her neck with a strip of bias tape. I decided to leave what's left of her hair as is. She came to me naked (no surprise) but I found this T-shirt that my daughter wore in pre-shcool to send her home in.

The next order of business was to create new "Emily dolls" for the two oldest Darling GrandDaughters. Son helped out by drafting patterns and cutting the body parts out for me. Rather than try to precisely recreate my daughter's doll we decided to make contemporary versions. Besides, the ribbon flowers I used for hair was significanly cheaper than the number of snaps I would have needed for two doll heads!

We outfitted them with dresses we found at the thrift shop. I think one was actually meant to be a child's top, not a dress. We found a little crocheted capelet that fit the dolls perfectly too. Son made a second capelet out of fabric using the crocheted cape as a pattern so both dolls would have something to wear to keep them warm. The dolls were well received on Christmas Day. The babies thought they made great chew toys. It's probably too soon for the girls to have christened the dolls with names that will stick but I'm curious to see what they end up being called.

While my husband has been home this week he has been taking care of some home improvement projects that have been long on the To Do list. The worst of it was the kitchen faucet. He toyed with the idea of just replacing the O ring or whatever was wearing out. In the end we decided to upgrade to a new faucet. It took some stepping to find just the right one of course. Then getting the old faucet out of the sink turned into a massive undertaking.

The job is done now, the new faucet is beautiful (but the kitchen is too big a mess at the moment for me to photograph it for you) and we even have a new light fixture over the kitchen sink to go with it. Hallelujah!

Over the last few days I've culled some books and back issues of magazines from my studio bookshelves. The rest of the studio is still a mess though; both the sewing and cutting tables are buried. I'm anxious to get back to piecing scraps and orphan blocks into new quilts. I've got to finish up my Sketchbook Project and get it submitted and then settle on a new form for this year's Bead Journal Project. I think I may need to heed the wisdom of Helen (who has no blog as near as I can tell). She says, "Quilting is chicken soup for the bewildered. Make two blocks and call a quilter in the morning." Well, I'll make two blocks and then go visit quilt bloggers in the morning!


  1. The dolls turned out GREAT! Isn't it funny how little girls of every generation love the same sort of thing?

    I obviously need to take up quilting... heaven knows I am fully bewildered these days. Mostly by trying to work out this Bead Journal Project thingie... how in the world do you work this out?

    (I've got my fingers crossed that I do get it worked out!)

  2. Hi Sue,
    More than 45 years ago I had a clown pattern this kind of size. I made two, one for my daughter and one for my son and I'm fairly sure that I stitched elastic under the feet of one of them so my daughter could slip her feet through the loop and 'dance' with her friend standing on her feet. They were much loved and used toys.
    I return to your site every so often just to see what you've been making and wishing I had the skills that you have in putting unlikely materials together.

  3. I love your dolls, and I'm sure your granddaughters do too. It looks like a fun project, how nice that your son also pitched in.

  4. Hi Sue, I don't see a way to comment on your special all-together BJP blog page, so I'm putting my huge kudos here. WOW! Sue, your work is so personal and special. I love every one of them and the descriptions that go with them. What a great idea!!!! Thanks sooooo much for making this page. I hope lots of the BJPers take a look at it as it's quite inspirational! Bravo!

    Happy new year... Robin A.

  5. Glad you made it through the holidays ... so sorry about the newspaper loss ... love the beadwork ... and the doll project is SO special (hope those little girls come to understand how their dolls were born).

    Here's to the new year!

  6. I still have my Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls my mom (I mean Mrs. Claus) made for me when I was about 8. I love them!


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