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Cloth Doll May Brightens Nursing Home

Mother’s Day is fast approaching. I am lucky to still have mine, but I know many are enjoying sweet memories of Mothers who have passed on.

It was my Mother that taught me to sew and to love crafts. (My Grandmother, too, but this is about my mother.) My Mom will turn 98 in a few weeks. She still lives on her own, cooks some, and crochets baby blankets for all the new ones in her life. Being born in 1920, my Mom has lived from the horse-and-buggy age to space travel. Isn’t that amazing when you think about it? And, she still tries to take care of me, her baby girl.

My Aunt, my mother’s sister, also liked to sew and make dolls. I guess growing up in the depression brings out the creativity in a person. Aunt Grace’s favorite dolls to make were May, and Kirsten and Kurt. The later, because of our German heritage. One story she loved to tell, was of bringing May as a gift to her friend in a nursing home. Her friend loved the doll. So, did other residents in the home. It was quite a challenge to keep May where she belonged. Other residents would slip in and ‘borrow’ her when they could. The elderly women were very comforted by cuddling the ‘baby’ and never missed an opportunity.

Most of the time, we think of making cloth dolls for little girls. From all the sweet stories I have heard, I know that ‘big girls’ still love cloth dolls gifts, too.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day. Celebrate all the special women in your life.

Is there a Little Leaguer in your life?

Did someone say it's baseball season? I want to share this memory with all of you. My little brother, Chip, has always loved baseball. Me, not so much ... though many of my friends are die-hard Cubs fans. 

We grew up just west of Wrigleyville. I don't have a picture of Chip in his Little League uniform, but I do have one taken in front of our home, shortly before we moved to the 'burbs.

Years ago Chip and my other friends inspired me to make a 'little leaguer'. Do you have a child that loves baseball and would love this doll? Little girls love to play baseball, too!



A new picture of Chip. I think he still likes the Cubs.  



Katie, a cloth doll classic

I remember so clearly the day Katie was 'born'. You may know that Katie is one of my favorite dolls. It was almost like when I gave birth to my three babies, but I was awake for this event!

It seemed like a miracle to me. In the morning, I sat down to design a new doll and, by late afternoon Katie was standing on my work table grinning at me - or so it seemed ...

Now, it doesn't always happen like that. A doll can take a few days to design, or I can get so caught up in making the doll, that I keep making them and end up with a table full like when I did the Sittin' Pretty Girls and Sittin' Pretty Kids.

Over the years I have heard from many doll-making friends about how much Katie means to them. I love hearing this and seeing pictures. 

  This is my sweet Amy, with her Katie, the only brunette Katie I ever made

Katie is great as a redhead, too.

    and one more well-loved Katie from the kit we offered in the 80'  Isn't it fun to see them all?

Q & A. Where should I start?

Stacy asked our group of doll makers: What doll would you recommend for a first timer? My 11 yr daughter has made clothes, pillows, stuffies that are 2 shapes sewn together like a pillow, and bags. She is wanting to try a doll but I'm not sure which one would be easiest for a beginner.

Joyce DeAngelis said: Hi! Good for your daughter! I suggest the patterns especially for beginners called "Doll Making # 2" or " Doll Making #3". These are the easiest and show basic forms. Good luck to her! I started about her age and was hooked!
Laurie Entze said: Glory or Peaches and Cream.
Carolee Alt-LuppinoGroup Admin Thank you for your great suggestions, Joyce and Laurie. Stacy, I'm so glad Stacy asked this question. Her daughter has a lot of sewing experience, for such a young girl. Doll making #3 would be a small step, as the dolls are 'flatties'. Glory would be perfect for her next project. And, she's adorable! The Peaches and Cream pattern is similar but a much bigger doll. For her next step, I would suggest Apple Cheek Girls.
I think it's great that your daughter wants to learn doll making. It's a wonderful, satisfying hobby that lasts a lifetime.
"Do you have a Hispanic doll pattern?"
Hmmm. Well, yes. We do have one called Nina that represents a pre-teen Hispanic girl. However - a few simple changes and variation of skin tones make any doll any ethnicity you want! It's a snap! And, your child will love having a doll that represents herself. Christmas is a good goal for finishing a special doll for gifting.
Laurie DeKrey Entze I had so much fun with the Asian baby that I decided to make a 'Big Sister' from the Apple Cheeks pattern, my favorite to work with. Her shoes and socks are real baby items. The blouse is the dress bodice extended 2 inches and the jumper is a variation of the dress bodice and skirt. All closures are velcro. 
Image may contain: shoes

Just posted these 3. They are made from the Honeybunch and Baby Andy pattern. Made up so fast and so many options! Just in time for Christmas.

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Joyce DeAngelis
Joyce DeAngelis Laurie, they are so precious! I especially love the little oriental one! So creative! Maybe I will make Angel Baby for my little great-niece. Thanks for inspiring me!
Laurie DeKrey Entze
Laurie DeKrey Entze I used the Pinkie hair pattern piece for the Asian and trimmed the CC13 eyepieces for the slant look. She's my favorite of the three.
Carolee Alt-Luppino
Carolee Alt-LuppinoGroup Admin Mine too, Laurie DeKrey Entze. She's very special
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