Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Read the Fine Print

We have all been told that one should always read the fine print on a contract or some type of agreement. Well, I failed to do that and it probably cost me a possible entry into a quilt exhibit.
One of the members of my online quilt guild announced a call for quilters to submit pictures of a quilt they would like to have exhibited at the Rocky Mountain Quilting Museum. Talk about excited I felt that I had just the quilt to show off.
Several years ago I started a quilt created with crazy quilt style blocks. I really can’t remember where I learned the learned the block. I’m willing to bet that it was probably at The City Quilter. Anyway, the quilt fell into the UFO category because I hadn’t added the embellishments that I had planned and it was also missing its label. The fabrics that I used had an Ancient Egyptian motif. This led me to entitle the quilt “Can You Dig It?” The additional fabrics used represent the Nile River and the stars that guided the building of the Great Pyramids at Giza. I also quilted the wall hanging in a quadratic pattern which is the same way an archeological dig might be set up.
I was so excited about submitting the quilt; I neglected to read the find print about the submission qualifications. I mailed all my information as an attachment only to discover that I should have sent it on a CD.
I’ve learned my lesson, read the fine print.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Challenge Result

Well, I didn't win Judy Skeel's Blank Canvas Doll challenge, however, I had a great experience. I found out that Noelle was one of 150 dolls that were submitted. I was so surprised to find her listed on the second page. I have never entered a doll competition before, but this has given me an incentive to try again.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Holidays

Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Personal Challenge

This year I’m trying to stretch my wings a little. I’ve decided to enter one of my dolls in a doll challenge.
While surfing the net awhile ago, I ran across a challenge thrown out by Judy Skeel. The doll was called a Blank Canvas Doll. I also thought the doll would make a good challenge for the club as well, so it was decided that this would be a holiday themed doll.
I would like to introduce Noelle. Noelle is wearing a pleated gown that inspired by a gown I saw at the FIT Fashion Museum. The gown has sprigs of holly leaves and berries. Noelle is carrying a single poinsettia flower to celebrate the season and she has a golden holly head piece. Her hair has been needle felted and looks like it’s really rooted. I really enjoyed putting her together. Noelle might not win a prize, but she will always be special to me.

Time Flies

I really hadn’t realized how fast time has past until I checked in on my blog. Yipes!!! I hadn’t written anything since the summer.
Okay, summer vacation was over and school took over my life again- there went my craft time.
Well the doll club crew met in September and we had a great time with our show and tell. We were all thrilled by the way our challenge dolls turned out, so out came Venus with the camera and we set the babies up for their close up and submission to Cloth Dolls and Animals magazine. To say we were excited was an understatement. Finally we were happy with the results.
The Needle Nose Doll Club is on the map! Our babies were publish in the current issue of the magazine. We're stars!!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Club Challenge

How’s My Hair? No, I’m not asking, but Jean did. During our July meeting she threw out a challenge to the ladies to create a doll from a pattern found on the cover of Soft Dolls and Animals. The deadline for the challenge is our September meeting. For once I will be ahead of the curve, because my doll is finished! Well, almost finished I still want to add some more curls on her head. I just love her butterfly earrings.

Blame it on Venus

Several months ago Venus posted two dolls she made from a pattern by Kate Erbach, Etta Mae. I thought she was too cute! Some time later at club meeting I got to see the dolls in person. I loved them. Later Jean made one and now it was my turn.
I made the purple one to give to my sister to celebrate her Masters. Before I knew it I was shifting through fabric and started making one for my niece, Kenye. Now I have twins! Oh no, my fingers were itching again and I realized that I needed on for me. So now I have triplets.
They were so much fun to make, I can readily see myself creating a few more. In fact I’m working up an idea for a friend’s little nice. I’ll keep you posted step by step on that one. So, see it really is all Venus’ fault. The pattern for the dolls can be found on Doll Makers Journey.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I have just been tagged by Venus to receive the Nice Matters Award. Venus, thank you for the award nomination. Venus is a fellow doll maker whose work I greatly admire, so this means a great deal to me. The award is goes to those who have been positive people, good blog friends and folks that encourage people to do their best. I now have to nominate other people for Nice Matters. They are to copy and paste this award to their blog and then make their nomination for the award. Here are my nominees.
Stephanie Novatski
Kyra Hicks

Friday, August 10, 2007

The African Queen

Close up Doll Front

Doll Back

A couple of years ago I purchased a copy of Soft Dolls and fell in love with a doll by Kooki Davis, Ethiopian Queen. At the time I didn’t think I was up to creating the doll, but it is amazing what time and the encouragement of great club members can do. I realize as the time has gone by the members of our group have become dear friends. Anyway, the queen was not as difficult as I imagined at first. The most challenging part was her mask. First of all I didn’t have paper clay as was suggested in the article, I used polymer clay. What a search I went through trying to find a mold that would fit the size of the doll. Finally I discovered that I had purchased a mold from Sherry Goshen, Chantal, and she fit perfectly. There was only one problem, Chantal was a beautifully crafted Art Deco face and I needed a beautiful African face. Quickly, my sculptor instinct took over and I realized that I needed to change the nose and mouth of the face. I over structured the mouth of the doll, because she was suppose to represent wearing a mask; and I remembered the mask of the dancers that I observed during my studies in the Ivory Coast. I wasn’t too sure as to the surface color that I wanted the mask to be so I experimented with pearl powders and came up with a result that I was please with. Needless to say I was happy being able to use my large collection of African fabric. The queen’s coat is decorated with cowry shells. Her jewelry necklaces, earrings and bracelets are copper and brace wire enhanced with beads. I still have to complete her staff, but I was so excited with the results I couldn’t wait for you to see her. When school opens I’m going to take her in and have my students give her a name.

Teapot Party

A few months ago my club members and I took part in a doll parts swap. We were making a doll teapot. I thought the idea was great, sew and stuff teapot parts; wrap up the parts in tissue and place the separate parts in various bags and grab. Please greet Ms. Crystal Dragonfly Teapot. Crystal has twisted wire earrings, a pearl necklace and amazing pink fleece hair.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Happy First Anniversary!

Last June my eldest son, Adam, married my best friend’s sister, Lorae. I can’t believe a year has gone by so quickly. We had such a great time at the wedding; I can’t remember when I had danced so much.
Lorae made an elegantly stunning bride. Adam just beamed and we just wiped tears of joy and wished them well. I wanted to share some pictures from the wedding.
I designed and made Lorae’s head piece, it was a real challenge especially since this was the first time I had created a wire crown. The piece contained champagne Swarovski crystals, aurora crystals and pearls. Her cathedral veil was trimmed in champagne lace.

Needless to say I was happy that my training at FIT paid off.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Fourth of July

Happy July 4th to everyone! Let Freedom Ring. Are we perfect, not by no means, but I'd rather be here than anywhere else.

Monday, June 25, 2007


As I posted some time ago I enjoy the idea of working with other artist in order to explore our artistic boundaries. Well, this time we have decided to work on borders. The main artist will present a center to their quilt and the rest of the team will develop a border to enhance that center. We are also including a journal as well.
The title of my quilt is “Riptide in a Koi Pool”. I original had plan to use this fabric for a colleague and then changed my mind, I wound up keeping it. My problem started when the blocks I created didn’t match up with the required number. So, this meant ripping out seams. I did this so often I referred to the quilt as a riptide, hence the name.
The center was inspired by quilts from 9-Patch Pizzazz by Judy Sisneros. I'm very excited to see what the other members of the group come with as a border for the quilt. And with that in mind, I better get started on the center that I have.

Friday, May 25, 2007

This is Yoko-San, I like the way she turned out. She's got a great face, I think I'll make another one for my granddaughter, Ty likes all things Japanese.


The doll was from a Sheri Goshen challenge pattern. Her wings are cotton lame and Angelina. I painted the top of her dress and then did hand beading.

While on my way to Blog....

As you can see it has been a while since I’ve tended my blog site. My computer, Wanda went on the fritz, and then I needed to replace my aging sewing machines and finally the digital camera that I had happily purchased on eBay died! What a mess!
Now I’m happy to say that I’m back on track. For January we had to make an angel for our club meeting. I decided I would name her Sabat-angel. I planned to go out on sabbatical for a year and I thought she would watch over my dreams. As things turned out my sabbatical was declined, so I dried my tears and I’m charging forward and will apply for a half year one at another time.
A few months ago the members of my doll club made an EPB doll, Yoko-San. I was excited about doing this doll because I have had this pattern for a number of years and I was finally getting to make her. Well, here’s the joke when it came time to cut out the pattern, I couldn’t find the dang pattern! I mean I live in a one bedroom apartment where in heaven’s name could it be? Anyway, I had to have Jean send me the pattern. You know the silly thing is going to show up when I’m looking for something else.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Branching Out

Recently I’ve become a member of the Needle Knows Doll Club. I have learned so much from these women so far, it’s been great. I’m still working on my angel, she’s a work in progress and she will be finished by our next meeting.
I just made two new purchases which will make me a very happy camper; a new sewing machine a digital camera. So please check my blog often to find out what’s happening at the fortress.

Xenobia is on her way to market.

Getting Serious

One of my closest friends is a gifted storyteller. I wanted to celebrate her so I decided that I would make her a doll. I had in mind a doll that I found in an issue of Soft Dolls and Animals. The doll was perfect, but as things would go the house ate up the book. Now I had to find another doll pattern and I discovered Pattie Culea. I enlarged the pattern, I don’t like working small. When I told my sister I was making Teri-Jo a doll she told me that she wanted on also, so you know I had to make two. I was very pleased with The Storyteller and Xenobia.

Spirit Dolls

These dolls were created to protect their owners. There are no two dolls alike, they are unique just like the people they are to protect.
This is another of my African Ancestor Guardian Angels. I love the idea wrapping fabric around a doll and then stitching it into place. This was and early doll, so I was still working out the problem of finding the right fabric for the body. I was also still working on my faces.

I love her eyes! Did you notice her starfish tattoo?

Meeting Elinor Piece Bailey

While shopping a quilt shop in Brooklyn, now closed, I saw an announcement about a class featuring Elinor Piece Bailey. There were still openings for the class and I had funds, so you know I signed up. We had to select an EPB pattern and my choice was the Mermaid, I had no idea she was soooooooo big!
I had a great time at the class and the mermaid will always be my favorite doll. Elinor helped with my eyes and they are beautiful. She gave me some sound advice concerning my scissors. When she saw my Fiskers, she told me I needed some sexy scissors and turned me on to Ginghers. I purchased a pair right on the spot and have been in love with them ever since. I also walked away with an autographed copy of one of her books, all in all not a bad day.

Entering the World of Little People - Dolls

Doll making came to me by way of having to create a gift for Kwanzaa.
The holiday was rolling around and I needed a gift for my girlfriend’s daughter. Jassy wasn’t a little girl anymore but I wanted her to have something that would remind her of her childhood, so I thought about making her a doll.
While we were stationed at Grand Forks AFB, the NCO Wives decided to made dolls to sell for one of our annual fund raisers. I remember the great fun we had working in assembly line fashion to get the little girls done. The dolls were a hit and we were able to sell them all. I thought that later on I would make on of those dolls for my new niece, never happened; Kenye is now twenty-seven. Dolls just didn’t seem to be my thing back then. Wow, how times have changed.
The doll I made for Jassy was a button doll. I chose that type of doll because it looked different and easy. After completing the doll, I liked the results so much I made one for myself. In spite enjoying the experience of creating the doll I didn’t make another doll for years.
Deb’s birthday was coming up and I was at a loss for what do you give the woman who has everything. Ahhh, a doll. I found a pattern and got to work changing her into an African guardian angel. Much to my delight she loved her. Now, she’s the proud owner of two dolls.
The internet has helped me to find many interpreting patterns. I haven’t reached the point of creating my own patterns, but I’m sure that will happen eventually. Also besides patterns online, I discovered doll clubs and I joined two,
Blackclothdollart@yahoo.com and Clothdollmaking@yahoo.com. For most of the time I must admit I had been a lurker at both sites. I was busy making quilts and was still feeling my way with the dolls.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Soror Angelett (center) won the raffle and is presented with the quilt. Oh, did I mention that I donated the quilt. If made on special order, its gonna cost ya, but it would be worth it.

A Soror finds her name and exclaims her surprise. As more sorors gathered, the rafflw tickets started to really fly. It was geat fun watching their faces as the found their names; and I must admit I got a thrill when I added my own name and information to my block... 1983 and Chapter President.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Quilt on display

Blocks of violets were scattered throughout the quilts

Epislon Tau's Ruby Anniversary

In 2005 my initiating chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. celebrated its fortieth anniversary. Epsilon Tau or ET as we affectionately call the chapter is located in New York City. I pledged in 1983 along with my Sands, Roz and Frances.
I was on the Reunion Committee and we had a great time planning for our weekend bash. We were looking forward to Sorors traveled from around the county to share in the fun of being with their sisters. We planned for an evening at Apple Bees, a slumber party, a picnic and a dinner cruise.
One of the other events that we planned for was a raffle. From the outset I knew that I wanted to create a quilt that would honor the women who had crossed the burning sands via Epsilon Tau. When we discussed the idea of the quilt it was decided that it would be the second prize. It was only later that I realized that the group didn’t know how extensive the quilt was going to be.
The quilt that I planned was a signature quilt. I didn’t want to send out signature blocks because I didn’t want to risk not getting the blocks back. Talking about being upset, I needed control. Anyway, I saw a pattern that I liked and off to the rotary cutter.
The center of the quilt would have picture of the Sorority’s twenty-two founders. Around the picture would be a border of violets, the flowers sorors give on another. The signature blocks would be arranged with the charter members closest to the founders; they would have the word charter written in the corner. The date was also included. From this point on the sorors were listed by line and date. I also indicated if the soror had been a president of the chapter and if they were deceased.
I love my colors, but after dealing with that quilt I didn’t want to handle anything red and white for awhile.
When the sorors saw the quilt for the first time they were speechless. I got a thrill watching them look for their name. It was fun, but the best thing was when many of the sorors stated that the quilt should have been first prize.