Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I've been painting. I meet up with friends once a month. Just 5 of us. Last night we painted a face using the techniques described in Bonnie Lyn McCaffrey's book "Portrait Quilts Painted Faces you can do".
I have also been making dolls. As you know dolls are my thing. I used a free pattern from the Yahoo group Vintage Cloth Dolls for this little girl. She is a copy of a Presbyterian Cloth Doll. Churches in the USA in the late 1800's early 1900's made these cloth dolls and painted the faces with oil paints as fund raisers. Also they would have been great for little girls to take to church. No breakages or noisy dropping of dolls with these cloth babies.
Mildred Turner in her book 'Mimi's Heirloom Sewing - Book 2' has a chapter on church dolls. The original church dolls were made from a handkerchief. Men's handkerchiefs were much larger apparently so they were folded and knotted to make a soft little doll that children could play with quietly in Church. They soon evolved into an opportunity for Mum and Grandma to show off their needlework prowess.
The Presbyterian and Colombian Dolls were fund raisers for churches.
According to Linda Edward:
(Cloth Dolls From Ancient to Modern A Collectors by Linda Edward)
The First Presbyterian Church of Bucyrus, Ohio, started making rag dolls in 1885 as a fund raiser. These Dolls measure about 17 inches and have hand painted faces. Their bodies are made of unbleached muslin which is stuffed with cotton and they are jointed at the hips and shoulders. The mitten shaped hands have fingers indicated by stitching. Their feet are stub shaped. The dolls and their original clothing, consisting of an ankle length dress and prairie bonnet, are all hand sewn.
I am not hand sewing I am using my machine. I am also making bloomers.
I should be doing it now but I am doing this instead.

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