Sunday, September 16, 2018


It was Tea Time at the Attic Window Quilt Shop this past Thursday.  Above are just some of the fabulous dolls that the women in the Doll Bee make.
Julie heads up the Doll Bee and is an excellent teacher in making these dolls.  Julie said, "Gail Wilson is the designer of the dolls we make and usually bases them on antique dolls."

Julie even designed the fabric for one of her dolls.  For the doll on the left in the ivory with red sprigs dress, this is what she says:
"At Spoonflower, you upload your design, pick a repeat style and your choice of fabric (many choices) and then you place your order.  Spoonflower (based in the mid Atlantic USA) prints the fabric and mails it to you. I scanned an antique apron, shrunk down the size of the design, tweaked it a bit and then picked cotton woven fabric and used the resulting fabric to dress my doll with an historically correct fabric design. It’s hard to find very small prints that are historically accurate for specific dolls. Anyone wanting some of this fabric can go to my Spoonflower shop (julsie3193) and buy some.  This doll was based on dolls made by Izannah Walker. She was the first women to get a US patent.  This doll has a molded head (made by Gail Wilson, from a paper mache type air dryable slip called Flumo). Then the head was covered in a stockinette fabric (think T-shirt material) and then gessoed and painted. This is what Izannah Walker did, although she used heated molds over batting instead of paper mache for her heads. No one knows for sure exactly how she did it, it’s been a mystery doll makers the world over are trying to puzzle out."
Notice the small doll on the left in the chair.  This is what Julie said about it. "For the smaller doll with a molded head with blond hair with a braid wrapped around the back of her head, and she wears a heart necklace. In one doll class, we poured our own doll parts for a doll called the Make Your Own Doll. We can have a class on how to pour doll parts if anyone is interested. However, I have a very limited amount of flumo, so first come, first served.  Just call the store and request my contact info so that we can schedule the class. On some of these dolls, we did apply some paper clay to style a hair do.  On others we made wigs from mohair roving.  On others, we painted hair. Lots of options here.  And FYI...two of us are planning to pour some parts soon, so if anyone wants to watch, they are welcome to. This would be at our Thursday doll bee."
General doll info : Some doll faces are made of cloth. If they are to be painted with oil paint, they must be gessoed first. If not, you can just use ordinary acrylic paint.  Some of the dolls have molded heads. These can be plain or covered with some knit fabric (if you are trying to be historically correct, for example). But they can also be just painted.
Notice the leather shoes in this doll.  Julie said, "Shoes can be made of leather, or painted on. Some of my students like ultra suede, but I like leather the best. It can be sanded to make it look old. Yes, even dolls wear out the toes on their shoes!"
These women try to make the dolls as authentic as they can, even down to adding rings on their fingers.  (I didn't check to see if they had bells on their toes. LOL)
I am amazed at the work these women do.  Check out that small , not as big as my thumb nail, rose on that hat!
 Barb Vis had all her dolls there.  I think you've seen them before, but...
You haven't seen the Santa.  Isn't he adorable!
The very small doll Julie was working on is Hitty. Julie said, "She is Gail Wilson’s interpretation of the doll written about by Rachel Fields back in 1929. She found the original one of a kind Hitty (her real first name is Mehitable) in an antique store and since she looked very old Rachel imagined a story about her first one hundred years. The book won a Newbery Medal for excellence in children’s literature. Wikipedia has a nice explanation about her story, here’s a bit about the book from Wikipedia"

"The book details Hitty's adventures as she becomes separated from her little owner, Phoebe Preble and travels from owner to owner over the course of a century. She ends up living in locations as far-flung as Boston, New Orleans, India, and the South Pacific. At various times, she is lost at sea and also under sofa cushions, abandoned in a hayloft, serves as part of a snake-charmer's act, and meets the famous writer Charles Dickens, before arriving at her new owner's summer home in Maine, which turns out to be the original Preble residence where she first lived. From there she is purchased at auction for a New York antique shop, where she sits among larger and grander dolls of porcelain and wax, and writes her memoirs."

Anyone looking to see Gail’s Website for lots of doll eye candy, they can find it here.
And what is this?  Roving used to stuff the dolls.  Julie said, "It has wonderful qualities, like being resilient and always wanting to expand out as opposed to condensing like other stuffings.   So anything stuffed with it will remain nicely plump. It also is a very nice stuffing for a pincushion as it tends to keep your needles and pins from rusting.  Gail sells nice roving for stuffing on her website along with anything you need for doll making."
Last year the group did Gail's nursery rhyme series.   Above is Pinocchio.  They also did Mother Goose, Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, Little Bo Peep and....
And this is Humpty Dumpty.  

A special thanks to all the women in the Doll Bee for having this wonderful Tea and letting us see your awesome dolls. It was a special treat!

Don't forget, if you are interested in participating in the Doll Bee or have questions for Julie, call the shop and someone there will help you.

Caring, Sharing, Creating Smiles

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