Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The past returns

Sometimes it's amazing how the past comes back into your life when you least expect it.  That very thing happened to me recently and I thought (since I've been busy aimlessly sewing new possible patterns and don't have anything exciting to show you) that you might like to see stuff that I used to do before I was a quilter.  

Our church has a fund raiser once a year showcasing the wares of it's members and using the money gotten from the sale of the donated goods for the kitchen renovation fund.  In the summer of 2008, I decided to make dolls for it.  Needless to say, I didn't know how many to make, or how they'd go over so I started with a few.


I made them as cute as I could and dressed them in all sorts of different patterned fabrics and gave them various hairstyles, etc.  The first ones didn't have much of a smile, but I changed that as time went on.




Here are a few from the beginning months:


As time went on, it seemed as though I couldn't stop.  I was making some that looked like Chinese babies, African American babies, and everything else.  (I do tend to get carried away!!!)  Here's a picture of 18 of the 60 I eventually ended up making.  When I dragged them all outside to the front porch to take this picture, my neighbors thought I was nuts!!!  They said it looked like a kindergarten photo.  LOL


Well anyway, onto the story.  So, you ask, what has this got to do with NOW??  Needless to say, my church NEVER sold them all so I got lots back.  I sold a few at my LQS, and saved my favorites for gifts, but I still had some left.  I thought I might give them to our local police department for help with children problems, but was afraid that I couldn't provide them with enough, and I surely didn't want to start THAT doll making marathon again.

I live in a white community, so no one wanted the cute little African American dolls until I talked to an old online friend one day and she was telling me that her daughter teaches special education at a school in the poorest county of Alabama and they hardly have any toys for the kids to play with.   Well, let me tell you, I knew right then where those babies were going to live so I sent them right off to her.

A week or so later, I received this picture with a heartfelt thank you note telling me that the dolls are the favorites of the kids and even the boys play with them.


Happy ending for everyone!  Look at all those smiles!!  Even the dolls look delighted that they now have someone who loves them!  So, the moral of this story is "you just never know" and sometimes it just takes a few years to discover where something really belongs.  So now, I will just continue to piece my brains out until next time................

Coming along just fine......

I'm almost done......really........!!!  Thanks for your patience!!  I'm just as anxious to make something fun as you might be to see it......but I have to finish this stuff first.  Two more patterns in the making!!

34 comments:

Quiet Quilter said...

Those dolls are so cute and so are the receipents...As you said, it took time, but they are at home and appreciated now..

Like the teaser picture. Looks bright and cheery! Spring!

Susan said...

Very cute little dolls and as you sa - "the moral of this story is "you just never know" and sometimes it just takes a few years to discover where something really belongs" Is that why I cant throw things out??

TaneshaN said...

Carol, seriously, your talent knows no bounds! Those dolls are just so cute, and if you ever have the time/inclination to post the pattern for them I have 2 little African American girls of my own that would LOVE me to make them one, LOL.

Helen said...

Oh Carol! The photo of those 3 kids smiling holding those beautiful dolls brought tears to my eyes. beautiful photo and a lovely gesture from you. xx

bearpaw said...

Your dollies made me laugh all lined up - so sweet! And I love how some of them ended up in such a special place, they did all look very happy. Can't wait to see your new quilt top finished!

Mommarock said...

Oh my gosh... those little dollies are SOOOOOOOO cute! and just look a the faces of those kids.. adorable.. they got the right homes afterall didn't they.. sweeeetness!! I just wanted to cry!

Mommarock said...

Oh my gosh... those little dollies are SOOOOOOOO cute! and just look a the faces of those kids.. adorable.. they got the right homes afterall didn't they.. sweeeetness!! I just wanted to cry!

Mest said...

I am completely in love with your work is wonderful. And today when I read the story and seen your dolls and the way you talk to them I loved. A faithful follower from Spain, but not write too much (I need google translator), if I read you and see you.

Perry said...

these are the cutest dolls!!! Love the sweet smiles and they just make me want to cuddle them. All of the things you have made that I have seen have such character and "depth". you are truly an artist!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Great story about the dolls, gotta love a happy ending:@)

Valerie said...

Oh Carol I'm all teary, what a wonderful thing you've done for those children!!!

felicity said...

What a lovely ending to the dolly story - they DO look so happy to be with their new owners.

BahamaDawn said...

i am so glad the dollies got a great home!!! i use to make lots of dolls....just dont have the time anymore!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love this post. Yes, it is funny how it takes time to find the right place. Your photo of them on the stoop and Kindergarten just cracked me up as I could just envision this. And they found the perfect home - look at those smiles!

Cole's Corner said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED those dolls you made!!!! That's when I became your biggest fan, I think.
I'm so glad they have a good home!

2ne said...

WOW - great dolls :-)
A great home for them all.

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

Oh Carol, To see the smiles on those sweet children's faces. Job well done!

Patchwork and Play said...

Oh, what a lovely story! You have indeed brought more joy to some very special girls!

Julie Thomas said...

Love it! Making things for others is always more fun than making them for ourselves.

Ursula said...

Oh man! I can just picture your neighbours peeking out the windows. I would have loved to see that. Too funny! I LOVE your dollies! They are incredibly cute! I'm so glad they went to a special place to be loved.

Madame Samm said...

ahhhhh Carol now this is a happy story...I don't care how old you are your very own dolly has magic and sew does the person who makes them...you bring magical smiles to life...your new quilt oh my lol....easter colors all over it...

Cherry Red Quilter said...

I just LOVE a story with a happy ending and this is a great one! Happy stitching indeed!

Truffle queen said...

What a wonderful story! Such happy faces! I love the "wonky square" quilt! When will you have the pattern ready?! Soon, I hope!

pinsandneedles said...

A great story...the dolls are so cute and deserve to be loved!

Love the colors of your quilt...reminds me of summertime and watermelons!

Sue said...

Such an inspiring story. I want to get in the "Zone" like you do when you are focused on making something. 60 dolls and they not tiny ones either. WOW!!! Can you bottle that?!! Two drops of the "Zone" in your morning coffee and zoom, zoom, zoom! Smiles!

Rettabug said...

I remember when you made all those darling dolls! How wonderful that they are being well loved now. :D

Your next quilt is looking VERY BIG!!!!
Can't wait to see it completed.

Wendy said...

How very sweet ... your story, your dolls and the little ones' smiles holding the dollies. It may take more time than we would wish, but a happy ending none the less. Yay you!!

Carol said...

What a lovely story. The dolls are adorable and so are all those smiles!

Anonymous said...

Regardless of my race, as a child, I would have loved to have a doll. Then, and now it would not matter if it was an Asian doll, an African American Doll, or a green doll. Having grown up poor and always longing for a doll, the color of the dolls fabric wouldn't have mattered one iota, and it doesn't matter now--they are all lovely works of art. It saddens me that to this day, even with dolls some of us still tend to discriminate, does the color of the dolls fabric really matter, & certain colors make the dolls less worthy? I guess it does. Fortunately, in the end it was a blessing because the dolls went to children that most needed them and clearly appreciate them--miracles still happen & you made this one happen! You are awesome!

When my young daughter was going into surgery, an elderly volunteer came into the room with a petting dog and gifted her a doll to ease her fears. She was then placed in a little red wagon with the doll and carted off to the surgery room. 10 years later, my daughter still has the doll. You've planted the seed to give back for the hospital doll gesture I took for granted.

familylove said...

The dolls are so cute. Would you share a pattern please. I would love to make some for my two precious girls.

carol said...

In case you want to make your own dolls, I bought the pattern for the dolls here: http://www.ohsewdollin.com/ and changed the smile a bit. I used Autumn Annie.

Carol

Linda said...

I just love your dolls! Cannot imagine how they were not all snapped up at your church sale. But now the dolls are perhaps where they were always detined to be ............. making those delightful children smile!

Girltwin64 said...

I would absolutely love to have this pattern to make my grandaughters one. I have bi-racial grandchildren and caucasion ones. I love them all so dearly and your dolls are way too cute not to be shared! HUgs, Ellen

Annie of Blue Gables said...

*I used to make dolls too! I can't believe the church didn't sell them. They should have stolen the whole show in my book. I was hoping you'd say they were on your etsy site for sale. They are DARLING!!! What a sweet place to send them though.
*Your daughter is amazing in her yoga pose!
*I too love primary colors. I should show you my cathedral window quilt I am doing with primary colors. I wish I had used white muslin instead of the natural. I love the bright white contrast with the colors in your quilt below.
*I love all your creations.
((((hugs))))
~a