Sunday, 14 October 2007

Back One Day Soon

For about the last nine months, regular readers may have noticed I wasn't blogging as much. That was about the time my Mother was diagnosed with serious health issues. The road since then has been rocky, but yesterday I picked her up from hospital, and things are looking good.

But this means I am off for a week or so to nurse her at the home with dial-up only (gotta think about priorities here). So you won't hear from me for a while. But I will get to weed the grossly overgrown garden.

I have been thinking gardens a little lately - the very lovely Rose at Quilted Hills was kind enough to pass on an award to me - and I have been looking through the other blogs she listed at the same time. There are some seriously beautiful garden blogs there. Thank You, Rose. I don't have a minute at the minute to work out the technicalities of picking up the graphic (hopeless, me), but if someone would like to pick it up on my behalf, and pass it along to others who make them smile - please do.

I am off to the garden, with the irises and roses just starting to come out. Must pack the camera.

Back in a week or so

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Faces Tutorial

Here is how I make the "Faces" for my Comfort Dolls.

Comfort Doll #1

The first step, above, is to draw around a 20 cent piece, on whatever fabric comes to hand. I have been using calico (which I think means something else other than in Australia). The weave is a little open.

I draw with a fine-tip fabric marker. If you do not like the strong black line, you could try using a grey-lead for the circles.

The fabric then goes to my mother, who draws simple faces in the circles. I have taken a liking to one she does with closed eyelids, and asked her to draw more of them.

The pictures seem to come better if the fabric is hooped with something resting underneath.

I then choose a face, and cut around it with an allowance of about half an inch. In this one, I am trying for something other than stark white - I should not assume that all people have the same skin colour as mine. So this one has been boiled with a teabag and salt. If necessary I will touch it up further at the end with pencils.

At the same time, cut a circle of light cardboard slightly smaller than a 20c piece, and a circle of wadding the same size. This wadding is a bit thicker than I like, but will do.

Run a line of gathering stitches around the face.


Lightly pull the threads to bunch up the face, the put the wadding in, then the cardboard. Pull the threads more tightly and tie off.

Lace the ends of the threads from side to side on the reverse, then use the thread to sew the face in place, using tiny stitches in about eight places on the edges.

It then looks like this:


Ornament as required around the edges. I use one or two rows of beads.


Spirit #5 (aka Comfort Doll #4) is ready to be born. I think I will be beading the design - not sure yet.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Spirit Doll #3 finished


Spirit Doll #3 is finished - and this one is mine to keep. She is based on some of the unfinished embroidery by my mother, with the other fabrics I am using in the Apple Blossom Quilt. So, in the same vein, she is ornamented by stitches only.

I have been asked for a little more detail on how I do the faces - so I will write a tutorial and take photographs as I do the next one. Not sure when it will be though. But in the meantime, here is a closeup of the face, after her makeup was touched up.


Saturday, 6 October 2007

Comfort Doll #4 finished


Comfort Doll #4 is finished. Life is busy here, but she will be off to the USA sometime next week.

This little girl is a denim girl, but she has her own serenity - and her arms out for a hug. Although if you half close your eyes, you can even imagine she is an angel. With a Teddy Bear on her shoulder.

And I have decided I like this shape more than the others I was using. Doll #3 is almost finished.

Please consider supporting the Comfort Doll project, which supports women in refuges. You can read more in the blog, or check out other dolls on the Flickr page.