Tag Archives: Porcelain Dolls

The Doll Conspiracy

12 Aug

First an update on my Pirate Quilt. You may remember it. If not here is a reminder. Here is a link to one blog.   Here is another .

In it the ship is small but it occurred to me that a bigger ship on a wall hanging would also be a useful addition.

I also appiquéd the mariners compass as an alternative to an embroidery.

In a former life I made dolls and when I started quilting seriously I relegated the paraphernalia to a small section of my work area. (This small section is the size of many ‘3rd’ bedrooms in estate agent terms). I have been meaning to get in there and sort it out with the idea of trying to offload the moulds and made dolls so that I can put my frame in the room. It was only after I had done an inventory and photographed all the dolls that I realised just how much ‘stuff’ there is in there. What I really need is someone wanting to start a  doll making business who wants to buy a whole working studio. Then I just need to sell the dolls I have already made. In case you think  I am exaggerating take a look at this lot. It’s only a drop in the ocean but it’s a bit overpowering.

Kimmie mould  by Cindy Marschner Rolfe

From the Joey mould by Cindy Marschner Rolfe.

Another Joey

Angel Love by Cindy marschner Rolfe.

Theodore by Cheri Chagall with Donna Rubert 28″ body.


Sylvie by Cheri Chagall.

Mimi by Cheri Chagall.


L’il Boo by Cindy Marschner Rolfe.








Sipho from Donna Rubert’s Flossie mould


Theodora from Theodore mould by Cheri Chagall.

Hannah Rose by Donna Rubert



There are some more on my web site nsaaquilting.co.uk

It’s not just the dolls or even the moulds. There are wigs, shoes, eyes, and goodness knows what else.

I  have come to the conclusion that life is too short. There are many more dolls I would like to make but I would have to live  several decades more and still be able to lift the moulds – unlikely. Then there is the quilting. So many quilts, so little time.


Resolving the New Year

16 Dec

If you have been following my blogs you will know I have spent a long time overseas and that I developed patchwork, applique etc as a necessary hobby. I deliberately didn’t mention quilting because I have done more of the former than the latter. Filling suitcases with quilts every time I came home was bad enough when they were just tops. If they had been quilted they would have been a nightmare. As a result I have a huge pile of tops ready to quilt. Luckily I had ten years of dollmaking in the middle or I wouldn’t be able to get in the front door. Bear in mind that the tops I have are left after I gave a pile to Project Linus to finish for me.

Just to give you an idea of the nature of my New Year’s resolution, take a look at this lot.


There are actually two piles.

Luckily I have done one of the Grace Frame courses at The Cotton Patch. I can recommend them to anyone who is feeling frustrated trying to use their frame or thinking of buying a new one. I am waiting for some extra bits to arrive from America at the moment but I shall be full steam ahead after Christmas. With that lot I should become an expert.

Enough of my problems. We have the tree up and dressed as they say. No room for lazy trees in our house. I have also done the customary window display. For all you people with large gardens full of trees and flowers I shall explain about my house.

It is on a narrow street running through the village. It is so narrow you will not find it on Google Earth as the car can’t get down it. If it did, getting out would be a long process followed by a trip to the panel beater. My large front window looks out onto the street and passers- by are practically in the front room. Normally we get over this by living on the top floor. At Christmas, however, with the tree downstairs we tend to live down there. In Winter it is a tad dark, courtesy of the two foot thick walls and therefore deep window reveals, so we put on the lights. This immediately lights up the room like a guide to a ship in the fog. We either spend Christmas waving at passers-by or block out the view. We choose to do the latter. I usually do a display of dolls and a few Christmas lights – as shown in the photo. It’s Christmassy and serves the purpose.

Close up.

Closer up.

The other thing I have been doing this week is a bit of embroidery. I had my machine serviced and so am ready for the New Year on that too. I made another decoration in the shape of a fairy embroidery – courtesy of Emlibrary of course. There are lots of other fairies too. Excuse the reflection as I have framed it and there are a lot of lights where I photographed it.

If you look carefully in the first one you can just see me.

Of course I had to add a few sparkles. I couldn’t help myself. After all if you can’t sparkle at Christmas when can you.

Please Put a Penny in The Old Man’s Hat

9 Dec

On Saturday I am going to take my wares to the local Christmas craft market. This involves a walk of about 50 yards so I don’t think it will be too arduous. Last year I travelled miles for absolutely no return. This year I will stay at home and support my local community. At least if I get cold I can send a runner for a large mug of something hot. I have bought myself a pair of those gloves with cut off fingers – after all I will need to be able to handle the oodles of boodle people will be handing over in return for my wonderful Christmas goodies whilst keeping my fingers warm. Well, I can hope.

I am trying a variety of things – some quilty and some not.  I am going to have a few of my dolls on view. These have been seen in the village before and I did sell quite a few through a local shop. Unfortunately when I went overseas and came back I never got back into selling them.

I shall have some of these.

This one and a couple of similar.

I thought I would also have some of my embroidered totes. Very eco-friendly in this ‘bring your own shopper’ age.

I am letting this quilt go too.

I will also be trying to sell my other Sunbonnet Sue quilts as featured in one of my early blogs. These feature —


and many more.

Maybe a couple of aprons.

Myself and a couple of willing helpers also do a rather smart line in appliquéd shoebags.

A few bags.

I will also be selling some of my patterns and kits for amongst others, ‘Jamie Plays ‘—



A touch of patchwork.

Bag kits.

Cot Quilt kits.

I have also been cutting fat quarters in every hue.  Just need some customers now. Keeping my fingers crossed.

If you are passing Polperro, which is very difficult, pop in. I can certainly promise you a cheerful, multicoloured stall and I might find you a mug of something hot .

Why Has My Sweater Got Three Arms?

30 Jul

I haven’t tried every craft but there have been a few. The first was knitting. Despite the title I was quite good at it if you don’t count those round needles. I never could get the hang of them. My Mother used to knit so I learned. I used to start with enthusiasm, I finished with relief but the bit in the middle was a bit of  a bore. It went on for ever.

Then I tried crochet. I made myself a beret. It went very well until I tried it on. It fell over my eyes; tension was obviously not my thing. It was a rather fetching shade of luminous pink. It would probably be back in fashion as ‘retro’ now.

After that  I tried cross stitch. I rather liked that as long as I could watch a video at the same time. Now I listen to audio books but in those days they weren’t really around. I did quite a lot of cross stitch but what do you do with it when you have finished. I don’t really want embroideries all over my walls. I even had some designs published in a magazine. That just meant that I spent hours stitching for a very small reward. Mind you it did come in handy for small carpets and rugs in my dolls house stage – more of which in a future post.

Eventually I discovered dolls, porcelain dolls. I enjoyed every stage of making them. Pouring the slip, firing, painting, making bodies and dressing them. They really are rewarding to make. Unfortunately I’m not sure I could even lift the moulds these days. They are very, very heavy.

9" Doll

These dolls are small but very detailed and dressing them can be a challenge but they are lovely when finished. Here are a couple of slightly different ones.

I have packed all my dollmaking equipment away to make room for the quilting equipment but I still have lots of dolls to finish if the mood should take me. If you have never made a porcelain doll and I am sure most of you haven’t, then you will not realise just what that means. I have shelves and shelves of moulds and soft-fired greenware. I have two kilns and bottles and bottles of slip. there are enough ribbons to stock a haberdashery and enough baby shoes to open a shoe shop. Add a filing cabinet full of dress patterns , sundry cots, prams, chairs and goodness only knows what and that is a lot of space. It’s the equivalent of a very large stash.

I did think ahead and buy myself a Horn cabinet so that I can always fold it away if I need to and my pouring table is temporarily a cutting table so that I can do more if I so desire. Like quilting it can be an addictive pastime if a bit messier.

Some more of my creations:

I have some more of the baby dolls on my site if you would like to see them.

This has been a diversion from the quilting but I have almost finished the quilt top started in ‘Roos’ Damned Roos and Wallabies’. I will post a picture soon. Unfortunately I now have to quilt it. This could be a little delayed as the wadding I like is out of stock and has been for a while. I like my quilts to be ‘puffy’ as daughter number two always says. I like them to be warm rather than just decorative. This could have something to do with the fact I live in a draughty old listed building in the Northern Hemisphere.  It could of course just be that I like ‘puffy’ quilts.