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Meet Our Designers

~ Barb Owen ~ Meo Feroy ~ Ute Vasina ~
~ Barbara Graff ~ Cynthia Sieving ~ Pamela Hastings ~
~ Marcia Acker-Missal ~ Fran Parrigan Meehan ~  Nancy Hall ~  Vada Dolph ~
~ Anne Hesse ~ Sandy Miller ~ Ruth Prest Madeleine Sara Maddocks ~
~ Patti LaValley ~
Valarie Garber ~ Patti-Ann Stanley ~ Jacquie Lecuyer ~
~ Lynne Butcher ~
Edwina Sutherland ~ Kat Lees ~ Colleen Babcock ~
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Vada Dolph
Vada Dolph - Cloth Doll Designer

My doll making has evolved through the years, from teddy bears to country crafts and dolls, to the artsy soft-sculptured styles. I am inspired by the many very talented doll artists whose patterns are available, and the challenge is to see what I can do with them, and to create from my own imagination. I enjoy the freedom of expression the form allows. And one great advantage of the fabric product is that it does not break when dropped.

I sell my dolls through a local gift and collectibles shop and I take a limited number of commissions, to allow time for other activities, and random creativity. I also enjoy reading, gardening, and photography.

Click HERE to see Vada's patterns.

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Nancy Hall

I have loved creating things with different types of materials for most of my life, but over the years I have always come back to the fiber arts. My first endeavor as a doll maker began when I made a doll for my daughter with the same costume as she was wearing in the Nutcracker Ballet.

I enjoy making dolls that are brightly colored and embellished. The ability to take a flat length of material, sew and manipulate it into a shape, then bead, paint, embellish it into the final form I want, is what I love.

Doll making enables me to explore a variety of techniques, not all of them fabric or fiber related. I use woodworking tools to create bases for the dolls. I have learned basic jewelry techniques to enable me to make simple jewelry in the size I need, as well as soldering wire for armatures and supports. I use felting techniques, dye my own fabric using a variety of different types of dyes and have created my own fabric using a fabric collage method plus free motion machine sewing. I use colored pencils, water color pencils, gel pens, permanent ink pens and acrylics to create each face. A variety of fibers including yarn, llama, alpaca, wool fibers, mohair and trim are used to create the hair style for each doll. I am constantly looking for new techniques that I can incorporate into my doll making.

I begin each doll by creating a body of cotton, knit or silk. The bodies are then stuffed and sometimes may be dyed, or painted with acrylic paints. I make the costumes with a variety of fabrics – cottons, silks, satins, brocades and hand dyed. I then embellish each costume by hand sewing lace, ribbons, trims, fiber, and beads. After the body is created and costumed, I finish the head, attach the hair and sew it to the body. Over the years I have won many awards and ribbons for my dolls. They have been featured in ads for Fire Mountain Bead and Gems, and have traveled for many years with the Hoffman Challenge. My dolls have been shown in Soft Dolls and Animals, and featured in Doll Crafter and Costuming.

Click HERE to see Nancy's patterns.

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Madeleine Sara Maddocks

I was born in Canada and moved to the UK when I was 2 yrs old. I live with my husband, Tim in South Devon. In 1990 I made my first conventional rag doll with limited sewing skills and was later introduced to the Internet and a whole other world of cloth doll making in 1999. Having a vivid imagination, inspiration has come to me from everywhere and anything. I have always loved creative writing and children's stories and I think this fuels my imagination and ability to create the personalities of my cloth figures.

The art of creating my characters in cloth stems as much from this influence as any other; each cloth figure having a story of their own to tell. I use beading, embroidery, fabric manipulation, textile embellishment, printing, dyeing and painting, needle sculpting to create my
textile characters. I created a trial Cloth Figure Quarterly Magazine in 2008 and have an Internet chat group to promote and support cloth dollmaking in the UK.

Click HERE to see Madeleine's patterns.

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Colleen Babcock

Colleen has always enjoyed making ‘stuff’. First, constructing things made out of paper toilet rolls as a kid in Canada. Then, making costumes and sets as a Theatre Design & Production major at York University in Toronto, and now in every spare moment as a doll maker in London, England. It was Colleen’s dad and their mutual love of Christmas that inspired her to make a polymer clay Santa as a gift. It wasn’t until seeing the dolls of Patti Culea, Barbara Willis and Betts Vidal at an exhibition in London years ago that cloth dolls figured into the equation. Colleen found cloth doll making so magnetic because it never limits you to any one technique, material, or style. An obsession was born. Colleen’s husband, John and parents, Barry & Kitty are by now pros at fabric shopping, doll critiquing, and stoking the creative fires.
Colleen has recently contributed a doll to Patti Medaris Culea’s book Creative Cloth Doll Beading, has had dolls featured in Soft Dolls and Animals, Art Doll Quarterly and Doll Crafter & Costuming magazine and loves teaching cloth doll making online.

Click HERE to see Colleen's patterns.

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Kat Lees

Hello my name is Kathy Lees, nickname “Kat” born and raised Jersey girl. My dad was a Lobster fisherman, my mother worked for International Flavors and Fragrances. I have four brothers, myself being the oldest.

I am married to my best friend and husband affectionately called “Macgyver” by Annie Hesse, which has stuck. We have two children and two grandchildren.

Ever since I could hold a pencil I was always drawing cartoons from the newspaper.

My background is in retail, promotion, and design. I have had many careers, Bee Fashion, Home Interiors consultant, Real Estate Secretary, worked for the Virginia Downtown Development Association, promoting the downtown. Have fought the blue law in Virginia and went lobbying to the general assembly, this was very interesting. I have painted murals, furniture and do Interior Design work to this day. Worked for the Natural Bridge Wax Museum, owned and ran Mountain View Bed & Breakfast for six years.

My doll making career began in 1979 when I could not buy a cabbage patch doll, so I took a local class. I wrote a post to Doll Crafter Magazine pen pal section looking for doll makers and the famous, Gloria “MIMI” Winer answered my post. Gloria being the wonderful person she is invited me to her home for three days. Little did I know then that I was going to test her Universal Doll Pattern. I really do believe Gloria made most of it. She is the most generous person I have ever met and I might add a fantastic hostess. I learned a lot of major lessons that weekend that are still with me to this day. Learn more about Gloria J.Winer at: http://www.mimidolls.com she truly is an asset to the doll world.

Over the years to follow I have won several ribbons and awards. I teach hands on and online classes. I design my own line of patterns. I even was lucky enough to be part of Historic Dolls our doll club in Maryland took to the White House. I created a doll of Mrs. Laura Bush herself. What a wonderful experience that was for 6 of us. My dolls have appeared in Contemporary Doll, Soft Dolls and Doll United Magazine.

I currently live in Florida and belong to the “STITCHIN SISTERS” doll club in New Port Richey. I will continue to support the doll world, take as many classes to expand my knowledge base and perfect my craft. I love what I am doing and cannot exist unless I am creating and designing.

Click HERE to see Kat's patterns.

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Fran Parrigan Meehan

Hi, my name is Fran Parrigan Meehan.  I grew up in Leitchfield, Kentucky and now I live in Las Vegas, NV.  I'm married to a wonderful man named Ken who is Fran Parrigan Meehanvery supportive of my dollmaking adventure.  We have 8 children and 15 grandchildren. We own our own business which is a  Perfume Shop.  From the inspirations of the perfumes, perfume boxes and the names, I have designed several dolls inspired by my shop.  I am currently creating another masterpiece that I am extremely excited about.  I also am Cofounder of the Law Vegas Silver Doll-Ers Doll Club here in Las Vegas.

My Mama taught me to make dolls when I was 5 years old.  She taught me to hand sew small cloth dolls.  To this day I still make dolls and am loving every minute of it.  I'm a self taught dollmaker but have to give my Mama credit for starting me in my dollmaking.  I have taken several sculpting classes, cloth doll classes, porcelain doll classes and others.  Over the years my dolls have received various awards and recognition.  I plan on taking as many classes as possible, classes encourage and strengthen all possibilities.  I love learning, sharing and creating.  I feel the more classes one takes the more you learn and the more inspired you become.  We can all learn from one another.  I took several art courses.  I felt art courses would help me develop my creativity in dollmaking.  I learned knowledge in color theory and design, proportions and perspective from taking college level art courses.

I've been designing my own dolls for years.  With much encouragement from two wonderful friends, who are also dollmakers, I am selling my patterns, pressmolds and teaching doll classes.  I owe many thanks to both of them for the encouragement and "pushes" they have given me to further my dollmaking.  I love my adventures in doll creating.

DOLL ARE MY CANVAS WITHIN MY SOUL 1996  Fran Parrigan Meehan.

Click HERE to see Fran's patterns.

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Jacquie Lecuyer

Jacquie Lecuyer of Off The Floor DollsJACQUIE LECUYER was born in Sault Ste Marie, in Northern Ontario and lived in many areas of Ontario until settling in Ottawa, (the capital of Canada) with her husband Wayne, and her 3 grown children.

She has had many careers including a stint in her  father's machine shop, a banker, a beautician, and a successful real estate broker.

Her interests were in dance, theatre and sports including Judo where she achieved a brown belt degree.

Jacquie's doll making interest began when she created a circus theme wedding for her daughter and designed 12 clown dolls for the table center pieces. From there it continued into doll and teddy bear creation.  Her interest and experience in dance theatre and cosmetics is reflected through her dolls and the creative face painting of her "one of a kind" creations.

The largest influence in her life was the movie "Auntie Mame" starring Rosalind Russell when Jacquie was in her teens.  Primarily due to the movie she lives life to its fullest.  Jacquie looks forward to trying everything in life at least once from food to sports, travel, and any artistic challenges.  This attitude is exemplified in the uniqueness of her doll designs and patterns.

More recently Cirque du Soleil has influenced her creative path.

She is a member of "All Dolled Up" a wonderful bunch of ladies in the Ottawa area, of which she was president for three years. Jacquie is also a member of C.D.A.A. (Canadian Doll Artist Association) where she won the very first soft doll competition held in 2000.

Along with designing and publishing her own patterns, she teaches several workshops in various venues in and around the Ottawa area. Trunk shows are another side of her repertoire.

Click HERE to see Jacquie's patterns.

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Edwina Sutherland, Doll maker

Edwina SutherlandI cannot remember a time when I didn't sew. My mother gave me free reign on her machine by the time I was eight and I have never stopped since! I am a professional dressmaker, specializing in historic reproduction costumes.

I was born in Surrey, England and began my training in the West End of London, in a small couture house. After coming to Canada, I worked in theatre and began making reproduction costume for historic sites and museums.

My love of fabric, textile manipulation and creating characters blossomed naturally into doll making. I was asked to make a doll for a client in 1999 and this opened up a whole new world to me and a new way to explore the medium of cloth. I think I had only been waiting to be asked, because I launched into doll making with a passion. It has been my passion ever since.

My dolls and patterns have appeared in Soft Dolls and Animals magazine, Dolls and Dolls United. I am currently president of Ottawa’s doll club All Dolled Up. I am also a member of the Canadian Doll Artist Association and my dolls have won prizes in their annual competition for the past 5 years. I teach classes in needle felting and cloth doll making.

Click HERE to see Edwina's patterns.

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Ruth Prest

Ruth came to doll making after retiring from almost 30 years teaching adults and youth, as an extension home economist. As someone who has been sewing "almost all her life", she finds a new freedom in creating dolls and animals from fabrics. She encourages those in her classes to start with her pattern but to make the creation "their own", by using different colors, fabrics, and embellishments.

Her patterns, from "Around The Bend," include dolls, cloth animals, wearable animals, and cat, frog, and elephant bags. She says, "You never know what may be coming next from Around The Bend!" Her pattern for a Wurry Wort was seen in Soft Dolls and Animals magazine, and her elephant, camel and giraffe have been pictured in Sew News magazine. She teaches on-line through the Doll Street internet group, and also teaches at area quilt shops. In the five years that she has been in business, Ruth has been a vendor at sewing expos in Cleveland, OH, Denver, CO, Novi, MI, and a number of other venues, and she has taught classes in Harrisburg and Erie, PA, and in Denver, CO.

Click HERE to see Ruth's patterns.

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Lynne Butcher

A little bit about myself.......

For as long as I can remember I have always played with fabrics. My mother was a fashion designer and my childhood contains many memories of wallowing amongst exotic fabrics and making the most amazing Barbie clothes!

I grew up to become a teacher of small children and my classroom was always splashed with colour and movement. I married and had three children of my own, and as they were growing up I started making bits and pieces to sell in local galleries and fairs. This kept me busy, contented and allowed me the luxury of some cash.

It wasn’t until the family travelled to the USA in 1992 that I saw character cloth dolls. The dolls we had here in Australia were very ‘country’. I loved the humour and colour, and I was desperate to learn how to make them. I gathered patterns, books, fabrics and dolls together and brought them home for closer examination. I was hooked! Sewing had never been one of my best attributes (why learn to sew when I had mother who could do it for me, and so much better?) I persevered and worked out ways to create the look I wanted as simply as I could.

I began sharing my passion with students at the local college and was introduced to a patchwork store owner who thought doll-making could slot into her business rather nicely. I taught classes for many years and started a dollclub that grew to 250 members Australia-wide!

Elinor peace bailey was a huge influence in my life. I met her in 1995 on one of her trips to Australia and was totally in awe. She encouraged me to start designing my own dolls (up until then I had been cloning other people’s stuff). I look back on my first attempts at designing and cringe, but elinor saw the potential there and bullied and pushed me into experimenting, and for that I’ll be forever grateful. Her advice, which I take with me always was “find a great idea done badly and fix it”.

My life became a whirlwind of travel over the next eight years. I have taught all over Australia, New Zealand and was fortunate to be included in the teaching faculty at Doll University in California, twice. So exciting to have been the first Australian to teach there!

In 2000, at Australia’s inaugural ‘Doll-O-Rama” cloth doll convention, I had the honour of being voted into the Hall of Fame. Another highlight of my career was being asked by American doll designer and author, Patti Culea, to submit a doll to be included in her recently published book. When I received my copy I was blown away by the standard of work by the other artists!

To date I have designed and marketed 30 cloth doll patterns and have some designs and techniques that I keep especially for workshops. I love teaching face-to-face but since I’ve begun offering a couple of on-line classes, I have come to realise that I don’t need to be constantly on the road.

My dolls are quirky. I love fantasy but I also love real people. I find myself staring at passers-by and wanting to rush home to make a doll! I have spent a lot of time playing with doll bodies with lycra skin. Being able to add stuffing between the layers as I needlesculpt, excites me, and I have been able to create some very natural looking bodies with generous cleavages and interesting faces.

2003 has seen me travelling along a slightly different path. I decided to study full time at Art College to learn more about ceramics (sculpture) and drawing. I have enjoyed meeting new people and learning different techniques, and I’m sure much of what I have learnt will be of benefit to my doll designing. Sometimes we need to explore new horizons to help our creativity along!

Next year I plan to throw myself into creating art, designing new patterns and offering interesting workshops. I live just minutes from the beach in a beautiful part of the world on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland on the east coast of Australia. I hope to travel a little more but there really is ‘no place like home’.

Click HERE to see Lynne's patterns.

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Pamela Hastings

I am Pamela Hastings. I've been drawing, writing, and sewing since I was old enough to hold a crayon. My mother and grandmother taught me to sew when I was 5, because my birthday was too late in the year to start school with my friends. I went to college in the 60's, and soon after graduation moved to an old schoolhouse with a huge studio in northern Vermont, and did craft shows for the next 20 years. I made leather bags, masks, soft sculpture, clothing, and paintings, but dolls have been a thread throughout my life, from the costume dolls I made and sold in junior high, to toy dolls to play with, to sometimes scary art dolls depicting my feelings about my life and the history of the world. I worked in Health Care for 10 years as an Occupational Therapist and Director of Rehabilitation Services in a large facility, while I continued to make dolls, teach and exhibit on the side. In October of 2001 I made the decision to devote my work life full time to designing patterns, teaching, creating, and writing. My interest in the process of Creativity translates into flexible patterns and classes with lots of variations.My Life Partner is a cabinetmaker, which is handy for doll construction problems. We spent the last 10 years building first a pond, then a wonderful house with cave paintings on the chimney, and a second floor studio for me with windows overlooking the pond. Along with all the gardening we do, the nature watching from my studio window, I have discovered a continued interest in writing and sharing the process of my self-discovery and design. I have self-published a book on making paper dolls, which is available on my web site: www.pamelahastings.com, I have participated in the last three of Susanna Oroyan's books, the new Lark Book, Making Creative Cloth Dolls, and I am writing articles for such magazines as, Quilting Arts, Quilting Professional, and elinor peace bailey's quarterly.

In all my patterns I give lots of suggestions for variations to make the design your own.


Click HERE to see Pamela's patterns.

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Marcia Acker-Missal

I am a work in progress as are my dolls, beaded work, and whimsical creations. I use a broad mixed-media palette of fabrics, beads, clay, and so much more. Most recently I am concentrating on surface embellishment, adding new media as I grow and expand my treasure chest of techniques, with which to create and teach to others. My original cloth doll patterns emphasize the creation of faces with personality through needle sculpting and manipulation of drawn features. I have been published in Belle Armoire, Boca Raton Magazine and several domestic & international publications. I have taught workshops for numerous doll clubs and groups and will be teaching at We Folk 2002 and Artistic Cloth Figures 2003. I have designed the logo for the Sand Dollr's cloth doll club which can now be seen on their T-shirts, stationary, membership cards and as a beading pattern for an Amulet purse. I have designed logos for several businesses and civic organizations. I have created several dolls to be sold at auction for a variety of fund raising events and the special fundraiser doll, "Survivor Guardian Granny" for Breast Cancer Research. I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Cooper Union, post graduate work at Hunter College and City College of New York, I am a graduate of the unique High School of Music & Art, NYC, and participated as Master teacher in the Pratt Institute student teacher curriculum. I run my own business known as Potted Frogs for which I design my original cloth doll and bead patterns in addition to making one of a kind special commission pieces and model dolls.

Click HERE to see Marcia's patterns.

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Patti-Ann Stanley

I am the mother of five grown children, and have 13 Grandchildren and 5 Great grandchildren. I started sewing about the tender age of 6 and learned the finer points of the craft at my mother's knee, on her old Domestic, treadle, sewing machine. I believe that my one foot is bigger then the other today, from all that pedaling.

I almost failed Home Economics in grade school because I refused to "baste", which is something that I do, very frequently, now!!! My plans were to go to college and become as Art teacher. However, after one and a half semester, love got in the way. We celebrated 48 years together in January 2001.
I did not start making dolls until the Cabbage Patch doll craze started, although I was deep into doll clothing and children's dance costuming. During my children's younger years, I must have made a boxcar full of Barbie clothes. I redesigned the Cabbage Patch pattern more to my liking ( a Campbell Kid look alike) and they were cute. But my other cloth dolls were pathetic.

When my children were in their teens, I saved and started taking porcelain classes. By accident I met a fantastic porcelain teacher who instructed me in the painting of antique reproduction dolls. We had an agreement - she taught me the doll making and I dressed her antiques. Later, I dressed all of her students dolls, especially those going into competition. I still make a lot of antique doll clothing and re-dress antique repros.

I next started making dolls by such wonderful doll designers as Judi Ward, Raine Crawford, Kezi, Mimi and Carolee. I called Mimi on the phone and we talked for a while. She suggested that I join FOCD, which I did. Then I became personal friends with Judi Ward, who encouraged me to become involved in the doll making market. After we swapped, she asked me if I would design some patterns for her Whatever! Doll.

I designed four different patterns, that are now on the market. A year ago I took Judi's, Beginning Doll Design, class on line and made my very first Original doll. That doll just recently won first place in the Professional category at the Round Rock show in Texas. It is also an available pattern.

I am so grateful to all the wonderful people who have encouraged me and helped me come this far.

Click HERE to see Patti-Ann's patterns.

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Valarie Garber

In 1991 after 12 years as an award winning interior designer, Valarie discovered sculpting. "That I could sculpt was the surprise of my life, and I fell madly in love with it," says Val. She has sculpted several lines of figurines for the gift and collectible industry and is currently dividing her time between creating one of a kind artist dolls, limited edition dolls, and teaching fine craft/art.

Valarie has a very supportive husband, two talented young adult daughters, and a neurotic cat named Tigger. Besides art, and her family, Val's passion is to help women trapped in addictive life styles. She is assistant director of Snow Babies, Inc., a not-for profit organization dedicated to helping women find spiritual and emotional healing in order to lead happy and productive lives.

Update:

"To love what you do and feel that it matters how could anything be more fun than that?" Katharine Graham

In December 2002 I moved to Namibia (South West Africa). What's a doll maker/craft designer to do in Africa? Well design crafts of course. After seeing the extreme poverty and hopelessness of the squatter's camps (no running water, electric, or toilets!) I decided that I would design and teach crafts as an economic empowerment project. WORK OF OUR HANDS is born , a not-for-profit endeavor to bring hope and skill to the unemployed.

The photo shows myself with Emanual, a wood carver who lives in the squatters camp near Windhoek Namibia.

Click HERE to see Valarie's patterns.

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Patti LaValley

My name is Patti LaValley and I live in the country in the small rural town of North Plains, Oregon. I'm a self-taught cloth doll artist, using my skills in drawing and painting to create my character art pieces. I have been involved in many types of arts and crafts throughout the years. I discovered cloth doll making about 25 years ago after I inherited some vintage patterns from my dear friend Grandma Morgan, a 103-year-old doll maker. My passion for dollmaking developed through a love of textures and colors within a piece of fabric. I like the diversity that dollmaking allows, too. To me, the ultimate form of expression is accomplished when all my skills can be incorporated into one art form. When I bring a smile to someone's heart and face through my dolls I feel I have accomplished everything! I love meeting other dollmakers at shows and gatherings, where I have made many new friends. Presently I have a line of over 20 cloth doll patterns that include lovely ladies as well as whimsical and fantasy creations. I also teach online cloth doll classes and offer cloth doll workshops for doll clubs, craft guilds and other events such as conferences and doll conventions.

Click HERE to see Patti's patterns.

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Sandy Miller

Hi! My name is Sandy Miller and I've been designing and making dolls in my Sandoll business for over 6 years.  I've lived in Louisiana all my life and now live in Lafayette, home of the Ragin Cajuns and Mardi Gras.  I live with my husband, Dusty, and my son Colin.  My daughter, Sarah, is on her own now and is beginning to get interested in sewing (Yay!).  I used to make quilts but found it took too much time for an end result so I began to make dolls after reading elinor peace bailey's book "Mother Plays With Dolls."  I then met dollmaker and craft designer Betty Auth who taught me how to write and draw patterns.  I owe a lot to her helpful guidance. I've always loved fairies, wizards, angels and anything to do with fantasy. (I love science fiction and fantasy books and movies.)  Once I made several fantasy patterns, I tried something new by making an historical Native American pattern and then doll patterns that had to do with the  history of my area.  I made a Mardi Gras Jester pattern and a Cajun Doll pattern.  However, I find myself moving back to fantasy and should have two new fairy patterns available in 2001.  Because of the embellishments that I place on my dolls, I've become interested in embroidery and especially beadwork.  My advice to dollmakers is don't limit yourself to one craft.  Branch out and learn new things and this will help you in your creativity with your dolls.

Click HERE to see Sandy's patterns.

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Anne Hesse

Anne Hesse grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, received a B.S. in English Education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio; a Master's of Special Education from the University of Cincinnati, and certification to teach art from Seminole Community College in Orlando, Florida. After dabbling in a variety of art forms, Anne made her mark in the field of contemporary basketry, teaching and creating innovative approaches to construction. She consistently pushed the nickel and her work is included in many private and corporate collections. In the late 1980's, Anne's focus turned to creating figures and that is where her passion has remained. She has been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, was commissioned to create a 3 ½ foot doll for the television series "Central Park West", had a small piece purchased for the film "Grumpier Old Men" and has twice been invited to participate in the White House Christmas Collection of American artists, 1992 and 1999. Anne's work can also be seen in Susanna Oroyan's books, "Anatomy of a Doll", and "Designing the Doll".

Click HERE to see Ann's patterns.

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Cynthia Sieving

My Name is Cynthia Sieving; I am a fabric sculptor.  I create a variety of cloth people, animals and other fabric based art items. My first memories involving fabric are from my preschool years. I had a cigar box with a darning needle, crochet thread, buttons and leftover scraps of cloth.  When I got a little older, my grandmother taught me to sew.  We did not work from any existing patterns. Newspaper, a measuring tape and a pencil were our tools. I learned how to turn a flat piece of paper into a three dimensional form. Then one day I discovered the wonderful world of commercial patterns. Although I was now working from patterns, I still felt the need to make changes. It was more of an art form to me.  Just making a dress became a creative process.  I could add to or change the original pattern in a lot of different ways.   As I grew up I was fascinated by all the different things I could do with cloth. Using pleats, darts and tucks, I could change anything I wanted. I found that color and trims could turn the same pattern into something completely different.  I became interested in learning any technique that had to do with cloth.  I learned to do crewel, quilting, cross-stitch, and tapestry work. I am still finding many different techniques to learn, and I hope I never stop learning new ways to work with cloth. For the last ten years I open my home for one weekend and fill it with all the wonderful things I have made that year.  Since I have been doing this most of the same people have come back year after year.  So it is important that I have all new things.  It wasn't long before I was running out of patterns to buy. I tried making variations of Santa Claus figures.  Soon I found that the small changes I was making just didn't satisfy me.  I decided to try to create a pattern from scratch. I went back to my grandmother's method of pencil and newspaper.  My own first patterns were not all successful, but I was happier and more excited about sewing than I had been in a long time. The first year that I decided to make dolls was very scary. I didn't know if I could sell them.   I wasn't sure whether the time and materials spent completing the dolls would make them too expensive to sell.  Who would ever even want them at these prices?  My first three dolls were a court jester, an old west dance hall madam and a golfer.  I had so much fun making them, I didn't care if I sold them or not. I just had to make people.  There was no going back now, making them was too much fun. My imagination started working overtime.  These little people would be in my life forever. Everyone loved my creations as much as I loved making them.  I could hardly believe it. Since that time, I have been making dolls nonstop.  Who will I make this year? I have no idea! That is the fun of it. I think of a person or animal, and I am off.  In the last year I have begun turning my own work into patterns for others to enjoy making.  Pattern creation is as challenging as making the doll itself.  My goal is to make a doll pattern detailed, but fun to make.  Sometimes this is a difficult combination.  However I think I have managed accomplish this in both "Snail Mail" and "Mr. Sandman". My goal is to start teaching and giving talks on doll making and the use of cloth.  I hope to share my knowledge and ideas with others.  I am not sure how to make a living at doll making, but we all need to have a dream.  My dream is to be able to devote myself full-time to doll making and to the creation of patterns to share with others. Cynthia Sieving

Click HERE to see Cynthia's patterns.

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Barbara Graff

Barbara is a fabric designer and doll artist living in Windsor, CT with her husband.  She is the mother of 3, and proud grandmother of 2.  Also sharing her home is a cat, Brittany spaniel and an adopted Mexican street dog.  Barbara has loved all types of needle arts since childhood, and was educated in Fine Arts.  She creates dolls and creatures of all sizes, and produces a line of patterns for her designs.  She loves to play with line and negative space, and taking fabric to its limits.  She began making dolls in 1985, when she needed affordable and unbreakable dolls for her young daughter's dollhouse.  She has developed innovative techniques to make miniature dolls easily. When her tiny dolls were discovered by the Kansas City Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys she began marketing her dolls nationwide.  Kith & Kin was born.  Barbara was made an IGMA Artisan in 1993 (International Guild of Miniature Artisans).  Articles about Barbara and her work have appeared in Contemporary Doll Collector, Miniature Collector, Nutshell News, Dolls in Miniature, The Home Miniaturist (UK), and the Kalmback Catalogue.  Her miniature dolls were chosen for the illustrations in the children's book series "Story House Dolls" by Sandy Bartholomew, and are being marketed along with the books.Barbara enjoys traveling and teaching her techniques at shows, seminars and clubs.  She also quilts, gardens, plays the guitar and cooks. 

Click HERE to see Barbara's patterns.

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Ute Vasina

Hello, my name is Ute Vasina.  Born and raised in Germany until the age of twelve.  Moved to the United States in 1972 with my mother.  I now live in Lincoln Nebraska with my husband, two children, two cats and a dog. 
Barb Owen
Never really having much interest in sewing until my daughter was born, when I got the urge to sew her a dress.  From then on things moved forward.  I went to a doll show with my mother and had the opportunity to see cloth dolls up close.  I was so taken with the idea, that I joined our local doll club the first chance I got.  Jumped in with both feet and am enjoying every minute.  Taking many doll classes, buying patterns, making dolls and researching the libraries for more information, I soon discovered that I wanted to create my own type of dolls.  This came fairly easy to me, so to make a long story short, I started creating my own patterns.  Easier said then done!  Since my fascination is with trolls, I started researching books and information on trolls.  They are fun little creatures and are even more fun to create.  You will find that each one of my dolls is uniquely different, but I try to give each one of them a little bit of me. 

Click HERE to see Ute's patterns.

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Barb Owen 

Barb Owen has been involved in the world of dolls since she was a  small girl.  Each year a new doll arrived under the Christmas tree  which sparked a desire to learn to sew.  Her mother patiently taught  her to operate the old 201 Singer and showed her the basics of  reading patterns and supplied her with lots of scraps on which to  learn.  Barb dreamed of sewing her own designs and that began to  happen when she acquired a Barbie doll.  Weddings and garden parties  were Barb Owendreamed up and all the clothing and accessories created.  Fast  forward about 30 years during which she grew up, majored in music in  college, got married and raised a family, taught about a zillion  private piano lessons as well as many sewing and fitting classes. The love for dolls and doll clothes never left.  Through reading  magazines, books, and the discovery of the internet, Barb's latent  dreams of designing began to find life again.  Now, she finds that  there are more dolls begging for life than she has time to develop.  She assures them that they will each find their way into the world if  they can just be patient! Barb's first love is teaching dollmaking and she really loves to  teach her technique for creating faces by using rubber stamps and  colored pencils.  She has developed rubber stamps which allow  beginning dollmakers to experience immediate success with faces.  Experienced dollmakers enjoy the use of rubber stamps because they  value the time saved when using them.  Her current desire is to more  fully explore needle sculpting and to design patterns which make  needle sculpting understandable and fun.

Click HERE to see Barb's patterns.

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Meo Feroy

I make dolls....  I'm a mom.... I'm middle age.... I'm a little over weight and I make dolls.  I keep a just "OK" house.  I wash clothes.  I cook food. I make beds and I make dolls.  I taxi my kids around. I run errands. I'm usually the one who feeds the dog and. I make dolls.  I pay the bills.  I work in the yard.  I grocery shop and I make dolls. And then I write the directions with the thought in mind that maybe someone else might like to make my dolls.  And then I teach others how to follow the directions I write so that they  might enjoy making my dolls. I make dolls and I LOVE IT!  I can't even began to tell you what a marvelous feeling it was the first time I taught a group of cloth doll makers when at the end of the class there right before my eyes were 14 Floppy Floozies!  Each one was different each one represented a little bit of the personality of the maker.  Each one crafted maybe not with the most skillful hands but most certainly with the hands of someone who during the class was completely immersed in that sweet serendipity of creation. The ability to create my dolls and in turn being given the opportunity to share that experience with someone else is a true gift.  A gift that I will forever be thankful for. I'm Meo Feroy, I live in Washington state with my husband and two of my four children who are almost old enough to take care of themselves (when they choose to) but still young enough to be living at home (13 & 15).  I have one grandson who just turned five. We live in a lovely big old house that my father-in-law built over 40 years ago.  It is perched on the edge of one of the beautiful little lakes that are hidden in the wooded hills around Seattle and Tacoma.  From my sewing studio tucked up in the attic I can look out my window into an old growth forest and watch the waves from the little lake lap on the shore. The squirrels and Blue Jays and Woodpeckers that live next door keep me company. Very often from my
skylights I can see bald Eagle soar above my head and land in the top of a giant snag not 50 feet away. While I'm tucked up here in my little hideaway I make my funny little cloth people and every now and then I go visit the outside world and teach others how to make them.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  Well, it is and I think I am a very, very lucky lady! May all your dolls come true, Meo

Click HERE to see Meo's patterns.

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