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Meet Our Designers

~ Meo Feroy ~ Ute Vasina ~
~ Cynthia Sieving ~
~ Fran Parrigan Meehan ~  Nancy Hall ~  Vada Dolph ~
~ Madeleine Sara Maddocks ~
~ Patti LaValley ~
Jacquie Lecuyer ~
Edwina Sutherland ~ Kat Lees ~
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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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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: 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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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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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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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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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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