If you have read this blog fairly often, you might know that every year I make a doll on New Year’s Day. The idea is to say something about the year that has passed or the one that is to come. Last year I made a bonkers tall pyramid to celebrate the fact that I had found a lovely piece of theory about iceberg economies which had a lot to say about the invisible work done by quilters.
This year was a bit odd. One of the rules of this practice is that the doll has to be makeable in 24 hours. This year I knew that I was going out for one of my favourite gatherings of the year at a friend’s house, so I had to adapt. The result is that this year’s doll is from a kit – a kit that I bought for £5 in the Hobbycraft sale when I went up to see my Mum over Christmas.
Making the doll was quite pleasant, as everything was cut out and the stitching holes were pre-prepared. It is largely made of very cheap and nasty acrylic felt, which seems to be a recurring theme in the beginning of 2016, and while this was a bit grim to work with, the effect of the blanket stitch is very nice in places, particularly the hair. I followed the instructions to stitch up the body in white which is odd as there was plenty of pinky brown thread. I think, in the end, it improved it a bit.
The kit would teach you how to construct a doll, although why you would want to do it in blanket stitch rather defeats me as it isn’t the most robust stitch. Backstitch would be stronger. Anyway, it was pleasant not to have to decide on eye placement and so on.
One thing that did come out of it was about having the right tools for the job. Last Christmas my mother gave me an inspired present: a set of doll-making needles. Fantastic. These really helped me to sew on the arms through the buttons quickly and easily. I am imagining that it would have been much harder with the plastic tapestry needle which came with the kit.
I didn’t quite finish her in one day. I had to glue on the sparkle white dots in her eyes and that took almost a fortnight to get round to doing.
I am not quite sure what she says about my life at the moment, but a few ideas are:
Never prioritise a personal tradition over a great friend’s New Year’s lunch. Grate Frends, as Molesworth knew only too well, are far more important than work of any sort.
I am really busy and shortcuts are okay occasionally.
Having the right tools for the job really helps, but so does having a great supplier like my mother on the case.