In a magazine I fell in love with dolls by American Marty Maschino. She called then Attic Babies, and made them for sale, and sold the patterns. I tried designing something along the same lines but the designs needed a lot more work before they would become useful when I found two of her patterns.
I made one of each, then started reshaping arms, legs and heads, and redesigned the clothes to make the clothes easier to put together. After making the originals the patterns went into the filing cabinet, but I kept using the faces on the reshaped bodies. Well, I thought I was using the same faces.
Over a period of months I made more dolls, changing each one a bit more, and one day I came across the patterns and could not believe the difference. The face I was still ‘copying’ were nothing like an Attic Baby face! I had developed my original face, and this face became the identifying feature of all my dolls.
Basement Babies had arrived!
I took some to the Quilters Guild of South Australia exhibition, Claire Pope bought the first one, and the whole lot went to new homes over the exhibition. The girls, including four of my Mt Barker and Woodside Patchwork and Quilting students, from the Quilters Cupboard in Hahndorf asked me to teach a workshop. One day became two days with 15 or 16 students each day. The class roll call became a Who’s Who of quilters in SA in the next few years. From this time on I travelled all over the state teaching doll and quilt workshops.
These dolls gave me the confidence to grab an idea and run with it. The patterns I had purchased over the years went into retirement totally, and I started drawing dolls, toys and bears from scratch.