StuffUps …… but only little ones

Stuff-Ups …. but only little ones.

Rag Dolls, Book 1

The book which has taken a week to put together is now together.

In one piece.

Click here to see more details of my other life as a rag doll maker.

The cover will have a title added, probably fabric letters fused on, or a scrap of fabric with the title added with a permanent marker.

(Thinking about it, the letters would have to be cut very small to be fused on!)

Many pages will have addition information, photos of dolls and some trims added now the book is together.

I might even break out the coloured pencils … maybe even the water-colour pencils!

I realize now I should have taken photos of a lot of dolls before I removed their stuffing to use them in this and a lot of other books recording all my rag dolls.

If you would like to see all the pages of the book keep going!

Here is the table of contents

In 2010 I decided that I wasn’t going to make any more rag dolls … not quite game to say never, but probably not. I will certainly not get back to making them in bulk for sale at craft fairs, quilt exhibitions, and through craft shops.

I stopped making them when we moved halfway across the state and lost access to convenient outlets, but I didn’t know what was at the other end of the shift at the time so didn’t dispose of excess baggage before and during the move.

As I used to make dolls by the dozen for sale here are a multitude of dolls in various states of construction, different shapes and sizes, made using similar, but not always identical techniques.

I have some young great-nieces who are showing an interest in sewing, quilting and maybe doll making, and plan to have them come and stay sometimes so I can teach them a few tricks, and I would also like to hand on my collection of original designs. If they find themselves wanting to earn some pocket-money in the future they can make dolls from my designs, and if they want to be more creative they can modify my designs to create their own characters … without crossing any copyright lines doing so.

During 2011 I spent more time in the car than in my sewing room, but the time in the sewing room was spent pulling stuff out of boxes, saving some fabric for scrap quilts, sorting out patterns and body parts, and started putting some scrap books together.

It wasn’t a good idea to start on a large undertaking and the start of what turned out to be a very disjointed year. It will take a long time to sort out the mess I made trying to clear out the mess!

I should have gone through all the boxes, all the folders and all the sample boxes and sorted them into boxes so that all the information I had about each doll was all in one place before I started gluing bits onto paper.

The patterns are my working patterns … they have never been published, sometimes I have the original sketch with a few very sketchy notes on techniques and finishing touches which I thought I might try. Sometimes there are just paper patterns cut from newspaper, templates made from cereal packets. Where possible I have saved body parts that have been cut out, along with clothes ready to make up, or partly made up.

I am going to have to do a separate book with samples and instructions just for the assorted hairstyles which I used

I have un-stuffed completed samples I have had in storage so they aren’t quite so fat when added to the scrap books, though in one case I have kept a doll complete with stuffing and will store her inside the book covers … somehow … but that project will come much later.

After undoing a lot of what I had achieved, I have printed an index page  and the first set of loose leaf pages are almost ready to be sewn together to make the first volume of Rag Doll Records, and have created a slide show of the pages.

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Rag Doll Records

In a past life I made rag dolls … mostly original designs. I no longer have access to the outlets I used, and was happy using, and haven’t made any for about ten years.

There is a cupboard in my sewing room which has held boxes of left over bits and pieces, nicely sorted into different families of designs, while instructions, if there were any, were in the filing cabinet, sometimes even with the patterns.


Over the last few months, when I have been home, I have been sorting and trying to work out how to keep a record of each design for future reference, while getting rid of the bulk of materials, plus boxes, folders and scraps of paper.


In the years since I last made the dolls I have been playing about trying different ways of making books. I intended keeping the doll details in simple scrap books, but I wanted to include actual samples … less some of the stuffing! However, even without stuffing the sample pieces added a lot of bulk to the books.


Luckily I was using spiral bound books, so I have pulled the spirals out and am working on loose pages. I am adding a folded strip of card (cut 2 inches wide and folded lengthwise) from the now empty folders to add bulk to the spine edge of the pages. Now the pages are sitting much better!


Next step will be to make covers, then stitch them together. Once again I have turned a simple job into a crafty project … and having some fun along the way. It would be much easier to follow instructions sometimes, but it never seems to happen like that for me.


The photos on the page above were taken at a workshop held in Country Craft and Fabrics, Minlaton (now renamed and moved to Port Vincent) … the workshop notes and/or published patterns were stored separately to the patterns I used to make dolls for sale, so I had to search for them as well!


With the pages shown here I want to create a book in a box … which will also contain a complete doll sample, complete with all her stuffing! I have very little idea how this will work at this point in time. The pages are A3 size and I have some A3 boxes which will form the box … I just have to work out how it will open for the book part!

Any advice will be gratefully accepted!

There are still some pages to be filled with samples of the body and dress under construction, but here is the doll I want to store in the box part of the book I am trying to work out how to make!




A diversion(?) last year (2011) has been clearing out my parents house, including a great pile of photo albums. We decided that the bulk would be reduced if the photos were removed from the albums and stored in boxes … and those in those horrible self stick albums really needed to be somewhere else. Which means a whole heap of empty book covers … just ready to be covered with fabric, and filled with new pages! (If only all the covers matched the sizes of the pages!)


Plastic Cookies … Laminated Edition

Some time ago I published some pattern books intending to give them to great nieces for Christmas.

However, before I had finished putting them together I realised, when I touched a page with a wet finger after washing off some paint,  that I would need something a bit more childproof in households where some of the users are not yet going to school!

So I reprinted the pages, placed them back to back and laminated them before stitching them together.

The final step was making some of the items following the instructions from the book and stitching them onto the pages of the book.

The finished book will store much better than the first edition, and will still stand for display.

Very limited edition of three were printed, one for me, with two completed, one for each of two families with under ten year old children for Christmas 2010.

The third one is for me to keep as a reminder of how to make more in the future.

(I also have the one and only First Edition … if I sign it will be even more exclusive!)

PS While making the decorations I created some scraps.

Before adding most to the bin I cut a few plastic icicles to add to the collection of designs. I now have to work out if I can easily add a page to the second editions … I know I can add to the original, the only problem is matching the paint colour exactly!


Here is a run down of how I filled in time in 2008.

All completed projects are listed, along with a start list!


Not one quilt completed!

The first year since I started quilting that no quilts have been completed. Some hand quilting, some designing, some new projects started, just none completed.


Broomstick Snowman



Timber T Tree

Cardboard Cookies

Iris Garden as BOM

Fairy Nice


Broomstick Buddies

Southern Stars

Faux Feather Christmas Trees

Mini Patterns

Calico Candles

Champagne Poppers

String Wreath

Bennie with a Beanie

Chunky Chicken reprise in Patches April/May

Christmas Trees

Balancing Balls plus Spray Paint

New Species Tree No 1 Lurex Yarn Faux Feather

Timber T Tree

New Species Tree No 2 Faux Feathers

New Species Tree No 3 Faux Fur Faux Feather

Tie it on, Fabric 6 ft

Tie it on, Yarn 5’6”

Loopy Crochet 3 ft

New Species Tree No 4, 2 tone Faux Feathers


Paper and Paste x 100

Card cut-Ups x 100

Pencil Topper Snowman x 6

Mini Wooden Doll Snowman x 6

Painted Snowman

Wadding Wrapped Snowman

Cardboard Cookies x 40

Plastic Cookies x 40

Beaded Dangles x 25

Bears and dolls torn out of magazines x 35

20 Snowballs (white pom-poms)

Tinsel alternative, 1 ball white Feathers yarn

Over 370 decorations so far!

Arty Farty Books

Popsicle People Patterns

Plastic Cookies Pattern Book

A Guide to Bear Making

Words of Wisdom Purple Edition

Words of Wisdom Plain Brown Edition

House of Toys

Also Rans

Also started the following projects.

Southern Stars quilt top started and finished in June, 2008

5 x Balancing Ball Snowmen

Christmas Trees

5 x Balancing Balls

Hand quilting Bush Garlands 2

Strawberry Patch quilt started

Bennie with a Beanie

bennie-and-painted-peteTwo Styrofoam balls, scraps of wadding and some yarn add up to a cute snowman.

Bennie is the one on the left, the other one is Painted Pete.

It’s all in the Wording

Completed on November 25th 2006

In August, 2005 I borrowed a book from Glenice called

Quilt Treasures, which documented The Quilter’s Guild Heritage Search.

I saw a quilt featuring a monogram which included all the letters of the alphabet,

and started playing with the idea immediately.

It was twelve months before Glenice got her book back!

In July 2006, at the Golden Harvest Quilters Hi-Fibre Retreat,

I started cutting fabric to try the ideas in a wall hanging.

The panel was completed that weekend.

It was bordered, sandwiched, quilted and bound in November 2006.

The title came about because people wanted to know what it said.

My answer is that you can read into it whatever you like.

Every English word is there, even the swear words,

if you look hard and find the letters in the right order.

15¼ inches x 21½ inches (39 cm x 54.5 cm)


Glenice was laid to rest soon after we moved from Bordertown to Crystal Brook,

Michelle called me a few weeks later to let me know that there would be a garage sale to clear some of the contents of the stash. 

I selected a variety of items from what was on offer, including the book!


Quilts Started 8, finished 9

String of Beads Runner 2 2004

3 x Nine Patch Table Runner 2004

Santa at the Drovers Camp 2002

Double Wedding String of Beads Tale Topper 2004

Gumtree Quilters Scraps with the Gumnut Angels

The Hurrier I Go, the Behinder I get

Memory Lane

Brooke’s Bouquet 2001

My Dad’s OBE

Also started

Christmas Gold

9 Patch Table Runner in Pink

Double Wedding String of Beads Diagonal

Moonta Bay Jetty

It’s All in the Wording

Christmas Trees

String Pine with cotton reel trunk 5 foot


String of Beads

Double Wedding String of Beads

Monet’s Garden in Close–up


B C Bear

New ….Beginners One Day Workshop




Steps in Time for the Bride and Groom


Basement Baby, Mary Martin

Basement Baby, Annie Agar