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Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
Hello doll lovers! This blog was created to tell you about dolls I have made and classes I teach on doll making at Attic Window Quilt Shop in Comstock Park, Michigan (a suburb of Grand Rapids). My goal in teaching is to pass on the love of making heirloom quality dolls. Most of the dolls I make (and hold classes for) are designed by Gail Wilson - visit her website at . Page down my blog for some fun doll links including antique doll sites and hard to find doll supplies.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Needlework Doll face

Hi every one, today is a snowy day - a great reason to stay in and make dolls. I'll continue with making the sample doll for the next class I'll be teaching at Attic Window Quilt Shop; Gail Wilson's Needlework doll. For more information about the pattern and kit for this doll, please vistit Gail's website and scroll down to the needlework doll - she is right under the pincushion doll.

So far, I have sewn the body parts, stuffed them, painted on the skin color, stockings and shoes and have applied the face details with colored pencils. There are special instructions in the pattern/kit for how to make the pencils look like paint. Colored pencils are so easy to create a doll face with, so if face painting is holding you back from trying your hand at doll making, try either this doll or Gail's feedsack dolls. Pencil faces are super quick too.  I must remark on how this doll was very easy to sew and stuff.

Here she is waiting for the fixative to dry before the sealer gets applied.

The pencil faces look just as nice as the painted ones do - here is a comparison. The doll on the left has painted (also antiqued, so a bit darker) and the doll on the right is in pencil before antiquing. That poor small Columbian doll on the left is still waiting for's been several years.

While things dry, I work on the clothing. Here is her apron, pocket and emery strawberry  finished and hanging out on the pincushion doll until the doll us finished.

Now, on to the wig.  Have some doll fun today - Julie


  1. Thanks Robin, I enjoy your blog and hope to get good enough at faces someday to make an Izannah as beautiful as yours!

  2. What kind of FIXATIF, and SEALER do you use? Your dolls are just beautiful. Using pencil instead of paint is very interesting. db

  3. Hi Anon, Thanks for the nice comments. Yes, colored pencils can be used if you are not so sure you can pull off a painted face, or you just don't want to use paints. They can get the look of paint if you use water with the colored pencils. Keep them super sharp - which means getting a really good pencil sharpener.
    I use Krylon fixative but I think you could use other brands as long as your medium (colored pencils for example) is listed on the can as ok to use. I don't usually use a sealer as the antiquing covers that well enough to seal it. The antiquing I use is Old Village graining liquid (oil) in brown. But I never stir the stuff or shake the can, so the pigment settles and doesn't make the skin very dark. Sometimes I have to use two coats. I rag a small amount on and then swipe some off. Some of the other doll makers I know use Modge Podge in matte finish to seal/protect/varnish. This must be shaken a very long time to make sure the matte particles are well distributed. If you don't shake it a very long time, you end up with glossy instead of matte. Thanks for stopping by my blog.


Gail Wilson dolls I have made

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