Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Listening to Fabric

The other day I was talking to my sister on the phone and she said ”fabric speaks to you”. That really caught my attention; my first thought was, well that sounds kind of crazy..and my second was, but it’s absolutely true! That started me thinking about how I choose the fabrics for my dolls and I thought you might be interested in the process.

When I go fabric shopping I’m always on the lookout for the piece that seems to just call my name...one that I can not leave the store without buying. Sometimes the fabric will immediately inspire a doll to me...when I saw this piece I knew exactly what doll I was going to create with it.

It just shouts summer pixie, right?

Other times I will find one that I know I need but I just won’t “see” the doll for it yet. Eventually though it will be exactly what’s called for. I’ve had this little piece for ages, I loved it but never quite saw who it was for.

Then recently I came across it in my stash...while looking for something else...and knew right away that it was destined for an Alice. I mean look at those Wonderland-esque tea cups!

It’s not always as easy as those two examples though. Most of the time finding the perfect fabrics for a doll I have in my head is one of the hardest parts of the process. I’m actually kind of fanatical about it, it’s one of the only times I have to have complete quiet. I’ll start by just pulling out the boxes with the colors I think I’ll be using , but before long they’re all out and the room is covered in fabrics. Eventually, after trying many different permutations of color, I’ll come up with a few fabric groups that I think will work. Then I sit down and I guess “listen” to which ones really seem to speak for that doll. I know, kind of crazy, right? But it works for me!
So how do you choose your materials?

And last I'll leave you with a bit of comic relief. This doesn't look like a comfy place to sleep to me...but of course it's right in the middle of all the action!


  1. Bad Kitty! Great Post!
    Hey, where did you get that teacup fabric? I love it! I have been looking for something like this forever...

  2. Thanks Ulla! I bought this fabric many years ago, unfortunately in only a small amount. But if you search teacup fabric on Ebay there are several similar ones.

  3. Hi
    fantastic post, so true, fabric talks all the time, lately cottons say ouch that hurts, wish I could find the fabrics I like to use for dolls now
    thankfully I have a big stash and have lots of quilter friends that collect, love all the fabrics you use on your sweet dolls and my kitties always like to sleep right in the middle of everything too!
    Happiness is a kitty on your table

  4. Fabric, Fiber, it all talks to me. My stash is getting a bit crazy. Love your kitty; I have a furry pic on my blog today too. :)

  5. I know that fabric talks to you, because it talks to me as well - I just don't turn it into dolls! It's one of the things that set your dolls apart from any attempted knock-offs - the details, from the intricate embroidery, tiny buttons, microscopic seashells, careful stitching (you MUST have mice working for you, no one can sew such tiny stitches! )to the spot-on fabrics that MAKE your dolls such wonderfully tangible pieces of your imagination!

    Love, Yer Sistah!

  6. Nice...I have felt the same....

    Love your dolls.....