Birthday Doll – 2013

For the past three years I’ve made an “art” doll on my birthday. I got the idea from an article in “Art Doll Quarterly” which featured the work of fiber artist Karen Page who has, for many years, been making dolls to celebrate her birthdays.

This year I decided to make some hand-quilted fabric to use as the doll’s body. I quilted the fabric on a recent trip Ed and I too . We traveled to New York to visit Ground Zero and to Washington D.C. to spend some time with his daughter and her family. Ed returned to Tucson and I stayed on an extra four days to spend time with my Tri Delta sorority sisters at the Sanctuary Retreat Center in Bellsville, Maryland.

I had been collecting doll ideas on Pinterest in recent months but I didn’t have a specific concept for the doll other than to use the quilted fabric. On the morning of my birthday I open gifts from my sister, Barbara. She had used some delightful threads and yarns to tie the packages and I immediately realized they would become the doll’s hair.

After breakfast I sat with the yarns and fabric and consulted my “scrap” box. I pulled out the fabric bits that might fit as I built the doll. From that point on, she took shape quickly as I discovered a crazy quilt scrap to use for her boots and heart and a lovely golden toned gridded silk that became her arms and hands. Assembling her took more time than expected and I didn’t finish her until this morning. Doll2013

While every birthday is special this one took an extra celebratory note as I brought my husband home after spending the night in the hospital. He had just completed a very successful surgery on his left carotid artery. This was his second carotid surgery, the other having taken place last spring. This aging process is certainly challenging but now we can rest a bit easier knowing that the “rivers” in his neck are flowing freely.