Sunday, September 28, 2008

September 2.0, A Spirit Doll

I decided to make a Spirit Doll for a dear friend. This is my first attempt at a Spirit Doll, and I was a little uncertain about starting it. But the emotion driving the process helped to push aside any doubts. Regardless of the quality of the final product, my friend will understand the meaning.

The doll will be just under 6 inches tall and 4.25 inches at the widest point--the outstretched arms. As far as the shape goes, I just kept sketching until I came up with a shape that I liked. I folded the paper in half and cut out the pattern so that it would be symmetrical. Then in a moment of planning ahead brilliance that seldom occurs, I traced the pattern on to cardboard so that I could save it to use again.

I am using fabric basted to paper, as you can see below. I had trouble seeing my basting stitches on the front side of the fabric so I drew an outline with wash away fabric marker about 3/8 inch outside the basting stitches. You can see that outline in the top photo.
For the past few days, I've been waiting for inspiration about how to handle the "face." I don't want it to look like a face, or a pseudo-face, or a cyclops, or a gargoyle. I'd just like a bead pattern. I guess the only way is to get started and keep the scissors and seam ripper nearby.

This is the first time I've done a project this large on paper. Pushing the needle through the paper certainly is easier on the arthritic knuckles than pushing it through Stiff Stuff or interfacing. But I was surprised that weight of the beads caused the part of the beaded fabric and paper not in my hands to flop so much. (Excuse: It's been a long time since I took physics.) I found I had to adjust how I was holding the thing.

I don't think it will be finished by Tuesday, but I'll keep working on it till it's ready to give.


pam ehlers stec said...

It's really wonderful and I absolutely love the colors. I really enjoy seeing work-in-progress pictures. I can't wait to see the finished piece!

Carol said...

I love your Spirit Doll and your beading is georgeous. And thank you for your banner..Irrelevant Questions. I answered these very questions last night as I finished my first page. I wanted my best friend to see it first, so I will be posting tonight. I know your friend will love the doll.

Robin said...

Great start!!! Your beading is very lovely... it will be a beautiful doll and a heart gift for sure.

Two technical thoughts for the next one... 1. If you baste your lines with a contrasting color thread and stitch a small stitch on the paper side (about 1/16 inch) and a larger stitch on the fabric side (about 1/4 inch), you'll be able to see it better. 2. If you keep the fabric and paper rectangular until you finish the beading, you may find it easier to hold and less floppy.

Am looking forward to seeing her finished!! Robin A.

heidibeads said...

I can't wait to see the finished doll - so far it's wonderful. Thanks for sharing all your steps.Heidibeads

Marty S said...

Thanks for your kind comments, all, and for the technical suggestions, Robin. After just one month, I'm amazed at how much I have learned from all the other BJP participants.

I had lunch today with the intended recipient, and I had to flub around when she asked about my new projects. :-)

freebird said...

It's looking terrific. It will be interesting to see what you come up with for the non-face face.

GraceBeading said...

Beautiful! The stitching is wonderful and the colors gorgeous. Thanks for sharing a shot of the back as well, I love seeing that. I'm excited to see the finished piece.

KV said...

Love the colors you have chosen for this dolly. It will be absolutely beautiful!

Kathy V in NM