Comfort Doll Project: Worldwide Open Invitation

Pat Winter © 2007

   
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Some members from Crazy Quilting International (CQI) joined in a doll exchange a few months ago. Being fairly new to the group, I didn't realize a certain doll I had viewed from Linda F in NY was an exchange doll. Nonetheless, I fell in love with it and could not get it out of my thoughts. It “spoke” to me. I needed one. I decided I had to get courageous and just ask if she would possibly sell me one of her creations. She was very kind and very fast in making and shipping me a beautiful doll. It was perfect! After staring at it for several weeks, I put it on display in my studio to view daily. I was so excited when Linda said yes to my plea for a doll. I never stopped to think that she may have been wondering why a crazy quilter couldn't just whip one up. After all, that is the thought of many of my friends: why not do it yourself? Well, sometimes when you see something special and it awakens your spirit, you can't mess with that. You seek the maker and ask for one. I know if I had attempted a similar doll, it would not have brought me the same pleasure as Linda's doll has. I also would not have met such a sweet and very talented person.

CQI was taking ideas for charity projects and I suggested making dolls for a cause. First I thought of a children's charity, but the dolls would have to be very conservative in their embellishing, and beside the fact that children love color, it would just be plain cruel to tell fiber and bead artists to “tone it down”. I know that would turn me off in a heartbeat. Then I thought, why not women? Women who have been abused, battered, abandoned, etc. Women who could use a bright and positive gesture. Not dwelling on those painful past memories, but still having the experience buried deep inside, I knew this would be something everyone would enjoy. The maker of the doll would enjoy giving from her heart and hand, the recipient would enjoy the caring thoughts behind it. Who could argue with that? No, it does not raise money, it won't feed or shelter anyone, but it will touch a woman in need of a gentle hug. This I think is a very valuable gift for those who do not receive it daily like we do. Let's face it, women make the best girlfriends, for the most part. Why? Women show compassion for each other daily. Let’s show a bit of that compassion for a stranger, for womanhood, for friendship worldwide.

I am extending an open invitation throughout this year and possibly next year for anyone to contribute a handmade cloth body doll decorated any way you wish. You can paint, crazy quilt, collage or bead your doll. The requirements are few; a 6” or less doll so it can be carried with ease. The body can be human or animal such as a goddess, mermaid, person, cat, dog, fairy, etc. It can have a face painted, drawn, Fimo, blank, etc. You are the artist, your decision. You can email me with any questions and you can read updates on my blog and visit the Flickr site where all dolls will be displayed.

I will collect the dolls and add a sentiment to each doll. If you donate a doll, you may also submit a Women's shelter of your choice to be considered to receive a batch of 12 dolls. Dollmaker's Journey, has several free patterns and Bonnie Lewis is mentioning this project in the June/July free newsletter "The Customer Connection" to encourage others to consider a doll project.

I hope you find this cause to be a legitimate and worthy cause. Take it from one who knows the pain and embarrassment of this situation, it is a valuable cause. Let what you make with your hand and from your heart touch a woman in need of a gentle hug and encouragement to go forward, knowing we are out here thinking of her.

Some of the Dolls


Jo in NZ. 

Jo in NZ. 

Allie  

Gerry 

Vanessa 

Linda in NY 

Judy

Special Thanks to Jo Newsham for setting up the Comfort Doll Flickr site and to all of you who have taken an interest in this project.

Email Pat for more information
Pat's Blog: http://gatherings100.blogspot.com 

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