Fragment Fabric Doll is Hope

Hope, my fragment fabric doll, grew out of a creative project during shelter-in-place. Encouraged by online peers in a Fragment Fabric class, I dared to experiment with a pattern I found tucked away in my curated fabric packet purchased from Lesley Riley.

Lesley’s passion for fabric, my passion for beads, so it can be a challenge for others to get a word in edgewise when we’re together. That doesn’t happen often enough, by the way. (Read more about Lesley and her approach to creativity.) A creativity catalyst, Lesley has written eight books. Her interpretation of fabric makes my heart sing.

This was my first made-from-scratch fabric doll. I found myself immersed in possibilities, yet devoid of ideas. Then, once the ideas began to emerge, I discovered that I couldn’t quit thinking about Hope.

Originally, I’d thought to use my fragment fabrics for cards or for a wall hanging. My inner perfectionist struggled with breaking the rules. I crafted small details, such as a metallic embroidery stitch on a seam or a copper running stitch to emphasize color lines down the front of my doll.

Copper wire formed eyeglasses. Buttons from my multi-stack button stash decorated Hope’s front and back. I selected a large lavender vintage round with raised detail for the back, and then hand-stitched spirals around it in copper metallic. A necklace and earrings of copper flowers added whimsey. Copper beads lined the waistband with its understated fringe.

Hope, a fragment fabric doll, from the back

On impulse, I found a remnant of ruffle and painted it with copper metallic to simulate hair. Using the embroidery floss with which I stitched Hope’s bangs, I added a thread detail to each piece of long copper braid. Voila! Personality!

I used shot to add weight to the bottom so Hope would stand on her own. At the same time, I wrote my vision for the world: peace, harmony, health, loving kindness, ease, grace and joy. I signed and dated the paper, and enclosed my vision in a small bag. Then, I chose a long hemostat and stuffed her with foam filler. 

Even though the doll came together rather quickly, I hung back from a reveal, unsure that Hope would measure up, judging myself and my project. On Independence Day and the occasion of my upcoming birthday, I chose to welcome a New Year with Hope.

What similar reluctance have you confronted in your world? I would love to hear from you.

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