The following is a project being undertaken by VMQG member Elsie Sands. She asked that we post it on our blog so that members who were interested could participate in this project.
Comfort Dolls are made as small gifts to women who find themselves in shelters as a result of domestic abuse. Each doll has a tag attached with a message of hope and caring for the woman who receives it. The idea was started in 2007 by a crafter, Pat Winters, and is now run in the US by Brenda Hutchings. I learned about the project at the NQC retreat in October 2013. Women who made dolls at the retreat gave them to me to send to my niece in Ontario. She works in a shelter for victims of domestic violence and has kindly offered to distribute the dolls.
If any VMQG members would like to make dolls I’d be delighted to add them to the batch going to Ontario. You can bring them to any guild meeting in the next few months and give them to me. I’ll send them to Ontario in the early spring of 2014, so you have lots of time to make one.
The pattern and instructions for the dolls can be found at http://www.sewnews.com/content_downloads/Sew_Your_Support.pdf
When the doll body has been cut out, and before it is stitched together and stuffed, the hair needs to be attached. There are several styles of hair to choose from, or you can make up your own. Once the hair has been fused, the doll can be stitched up, right sides together, leaving a hole so it can be turned right side out and stuffed. After stuffing the doll with fibrefill, a face can be drawn or embroidered on and she can be given a skirt, earrings, a hair bow, or whatever other embellishments the doll maker chooses.
Little buttons, tiny hair bows, mini-earrings, embroidered eyes and such all add to the individuality of the dolls.
There will be a printed note of comfort and support attached to each doll for the woman who receives it. Many of the women in shelters have their children with them, so it is likely that at least some of the dolls will end up in the hands of children.
Thank you to everyone who takes the time to make a doll.