Thursday, March 20, 2014

I finished this for my mom. And Olivia.

 
My sister and I found this unfinished doll amongst our mother's sewing projects when we cleared out her craft room last year after her passing. I was trying not to hoard every little thing I found, and when this doll was discovered my sister mentioned that maybe I could finish it for her daughter, Presley. Gosh, I really didn't want to finish this doll for anyone at the time. I've made dolls before and they are not my favorite thing to sew, and apparently our mom ran out of steam before she could get around to finishing this one.

I ended up putting this partially done doll in my stack of things to save and she came to Arizona with me. Then she sat out in our garage for several months in this blue plastic bag on top of a stack of items to be taken to our local thrift store.






In fact, Doug helped me load all of the thrift store stuff into my car one day and this little doll was packed in too. But before I could drive away to deliver the load of donations, I pulled her out of the car and put her back on a shelf in the garage. I just couldn't bring myself to let her go yet, even though I still really did not want to finish her.


When my brother and his wife found out they were expecting a baby girl, I got super sentimental thinking about the granddaughter that my mom would never know. She loved being a grandma so much, and the thought that her ninth grandchild / fifth granddaughter would never know her Grandma Marti just really tugged at my heart. Then I remembered the doll my mom had started, and it all became so clear! I knew I had to finish her for Olivia.



So I sewed some clothes for this little dolly, and I added some yellow-yarn-hair and with every stitch I thought about my mom and sweet little Olivia.

 
The fabric for her top/dress is a scrap from my mom's stash. :o)

I smile to myself now, thinking about the thoughts that went through my mind as I worked on this sweet project. I could hear my mother's voice saying, "This is why I didn't finish this doll - I didn't want to do her hair!" Lol. {Yeeeeah, me neither, Mom!}


I love that this doll belongs to Olivia now, and I can't tell you how humbled and honored I feel to have been able to finish her on behalf of my mom. I hope that Olivia will feel her grandma's love and spirit when she plays with this doll ~ a little piece of her Grandma Marti to hold onto.

Don't you know how pleased my mother would be?
It makes my heart so happy.

18 comments:

Ruth said...

Dearest Deb, I have a tear in my eye! Olivia is very much the reason Marti left the doll for you to finish, and you've done an amazing job. Did you tell Olivia that the doll's name is Marti? x

Susi said...

I to am tearing up while reading this post. Such a lovely gift for Olivia with love from your Mom and you.

Sian said...

Such a sweet, sweet story. That doll will be loved!

Funny, when my Mum was still able to sew I would always get her to do the hair because I don't like doing it either. So as I read I could hear a Mum in my ear talking about the hair too x

Oh, and I think it turned out beautifully

Lizzie said...

It also made me feel teary. It's great that you finished this little doll. Such a special gift for little Olivia to treasure (when she is old enough to understand, then she will really treasure this!).
I used to love making dolls, but haven't had time to do so recently. I have a lovely pattern for a soft-bodied doll, which I've thought about so often recently. Perhaps now is the time to find it and make another doll.
My auntie gave me her box of embroidery silks, when she knew she would no longer be able to make her beautiful altar-hangings and vestments etc. I treasure these so much and ever project I use them for, is like a little memorial of Aunt Kate. I made her daughter one of my embroidered books, using the silk threads for the embroidery. It was one of the most satisfying book projects I ever made - because it really had meaning for both me and my cousin.

Olivia has a lovely auntie. I am sure she will know, when she is older, that she also had a wonderful grandmother, whose love continues to warm the hearts of those she loved. X

scrappyjacky said...

Olivia is going to just adore her....such a wonderful gift for her.

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

I loved reading every word of this Post. I'm SO happy you retrieved your mama's half-finished doll from the GW pile! She would be so proud of the finished product. It turned out just beautiful!!!! Lucky Olivia! : )
Happy Spring,
ML

debs14 said...

Such a lovely story, and now of course it's obvious why that little doll was waiting to be made. You mum would love to know that she has been passed onto that newest grandchild.

Karen said...

Now you know why that doll just couldn't leave the house! She's adorable, the perfect gift---for Olivia, and your mom.

Robyn said...

ack! You got me with this post Deb. I'm all choked up. I'm really glad you finished her for Olivia.

Irene said...

What a cute doll that Olivia can treasure forever. Lovely story.

Audrey said...

I am really choked up after reading this. I've rarely seen a more meaningful gift. I'm so happy you didn't thrift the sweet doll because you did an amazing job and she is ADORABLE. Olivia is a lucky girl. And your Mom is definitely smiling down! So sweet, Deb! Warmed my heart for sure! XOXO

Becky said...

I so enjoyed reading this. What a wonderful connection for Olivia to have with Marti xx

alexa said...

I am sure she would be just thrilled! And what a wonderful treasure for Olivia, a connection to her grandmother Marti, with her grandmother's DNA (and yours!) stitched into it :). You have made a lovely job of it between you!

Alison said...

She's turned out beautifully, Deb...Marti will be so happy that Olivia has a little part of her to treasure,
Alison xx

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a beautiful story Deb . . . definitely a treasure. Clara loved, loved, loved her handmade dolls. And I"m sure Olivia will do.
Thinking of Marti and knowing that she is smiling down on you,
Rinda

Margaret said...

It warms my heart too.

Jo said...

She is beautiful just like Olivia and your mum would be so proud. It looks like you had a great time at your brother's party, the decorations were amazing! x

Gail said...

She turned out wonderful. I'm sure Marti would be pleased with what you did with it. And such a treasure for little Olivia.

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