As told by Maureen
I'm primarily a polymer clay dollmaker, but from time to time I like to try my hand at creating cloth dolls. I really enjoy most of the work involved, but doing the fingers is really a pain! Mine look all lumpy like badly stuffed sausages.
One time when Gertrude Gretchen stopped by to see what I was making (She's a doll collector, and is the most interested of any of the Pips in what is going on in my studio.) I complained to her about my lumpy fingers. She mentioned that she might have just the answer for me. She told me that there was a little Pip named Hattie Marie who lived down the road in the fencerow. It just so happened that Hattie Marie was a cloth dollmaker, and created exquisite little replicas of Pippsywoggins. Perhaps she could help.
That afternoon I took a basket, one of my half‑done dolls, some needle, thread and a big bag of stuffing, and headed off down the road. After a bit I sat down in the weeds at the edge of the road and began to stuff my doll, ignoring the few stares from passing cars. (Most of my neighbors have accepted the fact that I am an eccentric, and don't even question what I am doing.) Pretty soon I heard a rustle, and there, following a well‑worn path across the ditch was a little dark‑haired Pip carrying a doll.
She wasn't shy at all (apparently Gertrude Gretchen had told her about me) as she introduced herself and asked to see what I was making. When I showed her the fingers, she offered to stuff them for me. She first tied on a little mask, then carried the stuffing with her up through the arms and intothe fingers. It was amazing to watch that arm take shape. I don't use Hattie's help on all of my dolls, as it's important to me to do my own work. But every once in a while I want one with a special touch. Those dolls all have Hattie as a middle name.
1995, 2006 by Maureen Carlson