What does a mother of five daughters do to entertain her children? She creates dolls to keep them busy.
How old were you when you started sewing?
“I was 12-years-old when my mother taught me how to sew. She had an old treadle sewing machine that operated by pumping the foot pedal. The process is called treadling.”
How long have you been making children’s toys?
“I started 40 years ago.”
Do you have any special training?
“No special training, just basic sewing knowledge. I make the dolls and other items by using patterns. I pin the fabric selection to the pattern, cut the item in the shape of its body, then add filler and stitch.”
Where do you find your materials to construct your items?
”I shop Walmart for the poly-fil and JoAnn’s Fabrics and Hobby Lobby when purchasing fabrics and yarns.”
What are the other items you make besides the dolls?
“A collection of animals – bears and rabbits and monsters. I also do special order items.”
Do you have anything new you are creating?
“Recently, I decided to make some racoons out of felt material and fill with poly-fil. I am looking forward to completing the final product.”
Are you passing your art skills on to anyone?
“One of my daughter’s decided she wanted to create something other than dolls or animals. Her name is Jeanann Szymanski and she makes shoulder bags, wristlet purses and wallets.”
Is your work on display at venues other than Black Belt Treasures?
“My daughter shows her work and my items at craft shows.”
What is the most enjoyable aspect of creating?
“I am 86 years old, so sewing helps keep my mind active, and I enjoy what I do.”
Jean Murphy’s items may be purchased at Black Belt Treasures gallery or website www.blackbelttreasures.com.