OFTEN A LOVE TO DO SOMETHING IS A CALLING TO SHARE THE GOOD NEWS!
I have always loved to sew, make clothes, make repairs on clothes, add patches back up in the day of the sixties, and to make dolls. Seems like I was born with a needle and thread in my hands and a yard or two of fabric draped over my shoulders!Nowadays, coming full circle, I am persuaded that the making of my Chirren© and the love I have in doing so is a means by which I may share the Word of God with those who visit our booth at the many venues we are sought after participate in in the Southeastern US.
Again, I love to sew! It relaxes me and when creating my Chirren, I feel as though I am birthing a new personality with each I create! I made my first Chirren when I looked for old fashioned cloth dolls to purchase for my children when they were babies. Finding none, I thought, "Hmmm, I love to sew, so I will create my own for them!" I saw the joy in their eyes in having their own special buddy and the joy I felt in seeing them so happy stuck with me.
Each doll has its specific challenges and I create an outfit for each one to coincide with the personality I "see" in each one. In addition, each of my Chirren comes with a birth certificate which also serves as my certificate of authenticity. Sewing, stichin’ as the folks said a few years ago, reminds me of the creative power of God’s word and His Word, Jesus Christ and that as I am his child through faith in His Grace of Mercy and Salvation through Christ, so do I have the power to be creative in what I speak and what I create by my hands. (Genesis 1 and 2) Also in this saving Grace is healing by His stripes. Stichin’ up items that would otherwise be discarded or even suffer more tears is likened to the power of God’s healing salvation through Christ. In this, the healing word of God redeems us to the perfection to which He spoke in us for excellent health and length of days and just like the stichin’ to make repairs makes the area of repair stronger than the surrounding fabric, so are we strengthened by God’s word in our weakness. (Psalms 107:20, 1 Peter 2:24, and Hebrews 11:34). Stichin’ to make repairs also reminds me of the common posture of this modern world to through away items that are worn, torn, or otherwise considered to have no more worth or value; - as even they often judge and discard people who may have fallen short of the mark. In this remembrance, I say the very nature of repair stitchin’ is as the redemptive power of God’s Grace and Justification through Jesus Christ that even though the world has thrown many of us away, he has repaired us in His perfection and so we have even greater value than before because greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world! (Jeremiah 23:6, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 3:13, and Romans 5:10).
And so, I keep on stitchin’, sharin’ His word, and bringin’ smile to many faces and warmth to many hearts. It is all manifest in me and the fruit of my hands by faith in His word and submitting to the call.
Dolls have been created for children in nearly every culture. Handmade cloth rag dolls would have been popular in the early American colonies since porcelain dolls from Europe were very costly. Slave children in the southern US plantations were not allowed to play with white dolls so their mothers or other relatives made black dolls from scraps of cloth available to them, more than likely from worn-out clothing.
Surviving black rag dolls have been found in "Underground Railroad" hideouts where black slaves hid on their escape routes to the north for freedom. A child would not have been able to carry much and, in a hurry, could have dropped or misplaced a doll in the dark. Since there is not much history written on handmade black cloth dolls, much information is relied on from oral history that has been passed down or from the actual dolls that were found.
After the Civil War, black women had few opportunities available to them, except dressmaking, so some of them became very skilled seamstresses. They would use the leftover scraps from the beautiful clothes they made for their customers to make elaborately dressed dolls. Beginning in 1893, the E.I. Horseman Company manufactured a black Babyland Rag Doll named "Dinah." This doll was featured on a U.S. 32-cent stamp in 1997. A "Black Mammy" cloth doll was produced around 1900 by the Babyland Rag Company, which also made black dolls with lithographed faces.
Patterns for black dolls were produced during the first half of the 1900s. Some of these vintage patterns are still available. After the Civil Rights movement, black dolls became less popular, but there is a resurgence in their interest today. Most of these dolls are the cherished possessions of individuals, and some are even featured in museums. Many of these dolls have become collectibles and are considered to be valuable folk art.
- An’ so, I carry on the historical tradition of those who have go before me, in the loving hand and stitches in the hearts of my Chirren ©.