Antique Fabrics and Quilts Gone Wild – Creating a Bit of Order From Chaos

•July 22, 2017 • Leave a Comment
quilts galore!

Thank goodness this is a sturdy table!

My perpetual hunt for antique fabrics has been overwhelmingly successful this summer! So much so that I have had fabric and quilts stacked everywhere… Much of the fabric I use to make dresses for my reproduction Izannah Walker dolls comes from the backs of damaged and worn antique quilts.

I search for and buy the quilts, take them apart, use the backing fabric that is stable enough to sew with, then save the tops to be restored if possible (sometimes this means removing the damaged blocks, then reassembling the tops into a smaller size), or at the very least I keep the tops so that even the tiniest bits of usable fabric can be re-purposed to restore other quilts and antique clothing.

So that means that I have an on going storage nightmare! The whole quilts and tops are stored in my painting studio… I know NOT paint… but my sewing studio completely ran out of space for any more fabric!!! Antique fabric, that isn’t quilts (which includes damaged antique clothing) IS kept in my cozy little sewing studio. Everyone who sews knows that you can never have enough fabric, the only question is “where do you keep it?” 🙂

Since I could barely walk into the storage closet of the painting studio, something HAD to be done. I purchased some heavy duty chrome shelves, spent a couple of afternoons putting them together, then yesterday re-folded all of my quilts and organized them on the shelves.  Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not a person that spends a great deal of time cleaning… in fact cleaning is pretty low on my to do list, but… I needed my work table back, where all of the quilts have been stacked for the past couple of weeks. Now that my table is empty, I can get to work on the how-to project and accompanying magazine article that I am writing for the Christmas issue of Early American Life.

Wondering About My Choice of Shelving?

For those of you interested in conservation of antique textiles, the reason I chose the chrome shelving is because the chrome will keep the metal from rusting. Wood shelving was unsuitable because of the acid in the wood, and while you CAN paint the wood to seal in the acid, I prefer not to rely on a painted barrier. Plastic shelving is not strong enough to bear the weight of the quilts, and museum quality acid free storage boxes are impractical in this situation since I need constant, ready access to the quilts.

After I got all the quilts placed on the shelves, I covered the shelves with large dust covers to keep the quilts clean and prevent exposure to sunlight. I will periodically refold all of the quilts so that the fabric won’t wear and crumble along the fold lines.

When I need to wash quilts, I hand wash them using Orvus and cool water saved from my dehumidifier ( purchased distilled water can also be used). Then I air dry the quilts outside in a shady location, preferably flat – especially for very fragile quilts, but occasionally on the clothes line for especially sturdy ones. ❤


A clear table and one quilt to take apart to make a dress for Emmaline…


Just perfect to go with Emmaline’s petticoat and pantalettes embroidered in blue…


a second quilt, to be washed, restored and placed on the bed in the studio loft…


and a third quilt, to be mooned over, mourned, and dream of restoring…


Welcome to My 1st Third Thursday – Two Dolls Made From Emmaline’s Mold Available for Sale

•July 20, 2017 • 4 Comments
Emmaline B

Emmaline B is helping to set the table, while she waits for a new home ❤

Emmaline A has found a new home ❤  Miss Emmaline B is still available.  She has a sweet, softly distressed paint finish that gives her an aged, well loved appearance – yet still retains vibrant coloring.  The hair around her face is in soft waves, with ringlet curls in front of her ears and at the nape of her neck.  “B” has some lovely blue embroidery on both her pantalettes and petticoat, plus a long chemise that will do double duty as a nightgown. Her white cotton dress is trimmed with myriad tucks and summery eyelet. The tops of her painted boots have a stripe of blue, that echos the blue embroidery on her undergarments.  If you are considering a 2nd dress, a blue printed cotton or red, white and blue paisley would both be very striking choices!

Emmaline B

Emmaline B close-up you can see her softly distressed paint finish, that still retains vibrant coloring. At the moment her paint finish is a bit shiny because it is fresh, but it will dull somewhat over time…

3rd Thursday! 2 Emmaline's Available

Emmaline A SOLD w/bare feet and leather shoes $1375.00 Emmaline B w/painted boots $12500.00

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Second Skins ❤

Happy Third Thursday of July! It’s a hot, sunny day here in Connecticut. My studio is filled with glorious, bright sunshine, just perfect for painting, but not all that wonderful for photos… So please excuse the glare and know that both sweet Emmaline’s look much nicer than these photos convey.

Dolls sold on a first come basis. Email to purchase.

EMMALINE A – $1375.00 SOLD  – Thank you to everyone who inquired about her!!!

Emmaline A does have stockings but Miss Sadie the mischievous feline has absconded with them.  I didn’t realize Emmaline’s stockings were missing until it was time for photos… The stockings are white silk.

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EMMALINE B – $1250.00

This is our day for footwear explanations 🙂 Emmaline B could not have her shoe laces painted, because it is the very last thing I do after her legs are completely painted… Well her legs were not dry until this  morning and I couldn’t paint her laces and get her dresses without the fear of smeared paint!

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Extra dresses may be ordered for $200 – $250.  These would be my fabric recommendations ❤

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Thank you for stopping by to see my latest reproduction Izannah Walker dolls!

In Celebration of Izannah Walker’s 200th Birthday I am Curating a Very Special Public Exhibit of Izannah Walker Dolls!

•July 18, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Another date to mark on your calendars!!! As many of you may know, I am co-chairman for the Jenny Lind Doll Club doll show. This year is the 30th year for the show, so we wanted to do something special at this year’s show. Being fellow Izannahphiles I know you won’t be surprised by what I came up with. 🙂

The Jenny Lind Doll Club is very pleased to announce that we will have a special educational exhibit of Izannah Walker dolls at our October 29th, 2017 show. This is an almost unprecedented gathering of so many of these rare dolls at a public event. There will be at least eleven Izannah Walker dolls on display that belong to current Jenny Lind members, along with photos and memorabilia of Izannah Walker dolls owned by past members, including legendary Izannah Walker collector Maureen Popp. At this time discussions are underway with friends of the Jenny Lind doll club about the possibility of additional dolls being loaned for the exhibit, so the total number of dolls on display may be slightly higher. There is no separate admission fee to view the educational exhibit. Entrance is included in the doll show admission of $7.00.

All exhibited Izannah Walker dolls are part of private collections, they are NOT being offered for sale. This is strictly an exhibit in celebration of both our Doll Show’s 30th anniversary and Izannah Walker’s 200th birthday.

*If you will be attending the show and own an Izannah Walker doll that you would like to add to the exhibit, please contact us at to make arrangements. ❤

To keep up to date on all the doll show news check the show website: and the show facebook page:

mark your calendar


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Third Thursdays Start This Month ~ Mark Your Calendar! Then Come Back On Thursday To See This Month’s New Dolls For Sale

•July 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment
New Dolls For Sale on the Third Thursday of the Month

Third Thursdays start this coming Thursday, July 20th! I be posting a new doll or two for sale on the third Thursday of almost every month.

I’m starting something new! On the “third Thursday” of each month, with only a couple of exceptions, I’ll be posting a new doll, or two, or three for sale! Some months there will also be clothing and accessories too. ❤

Third Thursdays should be fun! The dolls will be posted at 12 noon Eastern Time here on and sold on a first come basis.  If you wish to purchase a doll or other item, simply email me at  If more than one person emails about a doll, the email with the earliest time will take precedence.  Once a doll has found it’s new home, I will immediately mark it SOLD. If a doll or accessory doesn’t sell on “Third Thursday” then it will be posted on my regular website, where you’ll be able to buy it and use the automated secure checkout.

So mark your calendar and come back to visit on Thursday. If you have signed up for my “new dolls” mailing list you will receive an email reminder. 🙂

Third Thursday August 17, 2017

The 2nd Third Thursday will be on August 17th.

No Third Thursday in September

No Third Thursday in September. It’s going to be an exception month. Instead of new dolls being posted for sale on 9/21, they will be for sale on September 25th as part of my annual Izannah Walker Birthday celebration!


Busy Times! Studio News

•July 14, 2017 • Leave a Comment

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted much lately.  Unfortunately that doesn’t mean that I have been enjoying a long lazy summer… ( just kidding – I love what I do!)  As is usually the case, there is just so much going on that I simply haven’t had time to blog!

It’s funny, I was talking to Tess Rosch, publisher of Early American Life, last week and she made some comment about me being a “high energy” person.  It’s not the first time someone has said similar things. I have some dear friends who firmly believe that I only manage to get so many things done because I’m on drugs. 🙂 They asked very nicely if I would please share, as they needed to finish quite a few  projects of their own. LOL! I don’t actually think of myself as high energy. Instead I view myself as a very tired, stubborn woman with an extremely long to-do list… So we’ll consider this post as checking one of those items off my list.

Early America Life Craftsman Directory

The August 2017 issue of EAL, which Includes the Directory of Traditional American Craftsmen.

Lots of exciting things are going on!  I’m so thrilled to say that I have been chosen for the Early American Life Directory of Traditional Craftsmen in four different categories this year! Not only will you find me listed in Toys & Dolls, but also in Miniatures, Clothing & Accessories, and Holidays (in the upcoming Christmas issue). This makes 38 times that I have been juried into the Directory!

Early American Life 2017 Craftsman Directory

Three photos of my work are shown on pages 64 and 65 in the August 2017 issue of Early American Life.

Izannah Walker dolls from the Paula Walton collection.

Look for these two dolls from my collection in my September article in Antique Doll Collector magazine.

Magazines have been a big part of my summer so far.  I spent several months combing through 80 years worth of books and articles, doing research for the article on Izannah Walker and her dolls that I wrote for Antique Doll Collector magazine. Look for it in their September, 2017 issue. It is the cover article!

Currently I’m in the midst of working on an article and project for the Christmas issue of Early American Life. Keep your fingers crossed and wish me luck! I need to have it finished by the end of July!!!


Third Thursdays are starting this month! If you didn’t read about them in my last news letter, stay tuned for more information in the next few days. This should be fun!!!

I also have quite a few really amazing things in the works to celebrate Izannah’s 200th birthday! More news will be also be forth coming about them soon. 🙂


As I mentioned, this has not been a leisurely summer so far, but I have made time to garden, work in a few non-doll sewing projects, and be a grandma.  Cloe and I have been enjoying our “library days”, when we go to story time at our local library, check out books, then spend the day together “gardening” which means checking on the peas she helped plant and eating berries as fast as she can pick them, playing and reading. ❤

I hope your summer has had some magical moments too!

Susan’s Sweet Little Izzybelle

•July 8, 2017 • Leave a Comment
Susan's Izzybelle

Izzybelle is modeling one of her two dresses. This one is made from a lovely c.1850 double pink printed cotton. It has a deliberately mis-matched “make-do” sleeve, fashioned from a different antique double pink fabric. The sleeves of her chemise peep out from below the tiny puff sleeves. The skirt of the dress has one growth tuck, so that Izzybelle can continue to wear it even if she should have an unexpected “growth spurt”. Pink stockings and red leather shoes complete her ensemble, which is the perfect play wear for an adventuresome young doll!

This tiny Izzybelle is all ready to head off on her lengthy voyage to her new home. ❤ She is terribly excited, and simply can’t wait to meet her new family, especially her big sister Isabeau! Bon Voyage Izzybelle!!!

A Sweet Note & A Fond Farewell

•May 5, 2017 • 2 Comments
Emmaline says goodbye

Emmaline took time to say farewell to some of her older relatives before packing her bags for her journey home…

I just want to take a  moment to say that one of the most rewarding parts of being a doll maker is the receiving all the lovely notes from the doll’s new owners.   All of them touch my heart and make the many hours I spend working on each doll worthwhile.  Thank you!

I’d like to share just a bit of Emmaline’s farewell note…

“Hi Paula,

She’s gorgeous!  The whole package works, I love the way all the colours complement each other.  I searched long and hard before I ordered this girl, without really knowing which one, although Anna is a favourite.  As this is likely to be the only one that I own made using original methods I wanted a very traditional Izannah.  You have made just that.”

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


Emmaline’s paint is a bit shiny and new now, but over time as her paint oxidizes, it will look more and more like her antique sister’s…