Nearly 30 years ago, I discovered the joys of soft sculpture Christmas characters that could be cut out from pre-printed fabric panels and pieced together. Better still, I was able to personalize them with buttons, bows, charms and bells to make them even more animated.
My first adventure into this crafting art was the Mr. and Mrs. Clause pair in the first picture below. Actually, it was supposed to make two Santa Clauses but I decided to play around, cut down some pieces and create other ones to make Mrs. Claus instead. Who needs two Santa Clauses, right? I found this great fuzzy fleece-like material to use for the trim on their coats, capes and sleeves. Cruising around the fabric shop, I found some cute buttons to add to their outfits to make them more festive.
Now, any crafter knows that if you spend enough time in any fabric or craft shop you will find tons of intriguing items, especially at Christmas time. It didn’t take long before I found a ton of little holiday charms and some wire to create the string of delights each of them is holding.
Home I went and created my couple but within a week or two I was back out shopping for more of these delightful patterns. Reindeer were next, followed by a snowman that year. It was so much fun!
I got away from using pre-printed panels after a while and began creating dolls based on the basic shape of the two Santa figures. (I posted two of them, Bedtime Memories and Simon the Fisherman, earlier this year.) When my daughter got married and started her own traditions, she began seeking out the Christmas panels once again. No longer carried in fabric stores, she found them on e-Bay and together we began collecting all sorts of wonderful panels and creating them in our spare time. Many of them are displayed in the “group” picture below.
I still have panels to put together… lots of them! One of these days, they will all grow up to join my collection!