Great Bunny Pattern

Up front, this is not my pattern.  It’s a bunny treat bag, (<= click for the tutorial) from Stitched by Crystal.  The photos show what I made up – just the right size for a handful of jelly beans!  It’s very simple to make and would be appropriate for beginning sewers, some of my favorite people.  I used fuzzy material, but I think it would work better with cotton fabric as described on the website, Stitched by Crystal. May have to go make a few more for the grandkids!

Wee Doll & Tin Bed

bwee doll cover collage
Beautiful sunshine and mild temps here today for the first day of February! Usually around this time of the year I’m starting on inventory to sell at the South of the James Market starting in May. However, I’m cutting back on selling dolls and moving toward creating patterns for them. Here’s my most recent, that I’ll be demoing for my quilt chapter this Wednesday: Wee Doll and her Tin Bed! These sold faster than I could make them last summer.

First stripes of fabric are sewn together and then the doll pattern is stitched around. Cutting and stuffing follow, then hair and face. Templates are included for the inside top and bottom of an Altoids size tin, as well as for the small felt blanket and pillow. Complete instructions are provided.

If you’re interested in a copy of the pattern, let me know and we’ll work out payment and delivery. Stay warm!

Quilt from a Photo Class

Hope those of you in the mid Atlantic and north east of our country have dug out from last week’s snow storm!  We had 17″ or so here in Richmond, with schools closed for four days. It was beautiful!  However, I think I’m over winter!!

Looking forward into Spring, I will be teaching a five hour class on March 12, 2016 at the Virginia Consortium of Quilters meeting in Charlottesville. If you’d like details on location or how to register, see their newsletter at Above are the sample of what we’ll be making in the class and two steps in the technique.  I’ve made multiple quilts with this approach and been very happy with them.  You’ve probably seen them on this blog, or at

Next Wednesday I’ll be giving a brief demo for my quilt chapter on how to make a wee doll with her Altoid tin bed. Stay tuned, photos and info Monday.

Stay warm!


Covenant Woods Christmas Market!

Coming this Friday – the Covenant Woods Christmas Market: 2015 cowo christmas market flyer !  And Dan Springs Collection will be there! We have a new flip doll, which those of you following our Facebook page may have already seen – Superman/Clark Kent!  My grandsons (3 and 5 years old) tested these out for me a couple of weeks ago and were enthusiastic in their approval. We’ll also have Christmas tree decorations, including a selection of origami stars!  These are from a pattern you may wish to experiment with yourselves. I made mine from a paper bag, cut open, ironed and lightly sprayed with gold paint.  Once they were folded, I added an eyelet.

Hope to see you on Friday! If you can’t make it and would like to order one of our dolls or creatures, send me an email of call – see contact tab for info.

Dragons and Rabbits

Yes, I do still blog – tho a bit sporatically! Today’s post is about these new creatures that will be with me at the South of the James Market on Saturday. The dragons are the same pattern you’ve seen here before; the rabbits have different eyes. I’m experimenting with felt, for those who worry a young child might be at risk with button versions. I used the alpha characters on my lovely Babylock Symphony sewing machine to embroider ‘O’s on felt which I then cut out and stitched on for eyes! We’ll see what folks think of them this Saturday. Hope to see you in Forest Hill Park, 8 til Noon.

Schedule Change, Boy Doll

Dan Springs was originally scheduled to be at the South of the James Market this coming Saturday, May 30th. However, there’s been a change and we’ll be there the following Saturday, June 6th instead. Check the Calendar Tab for all our dates. We’ll have new hedgehogs, and a boy pocket doll – hope to see you there!

Dan Springs Collection – What We Are

In 1994 my sister, Donna Mercer, and I were brainstorming ways to support our 1934 family mountain house in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and also preserve traditional arts. We came up with the Dan Springs Collection, named for a cool mountain spring just down the road from the house, with a teaching initiative component, Traditional Arts Preservation Program. We make and sell finely crafted dolls and gift items and offer various art appreciation and sewing classes. My daughter, Julia Boltz, joined us in 2010. She contributes her charmingly crocheted items and a musician’s perspective. As part of our focus on heritage preservation, we offer children a opportunity to power a hand crank sewing machine to make their own rice bag. For the past couple of summers, the greatest challenge at South of the James Market has been keeping up with demand for our story dolls, particularly Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. Talking and visiting with customers and other vendors at South of the James is an important part of our product development. We’ve added goats, unicorns, owls, and dragons as a result of those conversations. Three words that describe our products? “Whimsy, Creativity, TrAdition (with a capital A for Art).” Dan Springs Collection items are available at the South of the James Market throughout the summer and at occasional Christmas markets.