Artist Profile: Patricia Judd, Doll Maker - Darn Good Yarn

Artist Profile: Patricia Judd, Doll Maker

When Patricia sent us this picture of the sassy and fabulous doll, "South Beach Diet", that she made for the Hoffman Challenge for Dolls, we couldn't wait to see what other unique creations she had made and get to know more about her! She found Darn Good Yarn while browsing online to look for unusual yarns for her fun creations and was immediately hooked by the idea of recycling silk, the colors, the textures, and the opportunity to do some good. She ordered a sampler box and loved everything in it! "South Beach Diet" features sari silk ribbon yarn to tie the umbrella and multicolored banana fiber yarn as ties on the chair cushions. Patricia loves the vibrant colors that Darn Good Yarn added to her creation and we do too!

Patricia's grandmother and mother instilled a love of color, texture and patterning in her from a young age. She remembers her grandmother helping her make a felt heart-shaped pincushion for her mother when she was about five years old. She found it while cleaning out her mother's sewing room after she had lost her and now it has a place of honor in her sewing room. Although she struggles sometimes to keep perfectionism out of her creations, Patricia remembers the advice of a wonderful teacher who one time told her that there are no mistakes, only opportunities for embellishment!

About 15 years ago, Patricia bought a doll from a local crafter as a gift for her mother and the crafter let her pick the hair and eye color. She thought it might be fun to make one herself, so she found a local class from doll artist, Billie Rooker. She used doll making as a therapeutic outlet during her years as a high school math teacher and likes to joke that even if the students were out of control, the dolls would sit still! After making porcelain dolls for several years, she found an online class for soft dolls and made a doll that she describes as "gosh-awful" with a "nosed that looked like a mashed potato and hands that looked like Shrek." Ready to give up, she found a class from doll artist Judy Skeel that was close to home and came away from that class with a doll that had a beautiful face and a perfect nose!

Patricia usually starts with a pattern when she makes her dolls. For "South Beach Diet", she started with Rhonda McGinnity's "Still Waiting for Mr. Right." Even though she starts with a pattern, her favorite part of the process is changing the doll into a completely different character and making it her own with the use of hair, face type, colors and dress. "South Beach Diet" was inspired by a weekend at her sister's house in South Florida in January. She also enjoys taking classes and learning new techniques from doll artist's and is looking forward to the Windy City Doll Workshop in October where she will take a class from Peggy Wilson.


Doll making isn't her only hobby, she also knits and crochets and is looking forward to a scarf that she's working on with some of the banana fiber yarn from her sampler pack that is in a bright yellow and grey! She sews (she made her daughter's wedding dress!), smocks, cross stitches, does crewel, and has tried quilting. Her favorite hobby and art though is spending time with her grandchildren while they paint, color, and work with clay. She has two grandsons, Ethan, 7, and Sam, 4. While playing "I Spy" in the car, one of them told her that he spied something grey-white...after a few guesses, he revealed that it was her hair, even though she swears her hair color is ash blond #12! They also enjoy making fantastic Spiderman webs from eyelash yarn with grandma. And here is Patricia's granddaughter, Finley, 4 months, in a dress she crocheted, from a pattern by Ira Rott on Ravelry. Beautiful!

Thank you Patricia for taking the time to share your art and your process with us! We're happy that you found us and can't wait to see what else you make with Darn Good Yarn!