Three Kings

In the early 80’s, I designed projects for Magazines. I remember that the projects themselves were fun to figure out and make, but writing the directions was a big chore. You have to break the process down step by step and explain every detail. Sometimes it’s hard to tell how you did something in a clear understandable way. I work intuitively, so writing coherent directions was work!   

Ticket 1981

  Here’s a ticket stub to a production of the opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, which was performed in Falmouth by a local theater group in 1981. I designed the posters, program, tickets and costumes. The image of the three kings got me thinking about doing a nativity scene of cloth dolls. The thing about dolls is that they usually have legs, which makes it difficult for them to stand on their own. So, I gave these characters long robes and even put sand in the bottom to make them stay grounded. The kings were made from lush fabrics like brocade and velveteen, with metallic braid, and they carried bead and button gifts. Mary and Joseph’s clothing was more homespun, with woven wools and roughly textured cloth.  

Creche scene from Better Homes and Gardens, 1981

Better Homes and Gardens, 1981

Better Homes and Gardens, 1981

patterns from Better Homes and Gardens, 1981

11 thoughts on “Three Kings

    • Hi Joey,
      Thanks for your interest in patterns, but Better Homes and Gardens owns them, not me. In my younger years, I just went along with what the magazines asked, which was to sell the design and pattern. You live and learn with time and move on to the next creative venture.

  1. This creche pattern was also published in BH&G’s American Christmas Crafts and Food which was published in 1984. That book is available on the internet. I’m currently working on a Nativity making the figures in the manner of your flower fairies. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. These are so pretty I must try to make some. I love the simple fabric they are made of. Perhaps I can even find that book. Greetings from Germany and wishing you a very Merry Christmas

  3. I had no idea this was your nativity, Salley! I’m delighted to revisit it because it has lived in my scrapbook of clippings for so many years. It inspired me to make a nativity of my own (albeit painted) which was one of the first things I ever tried to make and led to my love affair with making.

    I also did a long stint designing magazine projects (90’s), and my frustration was that no matter how carefully I wrote the instructions, the ones they published almost always left out important steps or details. This explained (at last!) why the things we make rarely turn out as well as the ones in the pictures.

  4. you have always been my hero , Victoria magazine years ago introduce me too you, i believe still have the magazine with your art shown . i found you again thanx for the site renee

  5. I have been searching for this craft pattern for a while now and I am so happy to have seen this wonderful project again! This was one of my first projects completed with my first sewing machine – a gift from my grandparents. I must have been about 13 or 14 when this issue of BH&G showed up at our home and inspired me to try my hand at making this. My mother and godmother still put their sets out each Christmas. Seeing the images of the figures on your blog brought back a wonderful childhood memory!

  6. Say, do you have a nativity with moulded heads? Looks like chess pawns, kind of? A friend of mine is looking for the pattern, and has had no luck so far.

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