Apple Dumplins’

Apple Dumplings Soft Sculpture coverApple Dumplings Presents Soft Sculpture

Submitter: This ye olde craft book comes from a local branch of the public library. Since automation in 1999 it has not circulated. Sad because that might mean it hasn’t circulated in over 20+ years. It certainly is a time capsule of crafting in the late 70’s and early 80s. My personal yikes – Aunt Bessie.

Holly: At first glance of the submission, I thought, “Oh good, more apple head dolls. Mary will love this.” These are cute, in an old-white-granny kind of way!

But oh my word, Aunt Bessie (last image, below).

Stick pins and magnets

Dumplin Doorstops

Aunt Bessie


  1. I think libraries should start making a major weed of such books that promote these stereotypes and search for new books that promote broader views in how they depict different races of people. It’s the society we’ve inherited, we didn’t create it ourselves, it is up to us recognize and admit the nature of our faults and help all people recover their heritage and cultures. Please, no one is that innocent. So let’s be smart about it. Of course, craft books are now on line as videos. No matter, it’s time to retire all these books from before the 70s (and 80s and 90s?!) Wouldn’t we do that with any craft book that promoted the Confederate flag? I certainly would tear it off the shelf and tell my manager I think it should be withdrawn and disposed of. People can troll the internet for such; libraries don’t have to collude in that in any way since librarians are always working to show deeper empathy in serving customers.

  2. WHYYYYY is Aunt Bessie on a whisk?! It’s not like the others which stand around being decorative. Nope, she’s gonna be hung on the kitchen wall. And of course she’s Black.

    The pincushion is also a little disquieting. Stabbing a smiling woman with pins and needles. If you make the face to look like your arch-enemy, are you multi-tasking by sewing and voodoo-ing at the same time?

  3. Is Aunt Bessie supposed to be black ? It’s hard to tell from the drawing. My guess is she looks like the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz

    1. Creating Aunt Bessie’s face calls for “dark cocoa or black nylons.”
      Aunt Bessie alone is ample reason to cull this fossil.

    2. The materials list says “dark cocoa or black nylons”, so yes, she’s supposed to be Black.

      I suppose it’s a small blessing that they didn’t call her “Mammy” Bessie?

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