Profile of doll artist Marlene Slobin

“My very favorite thing is to embellish a doll.” – Marlene Slobin

In the timeline of her life, doll artist Marlene Slobin came late to the craft. She lived a lifetime in her primary career, but creativity was always a part of her personality. Now retired, she “works” on her soft sculpture and mixed media dolls, and is a legend for her prolific but meticulously created creations.

We first met Marlene at Fall International Quilt Market 2012, when she created a gorgeous Kreinik doll for our exhibit. A bundle of energy, Southern charm, and creative passion, she was also working the Treasures of the Gypsy (doll company) booth at International Quilt Festival. “The older I get, the more I seem to do,” Marlene says.

Marlene retired from the world of public education in 2002. She authored two books during that career, Making Social Studies Come Alive and Making Social Studies Happen, With Standards, but she still found time to concentrate on her own creative endeavors in her spare time. Even today, though no longer in a classroom, she provides support and training to teachers in the Houston area through the Teacher Mentor Corps.

It wasn’t until 2000 that she discovered doll making as her creative outlet.  This soon became a passion, and Marlene took as many doll making classes as possible. With each class she began to discover her own style. She is a good teacher and mentor to other doll enthusiasts now, but she is toughest on herself. What excites and challenges her with each new doll creation is the high expectations she sets for herself. Marlene wants to improve with each creation, and it is obvious, as she creates one marvel after another.

Marlene has exhibited at the Arts Alliance Center at Clear Lake and the Brazosport Art League. Her dolls have been at the Houston International Quilt Markets and Quilt Festivals, and in fact she won the Treasures of the Gypsy Best of Show award at this year’s festival. Her work has also been in various publications including Art Doll Quarterly, Soft Dolls and Animals, Cloth Paper Scissors, Doll Crafter and Costuming. This year, she won the Soft Dolls and Animals “You Did What with that Pattern?” contest with one of her designs. She has also written articles for The Treasures of the Gypsy Challenge. She is a member of the Texas Association of Original Doll Artists as well as Material Girls of Houston doll club.

Marlene husband of 48 years, Lester is her most ardent supporter. We are big fans of partners who encourage sewing, stitching, fabric collecting, mess making, and all the other qualities that come with creative people. We thank you, Marlene, for sharing your doll creations with us.

To view more of Marlene’s dolls, visit her Pinterest page at and her winning Quilt Festival creation at

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News direct from thread maker Kreinik Mfg. Co., Inc., located in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Visit our factory outlet store when you are in the area; call for hours 1-800-537-2166.

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