She's called Nellie. Pretty cute too.
I really like crocheting the individual shapes and then putting them together.
I don't do the "joining-as-you-go" method because I find the seams don't look as nice and, for me at least, it doesn't save any time. Because I use a lot of different colours and I don't want the same combinations too close together I follow the pattern starting at the joining section and crochet new shapes as I progess so I can decide on the colours when I need them.
But if you're only using a few colours it's probably easiest to first crochet the total amount of shapes you need and then start joining them.
The pattern is from Heidi Bears and available on Ravelry