My niece turned 11 over the weekend. For me, this is a tricky age to buy for. I really struggled with what to get her. She is at that "in between" stage. Not quite a teenager, not a little girl anymore. And too, I always go back and forth between gifts that are practical and gifts that are totally frivolous and fun. I wanted to make her something because that is my thing now, right? Handmade. A couple of months ago I found Meg's blog (don't you love it how I use her first name like we are close personal friends) and bought up a few of her patterns. More recently I snatched up her adorable apron pattern! When I went searching through my patterns for something to make Haley, the pattern for this reading pillow caught me.
I thought it would be fun/easy to make and that she would enjoy it. I already had all the supplies that I needed so I set out to work. The pattern calls for making you own cotton cording...I cheated and used a package of ready made. Attaching this was the trickiest part of the whole deal. My zipper foot saved me and I made it through just fine. The rest came together fairly easily, which is more that I can say for my selection of a book for her. Do you have any idea what kind of garbage is out there for girls this age? Maybe I was my selection was limited but it seemed that I had to choose from stories about hooking up with guys (again, she is 11), dragons/magic/witches, or Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Don't get me wrong, Little House in the Big Woods is our current favorite (along with the show Little House on the Prairie which we rarely miss each day at 4:00pm) but I didn't really think this kind of book was Haley's style. So, I fell back on good ol' Nancy Drew. I thought it would at least keep her attention in a wholesome way.
When my girls saw how this pillow works, they immediately started requesting one of their own. I definitely see more of these in my future. At the party, this pillow was up against other gifts like a Karaoke machine, American Idol dvds, gift cards galore, a mp3 player, and on and on! I was proud to offer something so low-tech and heart-felt. I am not sure that it was received with the same enthusiasm...but that is understandable I guess. When she opened it, Carl was so sweet. He read my mind. He gave me a little pat on the leg and said, "It was really neat, Honey- you did a really nice job on it."
I had fun making it. The pillow turned out cute, and it is the thought that counts right? Happy Monday.