January 9, 2018 · 2:25 am
For my grandgem’s tenth birthday, I bought her a sparkly, mermaid-fabric pillow at Home Goods. It was covered on both sides with pink, sequined fabric that turned to silver when brushed the other way. Perfect for drawing hearts or writing a message. Or forever doodling in something like silver and pink glitter. She seemed charmed by it and I gave myself an inner stamp-of-approval. Job well done.
Until my daughter dropped a recent remark on the subject, ”Blah-blah…loves it…blah-blah…but she’s disappointed. She can’t cuddle up with the pillow or lay on it because of the sequins on both sides.” Oh-oh.
Sidney’s not very happy. Neither is the pillow.
The comment stuck with me. Why hadn’t I thought of that myself? So caught up in its twinkle, I never considered what her pillow was tasked to do. To be a comfort. What tween girl – or anyone – would want to flop in a chair and lean against a prickly pillow?
Then I remembered a handmade, patchwork pillow, loved from the first day I laid eyes upon it, gifted by my sister-in-law many years ago. Sent for no reason except sisterly-affection, it was (and still is) the perfect pillow. A generous 26”X26” square, filled with soft down, and covered with quality Ralph Lauren fabrics: the striped material cut from a set of curtains, the backing from a skirt she no longer wore, the rest of the fabrics from a design store’s old sample book.
The softest pillow ever!
In fact, that pillow is just what it should be – beautiful in design, skillfully crafted, and as comforting to lean against as a hug at the end of a hard day. All wrapped into a patchwork masterpiece, always welcoming me home.
Though my grandgem might not appreciate designer fabrics yet, I bet she’d treasure a Gramsey-made pillow out of fun fabrics that make her smile or stir a happy memory. Something huggable – front and back. That’s the goal. Out with the prickle and in with the cozy cuddle!
I’d better get busy.
November 18, 2010 · 5:23 am
When my daughter, Heidi, was little more than a toddler, I planned to make her a Raggedy Ann for Christmas. Time has blurred the reason why I didn’t get it finished, but I do remember handing her a box of red and blue fabric and bright orange yarn, along with a hug and an IOU.
She has never let me forget it.
So when a big birthday loomed ahead, I determined to do something special for her. To make a luxurious quilt that would surround her with “mommy-love.” And absolutely not give her an IOU on that most important day!
Because she loved Ralph Lauren bedding, I searched for just the right sheet to serve as the basis for her quilt. And I found the perfect pattern called “Cole Brook.” Unfortunately, it was a king-sized bed skirt instead of a full sheet. But, it had the right colors, the right weight, and feel. A soft, cotton sateen. It would do very well.
In truth, I collected fabric for more than a year. Finding only Ralph Lauren fabric proved to be too daunting for me. Eventually, I added other brands of high thread count pillowcases and luxurious fabric samples. The big day drew close and still, I shopped for just one more piece for an elusive quilt square. Maybe a silk plaid or a linen toile would give it that elegant edge I wanted.
Heidi & her "Mostly Ralph Lauren" quilt.
With only two weeks to go, I started rotary cutting and stitching, piecing the quilt. I worked into the wee hours, knowing I didn’t want another Raggedy Ann moment on my parenting record. Just in time, I got the quilt top finished and wrapped for the big party. In a perfect world, the entire quilt would be completed, but I was happy to hand Heidi an original Medallion-patterned coverlet – almost a quilt. And lots of mommy-love instead of an IOU! I called it “Mostly Ralph Lauren” and she loved it. Mission accomplished.
Now, there is still the problem/promise of that Raggedy Ann….