Life isn’t easy
For the Pin Cushion Queen
When she sits on her throne
Pins push through her spleen.


The Pin Cushion Queen, Tim Burton

Yesterday marks the beginning of a new adventure for the little ladies of the house: the joys of handwork.

Charlotte and Emily are six and four, respectively. With great delight I began teaching them the basics of handwork. We traced dotted lines, varying the lengths and spaces and then “sewed” them, with needle and thread. I was amazed at how quickly they caught on, particularly four year old Emily. Excitedly, they begged additional lessons, so we made plans to hold another class. That was today.

Once we finished with school, the boys sat down at table to begin their own project…the excavation of ancient ruins. What a mess! My dining room looks like an archaeological dig site, there is dust everywhere, but what fun!

The girls, who were more interested in the project that the boys were involved in, came to their sewing class reluctantly. Many tears from the four year old, as she tried to master the plastic canvas, which I thought would be an aid to her in explaining the “ins and outs” of sewing.

No…she had absolutely no patience for it. Charlotte had no difficulty in grasping any technique I showed her, and I began to lament that I had included Emily. Perhaps four is a bit young.

Throwing caution to the wind, I pulled out the fabric, needles and thread. A quick demonstration of a running stitch and the girls were set. Our first project: very small pillows for very small dollies. The pillows were finished very quickly and the girls couldn’t have been more excited. Emily was much more comfortable with the fabric, she even sewed a tiny button on her little pillow. Both girls were so very excited that three of their brothers asked if they, too, could join the adventure.

And so they did…

This evening amidst the dust, the pieces of thread, the scraps of fabric and resting upon the sofa which has, indeed, been turned into a pin cushion, rest five lovely little pillows in shades of pink and blue.

The delight of the children who have gained a new skill is quite sweet, never mind that mom was, for a time, a pin cushion. They are already making plans for pillowcases and marble bags.

I hope they enjoy the handwork. I only have one sewing machine…