She sits there in quiet, and not-so-quiet, concentration.
This is it: Her first big project.
Granted, it only measures 16 inches by 16 inches, but the multicolored pillow with pink feathery fringe and bright blue "M" stuck to the front is a marvel of Miriam.
She had a little help getting started -- a clerk walked her through the pillow production process, picked out her needles and thread, even cut the fabric to the correct size. But my wife actually hand-sewed the pillow in our living room over a couple of nights as a Mothers' Day gift for her grandmother. She even hand-dyed the "M," turning the bottom of one of my boilers blue.
But I got the best part of the gift: I got to watch her make the pillow.
I'm still sore from laughing.
A sample of my experience:
"I need a thimble," she pouted, bottom lip poked out. The thimble revelation came only after a dozen or so grunts, screams and winces from errant needles.
"I have no idea what I'm doing," she said, tying knots in the thread. "I'm just going to keep tying until I think it is strong enough."
"It looks like a fancy store pillow, except for this part," she said, pointing at an exposed thread. "That's my extra-special, little, flairey touch."
"I didn't just do a cut-out Care Bear, I did a real pillow, with frill-frill around the edges," she said, admiring her creation in a living room chair.
Once the pillow was finished, Miriam showed it to everyone she came into contact with -- my mom, her grandmother's friends, her friends. It took her almost five minutes to back out of my parents' driveway because she stopped every few feet to holler out the window, "I made a pillow!"
Her sewing endeavor was fueled by two things: the most-evil show on television -- Trading Spaces, and the fact that my mother and I told her she could not do it.
She did, of course, and it has created a sewing monster, I fear. Granny was just the guinea pig, it turns out. (She loves the pillow, by the way, and thought it was store-bought, something that thrilled Miriam and validated her newfound obsession even more.)
Miriam's already talking about making a blue pillow to match Granny's multicolored model. Before we bought a duvet cover for our guest bedroom, she'd decided to make one of those.
She's even talked about taking an upholstery class or two through Augusta State or Augusta Tech. That would probably be worth paying to watch, by the way.
And the most scary words of all:
"Patio furniture cushions, here I come."
Time for me to go. I've got to go buy stock in a thimble company.