Give the Kid Her Pillow

Read this engaging blog post about a ten-year-old girl who stitched a needlepoint canvas, but didn’t quite get it right. She wants her Mom to spring for the finishing cost. Mother finds herself in a moral dilemma (basically the definition of motherhood).

What do you think? Should Mommy lay out the 50 bucks or so to make it into a pillow, imperfections and all? Should Mommy painstakingly rip out the stitching and show her how to do it right?

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  1. Definitely have the canvas made into a pillow! You want to encourage a child’s love of crafts and when she is an adult she will treasure this first attempt!

  2. I have to agree with Elaine. I still have some artwork I drew as a little kid. I love taking it out and remembering how Mom used to magnet it to the fridge.

  3. Absolutely give her the finish pillow. I have a piece my son did at 10 when he was laid up do to a leg injury. I found it in my stash and I am having it finished and giving it to him. He is now 33 yrs. old

  4. Finish it! Her daughter will be able to look back and see where she started and have a life teaching piece for her child. “Everyone starts somewhere. It takes baby steps and you will improve with practice and in time!”

  5. The article’s author seems to have forgotten that tent is not the only stitch used in needlepoint. If my daughter had done it, I’d congratulate her on mastering the brick stitch and trot it over for finishing.

  6. Finish the project as is. She is young, the mistakes were not sloppy, she was learning. It is more about her journey than about perfection. Celebrate that. My parents put a “paint by numbers” painting of mine (it was dreadful) on the mantle and I could not have been more proud. I can look at my own work and see the journey and be pleased about the growth. Encourage, not discourage.

  7. It’s not just children who get things wrong, remember! My mother-in-law once started a long floral Thing, probably a table runner, which was badly designed and poorly printed. Unsurprisingly, the old dear went wrong in all kinds of ways – it was on penelope and she sometimes hit the wrong hole and did a whole lot of stitching through the little holes instead of the big ones; she also occasionally headed off in the wrong direction, possibly a consequence of being left-handed. Fed up with it, she bundled it up into a brown-paper bag with its wools, all from discontinued firms, and when her daughter-in-law found it after her death, it got given to me to finish “because you do that kind of thing”. So I do. But the ethical problem jumped up and bit me on the nose immediately. To rip, or to leave? Finally I decided to leave her work but to stitch around it so that the problems didn’t show up too dramatically. I also picked nicer colours! And made the background off-white instead of that dreary khaki beige. I took it everywhere, eager to finish it and get on with my own life, and it was amazing how many people would come up to me at a picnic spot, on the beach, in a waiting room, and compliment me on its wonders. As soon as it was finished, I returned it to my s-i-l who assured me that it would be framed and hung up somewhere meaningful. Almost 20 years have passed and it is still in an unframed condition somewhere, but I’m glad to have done it and I certainly bear no grudges. I think I would have had regrets if I’d ripped all the existing wonky stitches and done a perfect piece of good old basketweave. In a straight fight between perfection and personality, personality wins every time!

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