Sunday, January 14, 2007

Button frenzy

A few months ago, I bought a bag of old buttons at the thrift. They were dirty, some were broken, and they sat in a jar for a month. Then one day I cleaned them all and found some real treasures, which whet my vintage button appetite. I've picked up some more over the last couple of months, building up a nice little collection.


I really didn't need any more, at least not until I start doing some sewing and using them. But then I went for a thrift over the weekend, and I couldn't pass this up:


What is it about buttons? Marielle suggested that buttons are fun because they're an affordable vintage collectible, which is true. I love sorting them and looking at them. Bill was watching me pick through this new bag on Saturday morning, and he said I looked like a squirrel. You wouldn't know it from looking at the bag, but there were about 40 red quarter-inch buttons in there, as well as 20 half-inch reds, 30 half-inch pale pinks, 16 quarter-inch pinks, and loads of other keepers. (There are always a bunch that get donated back, too.)

I bought an exciting (brand-new!) book today, called Vintage-Style Quilts. (Instructions from this book for a "button quilt" can be found here.) Years ago, I used to thrift for vintage fabric, but then sewing fell by the wayside for me. So I have a couple of boxes of fabrics I really like, and I really want to get them out of the boxes and into my daily life. I think it's important to live with one's precious things -- no plastic covers on the lampshades in my house. Few of the fabric pieces are big enough for a garment, but I've got big (vague) plans for using them in quilts and patchwork things. In that vein, I did sew up a little project the other day -- I'll take a picture and show you soon. I've also been drooling over all of the fabulous log-cabin pillows popping up around the Internet, like these ones and this one and this one.

Of course, I've also got about 15 things to read for school each week, so my own fabulous quilting will likely remain inside my own head for a little while, but it's my new obsession, so I'm going to keep talking about it. :)

18 comments:

Nadia said...

Dude, we totally need to start a Quilters Who Don't Quilt club. It'd be like all those Horse Lovers Who Don't Have Horses clubs we all had when we were kids!

(Okay, maybe that we just me.)

goodkarma said...

One of my favorite childhood memories is sorting through my mom's button tin. It was fun to remember/imagine the histories of all of those buttons!

Lee Ann said...

Have you been to Rix Rax, or the button shop on St. Denis (a bit north of av. Mont Royal? Total heaven, both places.

I don't sew anymore either. I just like to play with the buttons :-)

Chris said...

I have fond memories of playing with the buttons from the "button jar" when I was little, so I was pleased when I created my own button jar from my thrift store finds.

sgeddes said...

All my button are in a large pickle jar. I never thought about sorting them out that way. I do love looking through them though.

Michelle said...

Ooh, I love those patchwork pillows!

I got just a little closer to learning how to operate my mini sewing machine, so...hmmmm.

gleek said...

my mom had a button bin that i loved to comb through as a child. i've always wanted to get one for myself! i've bought button lots on ebay but none of them have been all that great. looks like you got a great find there!

Brenda said...

i was going through my button collection this weekend too, and it turned into a trip down memory lane. i have spare buttons from clothing i purchased 20 years ago, still in those little zip bags. i can remember vividly those blouses and sweaters!

did you ever notice, though, that regardless of how many buttons you have, you never have enough of the one you actually need?! or is that just me?

amanda said...

buttons rock. And, yay! more quilt talk, yes!

Nicole said...

Love those buttons! After I pare down, I am going to pare up with some buttons!

DJB said...

My mum used to have a box full of buttons like that. When I was a wee bairn I used to play with them. I especially like some that she had in the shape and colour of sunflowers. They made me happy.

As for the button quilt, don't you think it might be uncomfy? My friend has cushions that are covered in mirrors and bells. She thinks they look pretty, but I think they're uncomfortable. You might find the same with a quilt. Though I'm sure you spend more time under a quilt in Montreal; we're often laying on top of them.

Melissa said...

As I was reading your entry, I was remembering how my great-grandmother used buttons to help tie quilts together instead of actually quilting them. And then I clicked on your link...and, well...memories made manifest.

My aunt (whose into primitive stuff) was working on a quilt for next Christmas that's essentially a snowman made out of every white vintage button she can find. I'm picturing butterflies with all the beautiful colors you have.

TheBunny said...

It is funny Billy said you looked like a squirrel because I was going to say that the reason you like buttons is because they are pretty, shiny objects. Practically money! ;-)

claudia said...

There are very few times that I bemoan my non-collector status. Looking for cool buttons is one of those times. BUTTONS!

ronikins said...

Duh! I too like to keep my buttons sorted by color, I don't know why I haven't thought of a floss box before! I've been saving lil jars and sorting that way, but the kiddos keep making off with them. This would be soo much better, thanks for sharing your wonderful button collection!

Jaime said...

The buttons are great. I especially like how the first picture looks with the white case being the background.

marielle said...

I'm obsessed with buttons, as you know, and I've recently become obsessed with quilts also - even though I don't quilt (yet). That button quilt idea is motivation for me to learn!

Carrieoke said...

ooh, I *really* want to make one of those pillows. I'm all about the quilting too, even though I've never done it.