Buttons were calling me. Button artwork showed up on Pinterest, and I saved it. Fancy buttons, from grandmas gone by, revealed themselves to me. While searching for measuring tape in an old sewing basket, a decorative button appeared, from a Great Great Grandma. When looking for a sewing tool in another spot, impressive buttons from yet another Grandma showed up. My own buttons, the ones that come with a newly-purchased piece of clothing, piled up in a drawer, reminded me of their whereabouts.
Wouldn’t it be cool if I could combine a bunch of buttons from the grandmas and give it to my granddaughter for a birthday present? Here’s how I made that happen.
- Draw a paper heart, like we made in elementary school, where you fold the paper in half and cut it with scissors. My paper heart was approximately 7 inches x 7 inches.
- Open and center the paper heart onto a piece of Aida cloth, and trace the shape with a sewing marker.
- Contact any other grandmothers to ask for buttons to add to the piece.
- Collect buttons and store in one place.
- Get more buttons at a craft store.
- Arrange buttons on cloth to get an idea of how the piece might look (optional).
- Sew buttons on one-by-one.
- Start at the bottom and work along the right edge. Fill in middle as you go. Continue to go around the edge of the rest of the heart.
- Sew buttons to fill in so cloth does not show through, as best as possible, if you like.
- When complete, hand wash with laundry detergent and warm water making sure to rub off any marks.
- Remove excess water by placing piece between bath towels.
- Let air dry overnight by setting on a dry towel.
- Iron wrinkles out the next day, using the cotton setting.
- Frame in regular or shadow box frame. The shadow box I purchased was 8 inches x 8 inches.
On the designs I saw on Pinterest, the buttons lay flat. My design has buttons popping out all over the place, but I like how it looks. Art is what you make it!
Those old buttons took on a shine I didn’t know they had, after I washed them clean. To finish, I wrote a note to my granddaughter, and placed it on the back of the frame. The note described how the heart is “filled with grandma love” and explained where the buttons came from. I let her know “I mixed a little bit of the old with a little bit of the new.”
I hope my granddaughter will cherish and feel the love that went into this piece. 🙂
As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life. ~John Lubbock
On April 18, our Governor launched a statewide homemade mask drive. The masks were to be dropped off at the neighborhood fire station the following Saturday. There was one week to get the job done. I was able to make 22 masks with the materials I had. When the day arrived to deliver them, I drove to the fire station to see a large bin by the entrance. After lifting the lid, I was surprised to see that the bin was a little over half full. A couple of weeks later, I read an article that said the volunteers from our city made 1,200 fabric masks. The firefighters sanitized and delivered the masks to senior living facilities and other group homes for employees and residents to wear.
I started making masks several weeks ago for family and friends, so I didn’t mind making a few more. After I explored a lot of patterns online, I decided to go with the mask that is shown in the video from the Deaconess. Luckily I saved a lot of sewing scraps over the years. I’m happy I didn’t know that at the time I stitched together pinafores to go over my little girls’ Easter dresses, that down the road the soft baby blue fabric would come in useful one day as masks. The other fabric is from curtains I made for our basement windows. That tannish brown material is a reminder of my challenged math skills and how I ordered twice the amount I needed. Coincidentally, there was enough 1/4-inch elastic and plenty of thread in my stash to make those 22 masks plus the 18 I previously made for loved ones.
Last week, I decided to venture out to the fabric store to re-stock my supply. I also wanted to work with some more decorative fabric. The store has shortened its hours and is only letting a certain amount of people in at a time. There wasn’t a lot of cute fabric to choose from, but I bought a couple of yards of blue and white checkered material and a blue and white calico blend. I saw some sports graphic fabric, which reminded me of the woman I saw at the grocery store a few days before. She was wearing an old, white Minnesota Twins Homer Hanky, a hankerchief-like rally towel, as a mask. She must have dug it way out of her closet, since the Twins were in the World Series in 1987 and 1991. It looked like extra stitching was on the front and that she cut it to fit. Perhaps she got the idea from the news, where I read that the 2019 Homer Hankies are being re-purposed. Faribault Woolen Mill Co. and Love Your Melon are turning something old into something new, too.
The Governor’s face mask drive is still going on – there is still an urgent need for masks. Now that I’ve re-stocked my supplies, I’m happy to say my Homer Hanky is safe and hiding in a closet somewhere.
It seemed like such an easy plan, but the process completely wiped me out. The idea was to take a trip to the mall to get the girls’ pictures taken. The baby was only a month old, and I didn’t think it would be a big deal to get both children ready all by myself. The pictures had to be taken in time to be given as Christmas presents and sent out as Christmas cards. Well before that day arrived, I decided the outfits should match and that Laura would wear a dress. Since we didn’t know the gender of our baby before she was born, I made Katie’s outfit using one of my favorite patterns – a one-piece ensemble. I used a red, stretchy cotton fabric for the bodice and cuffs and booties to match. The rest of the outfit was red, blue, and white plaid. Laura’s dress was the same plaid material with lace added to the hem and with a frilly collar sewn to the top.
After the girls were in their outfits with their shoes and baby booties in place, winter coats, hats, and mittens all where they belonged, I remembered the red bows. One bow was attached to a barrette for Laura’s hair and the other was a ribbon to get stuck on top of Katie’s fuzzy head. I attached the bow to Katie’s hair with some sort of gooey stuff that was invented for just that purpose!
By the time we got to the mall, I was feeling less stressed and happy to be among the crowds of people. We hung out there for a long while on our first of many shopping trips together. Luckily the bows and everything else stayed on for the adorable pictures.
Sometimes when our three kids look at old photo albums together now, they tell me that they think I dressed them weird. Doesn’t every older kid say that? Isn’t it because the fashions change? Probably it was because I didn’t dress them most of the time. I let them wear what they wanted . . . (Just saying!)
Anyway, luckily Laura and Katie think this picture is a cute one! Looking at it brings back a lot of great memories, and I’m especially thankful I remembered the bows!