Button and Kantha Quilt Project

A threadbare kantha quilt has so much beauty and character. Cut and restitched into a pillow it was the perfect project to embellish with some of my mother of pearl buttons. Extra boro style stitching adds to the composition. I have another kantha quilt pillow that is the next UFO to finish.

Button Button Who Has The Button?

I do! On a visit to the Salvation Army thrift store I always check out the fabric and craft area. Sometimes there are treasures to be found. This was a treasure day.

To the left is a photo of 2 one gallon food saver bags so you can imagine my excitement to see that they were filled with mother of pearl buttons. These were a definite must have purchase for use in my fiber art. Besides, let’s face it, what girl of any age can resist a bag or box of buttons.

Do you have your mom’s, grandmother’s or aunt’s button box? No self respecting woman of the household would ever think of not cutting the buttons off of clothing that was no longer wearable. Were these someone’s button collection?

As soon as I got the buttons home they went into a colander for a good cleaning. It was easy to see that these were not buttons from clothing and someone’s button collection but instead from a button factory. To be more precise, these are waste from the button factory floor. You can read about one USA button factory HERE. Pretty fascinating reading.

Below are some photos of a few of the buttons drying. You can see some of the variety with no holes, one hole, missed strikes, MOP and cylinders of nacre. Stay tuned for more blog posts about how I am becoming hole blind separating this mother of pearl.

50% Less!

There is so much clothing thrown away around the world the practice just has to stop. Fast fashion and trendy styles are killing the environment. One way each of us can help this world problem is to be creative and find uses for what is thrown away. I purchased this gorgeous sweater the other day at a thrift shop. My intent was to reclaim the fabric in it to give it a second chance. One less sweater in the landfill.

After first disassembling the sweater into parts, it was time to put it through a first fulling. That simply means that using water, soap and agitation the sweater weave will close up and shrink in size. The fiber label on this sweater said it was 88% wool. I took a gamble that the woven stripe areas were the other 12%. It was a gamble that paid off. It shrank about 50% and resulted in a thick wool fabric.

I can’t wait to use this gorgeous wool in a project and not waste even one tiny piece of it.

Found it!

On to the second closet in the office. A box not opened after our move nearly 3 years ago held some of my quilt show ribbons. Guess I should move them to the studio so they can be hung for display. It will be another day until the closet is organized, then into the studio for more sorting and organizing. You’ll are welcome to come help!

Happy New Year 2020

I have a no resolution, resolution this year. It is simply to be a participant and not a bystander.

Before the new year turned, I cleaned and sorted a closet in my home. It needed done and a thrift shop was richer for it . I unearthed a couple of unfinished textiles and some 100 year old family photos I had forgotten about. The best thing was finding my maternal grandparents marriage license. My youngest son researches the family genealogy and had not been able to find record of it. It is an important piece of a family puzzle. Imagine, I had it all the time tucked away in a box I acquired after my mother died that had never been opened. But I know that I use tasks like that to procrastinate instead of getting down to the business of creating in my studio.

Good things are coming in the new year of 2020. I became a juried member of the Arkansas Craft Guild. There is a wonderful gallery in Mountain View, Arkansas . It is an area rich in artists and history. I am honored to be a part of it.

A few months ago I sent off 5 pieces to Art Quilting Studio Magazine. The artwork and an article will be published in the Spring 2020 magazine. They are a wonderful magazine to work with. I previously had the cover and an article in the Winter 2015 magazine. I couldn’t believe it had been that long since I was a participant and not a bystander!

So here is to a new year and new work and hopefully new successes. This is the silk shawl I uncovered in the closet clean out. It has been moved to my active stitching nest beside my chair.

Getting into show mode

When I get out of practice and have no need to keep on task I tend to vegetate. It doesn’t help that I am getting older and slower. It doesn’t help that the turmoil in our country keeps me in a near constant state of stress.

My self-cure for this is to find a reason to get back into the main stream of creating. I always enjoy in person art show sales venues. I think that feedback from clients at this type of show is valuable feedback. Finding that kind of show is not always easy now that I live in a rural state that has more crafty craft shows instead of fine craft shows.

I was accepted to show and sell at the Arkansas Craft Guild’s Christmas Showcase at the fairgrounds in Little Rock. Let me tell you, I am stressing about it. It is not an inexpensive show and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will at least make costs.

Where Did This Year Go?

I can’t believe it has been over a year since I wrote a post here. Bless you everyone who has checked in during that time. It was a year of very little creativity.

So where was I and what was going on? My 94 year old father had been checked into a nursing home in Illinois. I had always promised him that I would not allow that. So Ron and I moved rooms and furniture around to make room for Daddy. We became his care givers until he was called home to be with my mother a year ago November 1. He made it to his 95th birthday. I had a card shower for his birthday and the joy he had opening the cards as they came in the mail! Thank you to all who participated.

I was the executor of his estate. If you are ever called upon to do this, let me tell you it is a thankless job. Well, not all the time, one brother thanked me for being strong and standing ground to carry out Daddy’s wishes. It took a year to get his Social Security finished and I am finally free to be creative.

I do have work in a new book. OURstory is available for order on Amazon. This is the label from my piece in the book.

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More 1/4 inch seam matters…..

When reverse sewing the quilt top, I photographed some of the less than perfect seams. There just isn’t any way the blocks will stitch together and make an even quilt.Being off 1/4 inch on one seam doesn’t seem like much, but multiply that by the number of pieces and blocks and that 1/4 inch is more like 3-4 inches off.

Quilting Shortcut That Didn’t Work

As my readers know, I frequent thrift shops for textile treasures. I spied this colorful batik Boston Commons quilt top across the aisle. A quick look at it didn’t show any rips, stains or bad odors so I decided it was purchase worthy.

Well, hello! After getting it home I noticed the corners. Yi-yi-yi-yi! The quilter/piecer tried a shortcut to stitch the sides to the common. Obviously it didn’t work and it didn’t fit.  There will be a lot of reverse sewing going on. I am thankful that the quilter who made this did not cut off the ends at the corners.  I think I may have some of the cream tone-on-tone in my stash if I need to add another border and I am sure I can find a good batik for a solid border.

There will be a lot of hours involved to get this ready to quilt.  I am on a self imposed hiatus from art quilting  and this project is just right for relaxing on the the deck, pick a little, sip a little tea, pick a little, sip a little tea.

   Not my quilting!

Not my quilt!