Ask Jo: About Buttons

Not too long ago I wrote a blog post about cutting up shirts and using them as fabric for quilts.  I’ve made many quilts with shirts and love doing so.  Here’s one of our most quilts…

Here’s a picture from our old house…Kalissa was a CNA and Ruby was little more than a pup.  The quilt is Criss Cross Applesauce.  It can be found in Bonnie Hunter’s book Scraps and Shirttails II.  This quilt is in my living room and is used all the time from everything from blanket houses to snuggling up in when someone is cold.  You can read the full post about the quilt HERE.

Anyway…in the post I wrote about deboning shirts and what part of the shirts I use.  You can find it HERE.  In the post I said that I saved the buttons but had no idea why.

I had a lot of responses about buttons after that post.  I thought I’d share a few of them here….Susan S said, “Morning Jo I would’ve willing to buy some of the buttons. I knit baby sweaters for charity so am always looking for buttons for the cardigans I make.”  Here is Susan’s email.  If you have buttons to give her please contact her.  It sounds like she has a good cause.

Tina said, “Ladies!!! Please, save the buttons. I collect buttons like some folks collect beach glass, or river rocks. My buttons include those from my grandmother’s collection, my own scavenging from clothes, from a friend’s deceased aunt, and from freebies at the quilt guild table. After taking a seam ripper to any thread and cloth attached, I sort by color. So, now I have various lunch bags with colors, AND two large glass containers, one with dark buttons, and one with white buttons that proudly sit out in my craft room as decorations. The collection literally spans centuries–some are valuable, some are not, but I love them.”

Penny wrote, “I like your method of ripping a shirt rather than the time consuming method of cutting, cutting & more cutting! About the buttons ~ we’ve used the white shirt buttons to supplement fancy buttons for projects of sewing them all over thrift store vests & women jackets for a unique designer look & sold them at craft sales, Also same idea ~ glued them to a Christmas fabric covered styrofoam cone, then used thrift store glass candle stick for base & sold them.I love all old buttons to sew on new garments & wall hanging sized quilts. I played with the buttons collected by my Grandma then adding my buttons my daughter did & now when my youngest grand is older she probably will also.”

Another button idea comes from Kelli….Here’s an “H” she made out of buttons.  She has since framed this.

H (2)
She has made others of these for wedding presents.  If you’re short on money and have a button collection but long on time this would be great to make.  This if framed correctly would make a great gift for another decorating vintage farmhouse.

So I guess you now know why I collect buttons…for the “what if” of it.  Buttons are something hard to find if you’re looking so I keep mine so I am never looking!!

There were some fun ideas and a great cause to donate to…so save those buttons for “what if” of it…or pass them on to someone who can use them for charity.

If you missed the post on how to cut up men’s cotton shirts for quilt making, you can find that post HERE.

7 thoughts on “Ask Jo: About Buttons”

  1. I made a quilt for my son from old shirts and I used the button down front as the sashing and then I used the tying method with the buttons to quilt the whole quilt.

  2. I know that I had a bunch of buttons, just have to find them. I’ve been downsizing, so I’ll pass them on when found. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Debbie Collins

    Love the initial “patch.” What a grand idea for displaying old buttons…might be onto something here as my button “collection” spans 3 generations and as a great source for replacing missing buttons when we younger. Now clothing seems to wear out before you have a button go missing…oh wait, those buttons have been replaced by Velcro and snaps and…

  4. Thank you so much for mentioning me Jo – already two readers have reached out to me, for my address for buttons. With all that you and your family are going through, you are still thinking of others. I pray every day for you all and wish you strength and healing at this time, for you and your husband.

  5. Pingback: Community Sweaters: The Button Story | Jo's Country Junction

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