I love buttons...

mother of pearl buttons,
There is something therapeutic about running your
fingers through a box of old buttons,
in search for that perfect one.
I even like how they smell...
If only these old jars of buttons could tell us their story.
Like whose shirt
whose dress they came from.
When the shirt didn't fit or had a hole in the sleeve,
it wasn't thrown out,
rather cut up and sewn into a quilt.
The buttons then would get snipped off
and put into jars,
to re-use when needed.
These jars of old buttons
came from past generations
that didn't waste...

We played with buttons
at my Grammie's house.
I don't recall her having any toys at her house,
but we were never short of things to play with.
Her button box being one of them
playing hide the thimble.
How many of you played hide the thimble?
I collect buttons.
I have them in old jars
sprinkled throughout my house.
I love just sitting and looking at them...

They are extra special
when you find them
still on their original cards...
A card of buttons
that were made
in my home state even!
These buttons were made at the Iowa Pearl Button Co.
in the year 1923.
Here is the backside of the card.
It reads...
the humble little factory
from which they were made...
The Iowa Pearl Button Company,
located along the banks of the Mississippi River
near Muscatine, Iowa.
Did you know Iowa
was known as the button capital
of the world?
In the late 1800's
Iowa turned out over 138 million buttons!
Buttons are still made in Muscatine, Iowa
however from synthetic materials.
Notice all the mussel shells on the ground?
Iowa Pathways has an interesting documentary
on the history of the mother of pearl button making.
You can read it here.
Another interesting read about mother of pearl buttons
their Iowa history can be read here.
The article was put together
by a 4th grade class
as a history lesson.

Sometime ago you may remember
I spotted these sweet little mother of pearl purse frames.
It was only natural,
due to the fact that I love mother of pearl,
that I would be drawn to these little frames, right?

Remember the prototype purse from a previous post?
she is now done
and has sweet little motifs
and a stitcher's verse stitched upon her.
I knew I wanted the overall look
of the little purse
to look soft, subtle, delicate and faded with time...
a perfect look for the mother of pearl closure on the purse.
I think I've achieved that look
and I love how she turned out.
The linen of choice was Confederate Grey by Weeks Dye Works.
Want a little hint?
Think antique sewing bird clamp,
stitcher's verse
a small scattering
mother of pearl buttons...
Can you visualize it?
The "Stitcher's Sewing Purse" pattern
will also include
some other fun little sewing companions
for your stitching pleasure .
It is the perfect little purse
to tuck your favorite stitching scissors,
needle case
and even a thimble perhaps.
A fun little piece
to tuck into your big purse
and pull out
at your next stitching class or retreat...
you will be the envy of the party!!
Watch for "The Stitcher's Sewing Purse"
and 2 antique reproduction sampler patterns
coming in the near future!

With thy Needle & Thread,


sunny said...

I love buttons, too, and always look for new treasures when antiquing. I inherited my mom's button jar and buttons, and that's the first place I look when I need a button or two for a craft. I'd much rather use one of hers and feel the connection, than buy a new button. Not that I have anything against new buttons!!

Cindy said...

Love the sneaks. I have been searching for the right stitching accessory pattern and I think this might be it.

Can't wait - oh, I have buttons from four generations that I really treasure. Makes me feel good to touch things that my loved ones touched as well.

Penny said...

Brenda, You read my mind. I was just thinking of that sweet little purse just yesterday. I can't wait to get the pattern. Sounds wonderful! Oh, and I also can't wait for the two new reproduction samplers. All of your things are must haves! Also enjoyed reading the history behind the mother of pearl buittons.

Lelia said...

thx for sharing. I enjoy collecting buttons, too.

Teresa said...

What a tease you are, can't wait to see the little purse.
My daughter has all the old family buttons. They are a real treasure to have.
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

MoonBeam said...

Really nice post. I am torn by how many old things that we had in the family that have simply been discarded in one way or another.

Hide the thimble sounds familiar...can't remember for sure.

Looking forward to seeing more of the little purse and it's companions.


butterfly said...

Oh dear you have taken me way back, yes i also use to play with my grandmothers buttons for many hours.

and now the love of buttons is very strong i love going to the markets and i will buy up all the pearl buttons and lace i have a thing for lace also.

Those were the days life so very simple.

Kay said...

Oh wow - I had forgotten all about "hide the thimble"! "You're getting warmer..."

Lizzie Tish said...

Dearest Brenda, Were you teased a lot as a child? If so, you are getting your revenge on us! I have salvaged all the old buttons from my DH's family farmhouse at the beginning of our renovation and even have some bone ones in the mix! Such treasures, and he still doesn't understand.... LOL. Can't wait for the new patterns!

Anonymous said...

Your are so TALENTED! Just wondering if you perhaps ever sleep. Seems like each new blog entry you amaze us with new projects. To have vintage items and duplicate them an then to add vintage to enhance what can be better than that. Awesome :) Karin E :)

carol fun said...

Oh what a tease! I adore anything mother of pearl and I know this little purse is going to be wonderful. I have saved in my button stash some octogon shaped buttons and a buckle made from mother of pearl that my dear mom used on a dress for me when I was 12. It is a memory that warms my heart. I don't have any daugthers but I hope that one day I'll be able to make a memorable dress for a granddaughter.

Teresa said...

I too have memories of buttons....most stories told to me by my mother. Black Rock Arkansas(where family is from)had a button factory and you can still find mussel shells and unused buttons(not finished) lining the roads as they originally were what they used instead of gravel. I have jars of unfinished buttons & even one of the punches they used to make them. Neat to see them in the varied stages.

TheCrankyCrow said...

You do many things so exceptionally well, dear Brenda...including teasing!! Love the sneak peek, tho....and, ahhh....buttons....love them...you're right, they do have their own smell....but it is the feel I love - wondering how many times someone's hands of old touched those buttons....Can't wait to see what the "reveal..." Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

Anonymous said...

I too love Buttons.

I have a collection that my Great Grandmother started and it has grown with each generation.

I love your website and your projects.

Greeting from Australia

sharon said...

Love buttons, as much as I love your blog Brenda! Your work is fantastic!

I love how vintage buttons feel as you say, and that aged smell, and the fact that we can hold onto a bit of the past with them. Your purse looks like a great project!

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