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Immerse Yourself in Button Madness!

Are you tempted by the bounty of colorful novelty and elegant fashion buttons that are popping up in quilt, craft, and sewing shops?

Do you drool over button websites on the ‘net? Have you inherited the family “button box” from Mom or Grandma? Do you just, flat out, love buttons? If the answer to any of these questions is yes…read on!

Vintage 19th-century buttons (except that large one in the back). Photo courtesy of Bumble Button.

Collecting and trading buttons is nothing new; in fact, it was quite the thing back in the Victorian era for a young lady to amass a large collection. The goal was to gather as many different buttons as possible, with no duplications, and the preferred way to sort and display them was on a string, called a charm string.  Many lovely stories have grown up around this custom, including one that promises that the acquisition of the 1000th button (ideally from the coat of an eligible young man) would signal the arrival of the one’s true love.

While the pursuit of marital bliss is no longer considered a prime motivation for collecting, buttons still hold a fascination for many of us who are captivated by all things sewing-related. As a certified “embellishment enthusiast,” I’m always on the lookout for different ways to utilize my stash, and I’ve just found a new outlet for my passion for buttons.

Button Madness, a wonderful new pattern line from JWD Publishing, made its debut at Fall Market in Houston last month. The inaugural collection includes three fun and easy patterns. One is for a button bracelet that you can make as elegant…

 …or as whimsical as you choose.

The second is for a fashion pin that can be fancy…

D_nov 18_purple pin

…or festive!

D_Nov 18_Christmas pin

With the third, you can whip up a set of custom napkin rings to grace your table on a holiday…or any day.

Teresa Fields (aka Quickie Chicks), the creative mind behind Button Madness

The creative mind behind Button Madness is Indiana quilter, crafter, and designer, Teresa Fields. Her two previous patterns–the Sole Cool Hot Iron Bag and the Snap, Grab and Go! Tote and Quilt–are two of JWD’s bestsellers, and when Teresa designed her first button bracelet for Nancy J’s Fabrics in Wabash, IN, as a sample to sell buttons, the demand for a pattern was so great, the Button Madness pattern line was born.

Each 8 1/2″ x 11″ double-sided, photo-illustrated pattern includes step-by-step instructions and helpful hints to guide you on your way. Make a bracelet for yourself, another as a gift for a family member or friend. Sport a personalized pin on your lapel, hat, scarf, or tote. Fashionable, fun…and creative, too!

These little projects are ideal for mixing new buttons–Teresa’s favorite sources are Jesse James Beads, Dill Buttons, and Blumenthal Lansing–with vintage buttons, including those from your own (or Grandma’s) button box.

“You may not have room in your home to display Grandmother’s china, but by using the buttons from her button box, you can create a wonderful memento,” Teresa says. I love that idea, don’t you?

Finally, to all who will celebrate next week: Happy Thanksgiving!

"Over the River and Through the Woods with Sunbonnet Sue" ( 22" x 26") from "A Year in Life with Sunbonnet Sue" by Darra Williamson and Christine Porter (Martingale & Co.)

#giftideas #Victoriana #charmstrings #vintage #buttons

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