I teach for Shirley Sinclair at a wonderful shop called ‘Bustle and Bows’. Last November, her son Brett (38), was killed in a tragic accident. While minding the shop for a few weeks, I had a customer come in for advice on a project for her sister’s 6oth birthday. She had asked all of her sister’s friends to give her a word which described her sister and a button which represented her. She came to ask advice on how to put the project together because she couldn’t sew. She called the project ‘Buttons of Love’.
I thought this was a wonderful idea. The students who come to the classes and stitching groups at the shop and the regular customers who visit the shop were devastated to hear of Shirley’s loss. I wanted a project that would allow everyone to express their sympathy and love to Shirley and her daughter Rachel. ‘Buttons of Love’ was the perfect project.
I set up a piece of antique linen and embroidered part of the reading from Brett’s funeral on the outside edge and ‘Buttons of Love’ in the centre and asked everyone to bring in a button to add to the piece. This was the perfect request to embroiderers who all have a ‘button stash’! I had no idea how many buttons I would get or what type of buttons or how I would put them together. I finished the piece today and will take it to the framers next week. Here is the result:
Many buttons came with stories and little notes to explain their significance. Brett had loved drawing birds and insects so many depicted this love. I stitched on a needle and threadwinder to represent Shirley and Brett’s father added a little red car (a love they shared). Many were precious buttons from grandmothers and great grandmothers. Judy gave ‘Bashful’ - that last dwarf button from her childhood dressing gown.
I think this is a wonderful project that could be used to celebrate significant birthdays, weddings and wedding anniversaries or just as a wonderful way to display a beautiful button collection - rather than having them sitting in a box. I am now thinking of designing a project that could be used for displaying a button collection. I’m looking for a verse about buttons that I could use around the outside edge. Does anyone have a suggestion?