As I continued to work on my “Driven Buggy” quilt, I was excited to use Cathy’s button press to add more bugs, and ladybugs seemed like the obvious choice. I thought about thread painting the bugs onto fabric before making them into buttons, but the buttons were so small. While pondering this I realized I just wanted to make buttons. So I covered a bunch in red fabric, in two different sizes,
and drew the bug’s features with a Sharpie™ marker and white paint. Now that was fun!
I knew where I wanted to place the five larger ladybugs. But these buttons had a shank on them (bottom right in the following photo),
and I didn’t like the way the the shank caused the button to “flop” around on the quilt. In the next photo the ladybug on the right is not sitting flat because of the shank, while the other ones were put on in a rather unorthodox way that I think looked much better.
Here’s what I did to make them lay flat: I determined the center of the spot where I wanted to place the bug and marked it with a pin. I needed to determine the angle of the shank (because I wasn’t consistent when I drew the bugs on the buttons), and I angled the pin in the direction of the shank in preparation for the next step.
Are you ready for the “crazy” part? I placed the tip of my scissors on the center mark on the quilt top, at the angle of the shank, and pushed a small slit through the entire quilt.
Did that make you cringe??? Me too!!! But it worked. I was able to push the shank of the button through the slit
and stitch it securely to the back.
My ladybugs all perched tightly on the quilt and I was very pleased with the results.
I began to place the smaller ladybugs on the quilt and had quite a dilemma deciding where to put them, or if I should use them at all. I think I’ll save that part of the story for next week’s post, and continue this week’s with another covered button story.
My friend Laurie has taken my classes for years and is a regular follower of my blog. When I posted about the button press, I was delighted to receive this email from her:
“This family picture is from 1972.
“I sewed the polyester lime-green outfit I’m wearing and I covered my own buttons. It also has wide legged pants!“
I was a stay at home Mom at the time with 3 young daughters and our extra money was sparse. So I made my own clothes often, as well as the 3 purple outfits our daughters are wearing in the picture. You will notice that the same purple flower fabric is in each of their outfits. I would buy remnants and work with them so I had enough for all our girls outfits to save money. People would give me their old big clothes and i would cut them up to make clothes for the girls. Just like Maria in The Sound of Music! Lol!
They often had matching outfits during those years. I even made my husband, Dave, 3 leisure suits. That is Not one of them that he’s wearing in the picture.
Well, low and behold on a fluke, after I got out of the hospital from Covid in Sept. 2021, one of my daughters went in the basement and found that old outfit from 49 years ago! What a surprise! So I had to fill your request for anyone dealing with covered buttons. I didn’t have a tool like you saw to do them at the time, but my buttons covered well with a Woolworth’s commercial button covering kit!
That outfit is Almost an antique now, But Of course, it doesn’t fit anymore! that polyester withstood the test of time because it never dies! We all laughed about this outfit. I still have it and can’t seem to part with it, yet!
I responded to Laurie’s email commenting that I didn’t know she was such a talented garment seamstress, and asking if I could share her story in a blog post. This was her response:
“Yes, God has given me a talent. I started hand sewing my doll clothes when I was 8 years old without patterns and then my Mom had me helping her make curtains and do upholstery. As I got older I followed patterns.
I am humbled that you want to share my story and pictures. Yes, you can share my story in a future blog. Maybe it’ll bring others to share their stories how God has worked in their lives. He always provides!”
Thanks Laurie for the story and the pictures!