Thursday, May 20, 2010

Artful Thursday - Buttons Galore!

Thursday comes again and this week I wanted to play with silk fabric and buttons.

Years ago I saw a little ornament made with buttons that formed the shape of a Christmas Tree. All the buttons were the same and they were lined up in neat little orderly rows; it was very pretty.

I have collected a number of antique mother-of-pearl buttons over the years, but not very many of the same ones.

So I made my little Christmas Tree like this...

The background is blue silk and the buttons are a variety of vintage, and not so vintage, in shades of ivory and blue.

I cut two squares of silk, both 5 1/2" square, and laid out my design on one.

Leaving that to sit, I thoroughly pressed the other square and basted a piece of thin polyester batting to the wrong side. (This silk doesn't have a wrong side; I am saying that for design purposes only)

I used 3 strands of pale blue embroidery floss for the "tree" buttons and three strands of pale brown embroidery floss for the "trunk" button - you may not see the thread colours very well in the photos but they really are effective in real life. (If you click on the first or last picture you may be able to see it)

I started with the trunk button - just move it over on to the prepared silk square, ensuring it is in the right spot and sew it in place. The way I keep it all straight from there is to take the next row of buttons and lay them in place, above the trunk,until I have them right where I want them - then I put all but one back in place on the other square with the rest of the tree and sew the one I left behind in place. Repeat the process with each button, back and forth until the row is complete.
Then start all over with the next row and work your way up the tree to the star.

Here's a view of the back.

To finish, lay the two squares of silk right sides together and sew around all edges with a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving a 2" opening on one side for turning. Clip all four corners and turn right side out. Stuff lightly and hand stitch the opening closed. 

I tied a bow with light green ribbon and sewed it to the front top corner, a 5" length of matching ribbon folded over into a simple loop is attached to the back, behind the bow, for a hanger and little mother-of-pearl button is sewn on to cover the overlap.

The star at the top is a charm I have had kicking around for a few years and had never found the right thing for it. I think maybe now I have!


Tina said...

this is absolutely gorgeous - you are so handy with a needle and thread. What a sweet gift this would make.

artful thursday sistah

Tiffany said...

I love this! It is just Gorgeous!

Maggie said...

since all the Demos and seeing what you do with buttons, flowers etc......I find myself looking for things to embellish bags, pin cushions have some wonderful your xmas tree ornament, really cute.
Margaret Magri

Julie Collings said...

the blue silk is so yummy looking and perfect spot for your little charm. happy summer, julie

marie said...

I've been browsing through your blog (we're VERY slow at work today!) ~ this ornament is just perfect. I would love to make something similar for a couple of my friends for Christmas this year. The blue silk is beautiful.