Thursday, February 23, 2012

Beauty in a button

I thought I'd share this little piece with you. Again, it's not really sewing or stitching, but it is done with scraps.

I was lucky enough to get ownership of my mother's button box. In it are buttons that were bought, came with sweaters as an extra, came off of bathrobes or blouses, and various and sundry others. I remember as a young child sitting on the floor and playing with the buttons in the button tin. I have no clue how many hours I sorted, matched, and in general played with the bits of plastic, wood, and metal.

One day, I was looking through the button tin recently and decided I needed to do something with some of them. I found a frame that I wasn't using, took out the cardboard, and glued a nice piece of recycled denim on it. Then I scoured through the hundreds of buttons for just the right ones. I settled on 9 that may or may not go together, depending on your eye at the time you see it. I know the white one in the right upper corner is from a bathrobe. The others, I'm not sure. I used a fabric glue that dries clear to put the buttons on, and let it set overnight. The next day, I put the frame back together (including the glass cover) and voila - a nice piece for the sewing room.

Got a button box? A frame? Some denim or other background fabric? Sit down by yourself or with your kids and make a fun piece or a pair.

I'm not sure why, but I sure like the way it looks.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Life, quilting, and scraps of thought

A lot has happened in my life lately, much of it in the realm of life-changing events. My best pal, Lindsey, pictured on the left, took ill and ended up being euthanized a few days later. What we didn't know was that she had cancer all throughout her body. My companion of 11 years is now resting peacefully, and we're still sorting through the loss of our "empty nest dog." The same night, my husband's mother died in her sleep. She had been extremely ill for years and though it is not easy, we were prepared. That event put a lot of activity in motion, culminating with her funeral a week ago. Prior to all of this, I had knee replacement surgery on January 19, and have been recovering beautifully. That includes a lot of at home therapy followed by outpatient physical therapy. To say the least, it's been a busy time.

Part of what I have done to maintain my sanity through this all is to sew. I've mentioned before that I'm making a hexagon scrap quilt. It will be about 2000 pieces when it's done, each one hand sewn. I'm in my second year of working on it. I tend to pick it up when life gets too busy and I need to rest my psyche. I've done a lot of that lately. Every stitch is combined with a thought or two, every pairing of hexagons is filled with a moment of my pondering, and the whole of the project is filled with wistfulness and love. The making of this quilt will span two knee replacements, the passing of friends and family, and other memorable events. When it is completed, it will be seen as something that keeps you warm by most people, but by me, I will be taken back to this time in life in happy and not so happy ways. I should call it my sanity quilt, but I'll come up with something more uplifting at another time.

Life's short, my friends. Get out there and sew something, make a memory, or just relax a bit with needle and thread and your own outlet. Turn a batch of scraps into something beautiful or something to wear or something with which to decorate your walls. That unfinished project won't get done without its most important "ingredient" - you.

Live and be grateful.

ScrapStitching is coming back online and I hope to bring more projects and ideas  your way. If you have anything you'd like me to sew or to try, let me know and I'll do my best.