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Button, button…bottle o’ buttons

 

I recently received these ‘Bottle o’ Buttons’ jars. What fun! Little jars of color-coordinated buttons just waiting to be used for some quick and easy projects.

 

bottle o' buttons - just 4 of the many colors available
bottle o’ buttons – just 4 of the many colors available

 

Button blankets have been around for hundreds of years. A button blanket is a wool blanket embellished with mother-of-pearl buttons, created by Northwest Coastal tribes in North America, that is worn for ceremonial purposes.

Ceremonial robes and their associated regalia have been among the most spectacular creations of the Indian people of the Northwest Coast of North America. For generations, these robes have served as insignia of family and clan histories, duties, rights, and privileges. These robes are powerful statements of identity.

Rather than sleeping equipment, the blankets are used as capes and gifts at ceremonial dances and potlatches.

This week I’ll be showing you some small, modern versions of button quilts. Here’s the first one.

 

Button quilt mounted on a 12" x 16" artist canvas
Button quilt mounted on a 12″ x 16″ artist canvas

 

I had some Banyan Batiks scraps leftover from some previous QUILTsocial projects, so I decided to use them with the buttons to create this first small project. It can be finished as a quilt with binding or it can be used as a wall quilt and mounted on a 12″ x 16″ artist canvas like the one shown in the picture.

If you don’t have scraps, a fat eighth of 2 different prints is enough. You’ll also need ⅔ yd [0.6m] of black for borders, blocks and binding.

There are 2 different 4″ blocks. You’ll be making 3 of each design.

 

4" blocks for the button quilt
4″ blocks for the button quilt

 

cutting instructions

      • From print fabric 1 cut 3 – 1¼” x WOF (approximately 20″).
      • Re-cut to make 6 – 1¼” x 4½” and 6 – 1¼” x 3″.
      • From remaining fabric cut 3 – 1½” x 1½”.
      • From print fabric 2 cut 3 – 1½” x WOF.
      • Re-cut to make 6 – 1½” x 4½”, 6 – 1½” x 2½” and 3 – 1½” x 1½”.
      • From black fabric cut 2 – 6½” x WOF.
      • Re-cut to make 2 – 6½” x 20½” and 2 – 6½” x 12½” for outer borders.
      • 1 – 1″ x WOF. Re-cut to make 6 – 1″ x 2½” and 6 – 1″ x 1½”.
      • 1 – 1¼” x WOF. Re-cut to make 6 – 1¼” x 3″ and 6 – 1¼” x 1½”.
      • I put my little button quilt on a 12″ x 16″ artist’s canvas frame, but if you wish to finish your quilt with a binding, cut 2 – 3″ x WOF from the black fabric for a ½” finished size binding.
      • 21″ x 25″ approximately, for backing
      • 21″ x 25″ approximately, for batting; I like to use a light-weight batting like FAIRFIELD Low-Loft® Quilt Batting or FAIRFIELD Fusi-BooTM Fusible Batting for this type of project.

 

Fairfield low loft quilt batting
Fairfield low loft quilt batting

 

Come back tomorrow and we’ll start sewing everything together and adding the fun buttons.

 

Blue buttons for the first button quilt
Blue buttons for the first button quilt

 

 

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: For the love of buttons – making a modern button quilt

Jean has been designing and publishing patterns since 1997. For the past several years she has been designing patterns for new fabric collections by Northcott Fabrics. Her work has been published in several magazines in both Canada and the United States. Jean holds a Fiber Arts Certificate in quilting and has taught extensively throughout Canada, including six national Quilt Canada conferences. She was named "Canadian Teacher of the Year" in 2003 by the Canadian Quilters Association and has won numerous awards for her quilts.

1 Comment

  1. J Ren

    I never really seen skull buttons before my daughter would really get a kick out of that heck I do too

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