Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Buttons, buttons

I promise I won't be going on and on about these buttons, but here is one last look before they get tucked away. I had a brainwave about how to clean them the other night as I was preparing dinner: the salad spinner! It's like a little washing machine with it's own spin cycle and all! I just poured the buttons into the basket, filled the bowl with water and washing-up liquid and plunged the basket in. Some agitating by hand and a few spins with the lid on, a couple of changes of water and a thorough rinsing to finish them off and that's it. I spread them all on a towel in the sun to dry off before I had a proper look at them. Not surprisingly there are a lot of black, white and brown ones, but also some really nice bright coloured ones, like the round green ones that look like little peas - my mum remembered them from a blouse my gran had. She also recognized several from outfits she had worn in the 50s and 60s, so there's a bit of family history in there too. It will be fun to find some use for these. I remember seeing a quilt with rows of buttons around the border and in the sashing - maybe something like that? I would need a rather sturdy batting or backing though, because it would be very heavy. Well, we'll see.
I thought I'd spend some time sewing today, but before I'm off I thought I'd show you my attempts at making fabricpaper, inspired by this book by Beryl Taylor. I've been having a bit of fun experimenting with this technique. What you do is that you brush a piece of muslin with a 50/50 solution of PVA-glue and water, place pieces of pretty paper on it, more glue and then cover it all with a layer of tissue paper before you add paint or ink - all when it is still wet.
When it's dry, you can use it as part of a quilt, to make cards or whatever. These were my first attempts, and I might have been a bit heavyhanded on the glue side, because it is a bit stiff (but I don't really know what it is going to be like, though - do I? ) On the green piece I should have diluted the paint more, because you can't really more than glimpse the papers through the paint, so it was a bit dull at first. I added some stamped motifs once it was dry, and I must say I like it better after I did.
On the peachy piece I added more water, and here you can glimpse the pieces of old maps and floorplans of the V&A through the paper. I really like the effect, and I'm going to try stitching through it and see what it is like to work with. As if I didn't have enough plans for things to make already! But you know us girls, we just wanna have fun!


Tine said...

The buttons look all new and shiny again! I'm glad you found an easy way to clean them, can you imagine handwashing all of them?! It would take forever....
I like the little green pea buttons too :-)
The paper look wonderful! How do you use it in quilts? Wouldn't it be stiff compared to fabric?

Threadspider said...

Now that's an interesting looking experiment! One to file away for the near future.
Thank you for the comment you left me and I am looking forward to seeing what you will do with the left over flap!