Monday, January 4, 2010

Buttons and Pearlies

I love this photo from the Library of Congress website showing piece workers in Williamsburg, Massachusetts about 1910. Lewis Hines's photo was meant to show us the injustices in child labor. This family makes a meager living stringing buttons, but the image just looks nostalgic today. That pile of buttons on the floor incites coveting and greed rather than an urge for reform.

That's a lot of buttons!
Makes me want to put them in a jar.

Every year my New Year's Resolution is to do SOMETHING with the jars of buttons I have been hoarding. Here are a few ideas:
1. Decorate Clothing

A Group of Pearlies in England
Pearlies are a Cockney folk tradition. Read more about them by clicking here:

2. Make a quilt

The one with the star is from an online auction. To read more about the other click here:

And check this one out:
(That quilt is really not Civil-War-era, more like 1890)

I made this small piece in memory of my late dog Lexie D. Mutt

For other ideas (some good, some---well you can decide on what direction your new hobby should go)


  1. I am happy with just how pretty my jars of buttons look on the shelves....

  2. What a beautiful pictures! And all that buttons on their clothes, great! haha.
    Greetings and a Happy New Year from Holland.

  3. I have the same problem - I find buttons irresistable! I need to do something with them. Maybe *this* will be the year of my button quilt.

  4. I use thrift wool and love to keep the buttons from the jackets.
    They are great for embellishments and eyes.


  5. You can hop on over to Livingwithlindsay.com - she had an idea for buttons yesterday.