One of our members of the Barn Quilters Mosman, Elaine Lye, has been wearing beautiful button necklaces to our meetings for years. We have all admired them and asked her to run a workshop for us. She was delighted to - the prerequisite was to acquire a large number of buttons in varying shapes and sizes, but in one colour. She suggested raiding family button collections as well as keeping our eyes open when we visited charity and antique shops.
When I was in South Africa recently I was tasked with sorting out my mother's sewing room (she passed away a couple of years ago). My mother was a bit of a collector and she had carefully sorted buttons into containers. I think some of the buttons were actually my grandmother's. My brother kept asking me why I wasn't just throwing it away - little did he know of my plans!
Those buttons then traveled back to Australia in my suitcase and joined my very small collection. As per Elaine's instructions, I then washed them and cut away any cotton that may have remained. Brown was one of my mother's favourite colours (that and orange) and it soon became apparent that I would be making a brown and gold button necklace (as there weren't enough of any of the other colours).
Making the button necklace was relatively easy - you basically crocheted a chain using Perle cotton, went back and forth a couple of times using a single d/c and then added the buttons on chains. I then chained a loop to use as the button clasp. Elaine suggested that once all the buttons were attached, you crocheted over the base again just to give it strength.
Elaine taught her button necklace at the Mosman Community College on Friday, 20th March 2015. The course was called Buttons Alive Necklace Workshop.
I was delighted with my necklace - now I always have a reminder of my mother and gran close to my heart.