This is my dad, Ed, but his family and friends all call him Bud. He’s always been an enthusiastic supporter of my work both directly and indirectly (when I was just beginning art school, I distinctly remember the great joy and pride that he took in helping me built the wooden stretcher for my first painting). Dad and I spend quite a bit of time this weekend talking about my research, and what this particular quilt means to me personally. We also talked a bit about what others might think about when it’s finally finished and I have to opportunity to share it publicly.
When I mentioned that I would be honoured if he would be the first to begin helping me with this, the final stage (button quilting) of my literature review, he jumped at the opportunity. I have to say that I had no idea he had such sewing skills! I’m constantly learning new things about my family though this research, it’s a real gift.. Thank you Dad!
At some point after I finished my masters in Victoria BC, I began to seek out some traditional craft workshops offered around town. Late one fall I stumbled upon a traditional fabric button making workshop at Craigdarroch Castle (http://thecastle.ca/events-programs/) put on by a local heritage society. It was hands-on & very informative, and I gained a whole new level of respect for those beautiful crochet fabric buttons we can still sometimes find on vintage handmade clothes. I have collected a number of different buttons over the years since, and had even been given a few buttons which belonged to my maternal grandmother. Without any way of knowing it, I know feel that they were alway somehow destined for this project. The first button that I attached was one of Nanny’s and it felt like attaching her stamp of approval. I hope that she’d agree..
Later in the afternoon on Sunday, my niece came for a visit and she seemed to have a great time working on the quilt. She hadn’t sewn before so we worked on the buttons together until she got the hang of it – which, let me tell you, didn’t take long. My sister had a hard time convincing her when it was time to go!
(She can be such a great little ham!)