Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Day 91 : Estrella

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 91 : Estrella

Day 91 : Estrella

I don't know about you, but working from home is messing up my routine a bit. Great that I get up and start the paperwork in peace and quiet (which I have a fair bit to do) but then I forget some of the other morning jobs. Like remembering to actually post up today's button!

This one is thread wrapped in an un-traditional way and has quite a lot of grappé stitching. I've also wrapped areas - a technique that my German button making friends refer to as gorl - it appears on quite a few early 19th century buttons from Germany.

I've used a No 4 mould and perle No 12.

Size: just over 30mm / 1 3⁄16" / 49L

Monday, March 30, 2020

Day 90 : Scarab

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 90: Scarab

Day 90 : Scarab

Today's button is in two of my favourite colours, well I like all colours, but I do often go back to purple, indigo and green. The pale purple is worked using some needle lace stitches, but worked directly on the covered button, as opposed to working on a template and then adding it to the button. The surround for the 'scarab' is a courrone - basically a bird's eye button with a large hole!

I've covered a large ring with fabric from an old skirt, adding a little bit of extra fabric to pad out the centre - and the thread is a cotton perle No 12. 

Size: 32mm / 1 1⁄4" / 50L

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Day 89 : Popinjay

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 89: Popinjay

Day 89 : Popinjay

A Dorset button! It took much longer than it normally would, and my thumb did twinge a bit, but I managed. So I'm nearly back to normal, yay!

I've used a 20mm ring from my box, the only one I had. My intention was to use a No 39 ring, but it seems I have left those at work.... I've also used No 12 perle

Size: 20mm / 13⁄16" / 32L

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Day 88 : Fan

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 88 : Fan

Day 88 : Fan

Today's button is a bit of an odd combination perhaps. A little bit of trapunto quilting, which I then tea dyed. Then I decided the quilting lines weren't really obvious enough so I added the darker lines, and then some needle lace stitching around the edge. And the tassel! :) The design just made me think of Elizabethan fans.

So the stitching uses perle No 12, and the mould is a No 3.

Size: 26mm / 1 1⁄16" / 42L

Friday, March 27, 2020

Day 87 : Tile

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 87: Tile

Day 87 : Tile

I have to say, I am quite surprised I haven't got a button with this name yet (and quite pleased as I was struggling for an alternative). So, some badly thought out mini needlepoint for today's button - I didn't get the border quite right as I miscounted the squares early on. I still like it though, mistakes and all. Sometimes we just have to accept them, right?

How is everyone coping with the social distancing, and staying in? Good I hope. We are quite homebodies really, so I know it isn't so troublesome for us as it is for some. It is odd not nipping out to the shops if we need something, and of course not going into work and keeping that routine is unusual. I'm having trouble getting into doing the paperwork that needs doing... 

So, perle No 12 cotton and a No 8 mould used for this button.

Size : 23mm / 14⁄16" / 36L

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Day 86 : Screen

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 86: Screen

Day 86 : Screen

I've been keen to try some whitework embroidery and lace for buttons, so here is my first, a simple four sided stitch worked to pull the fabric and create the little holes. With all of the extra hand washing, my hands are becoming quite rough, and working with silks will not be an option for a while. But, the extra clean does mean that working with white is much easier. 

The white fabric is a plain linen, not an evenweave. I've used Bolillos 40/3 lace thread for the actual stitches, and perle No 8 for the surround. I've used a No 32 ring for the mould, and a small piece of green cotton as the interlining.I used the ring so that the excess fabric could be pushed up to give a little bit of padding.

Size: 21mm /  13⁄16" / 32L

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Day 85 : Nagare

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 85: Nagare

Day 85: Nagare

Today's button is made using the Rozashi stitching technique from Japan. I was sent a beautiful and thoughtful gift when I first injured my thumb, of silk threads, a Japanese book and Rozashi fabric. The very good idea was to get me to do a different type of work without adding strain to my thumb. The name is the Japanese name for the pattern.

The designs are just like our needlepoint florentine stitch / bargello, the difference is the ground fabric. Where we in Europe use an even weave fabric (1/1 or 2/2) that is usually cotton or linen, the Japanese use an incredibly fine silk gauze that has a weave that is more 3 / 1. This means that the single stitch is a longer stitch. It also means it is ever so hard to see! I was sent the tiniest needle in the pack, but in the end I found it easier to use a beading needle. The length made it easier for me.

The threads are a beautiful Japanese silk, all hand dyed, and the mould is a No 3.

Size: 26mm / 1 1⁄16" / 42L

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Day 84 : Virtual Hug

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 84: Virtual Hug

Day 84 : Virtual Hug

I was asked yesterday if my button naming was relevant to events. It hasn't been as such, it has been what fits the button - which might itself be sometimes influenced. If that makes sense. But today I thought we all need a virtual hug. And so yes, not only the button name, but the button design is relevant to events.

Thank you all for following, here's my hug to you.

I've used a No 3 mould, mica powder to colour the fabric, and No 12 perle thread.

Size: 27mm / 1 1⁄6" / 42L

Monday, March 23, 2020

Day 83 : Recharge

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 83: Recharge

Day 83 : Recharge

Today's button is a bit odd I know. It wasn't working for me at all last night, I tried to do some wrapping but my thumb's not quite right yet, and one of the needlepoint patterns I wanted to do just didn't look good in the thread I chose, so I took a deep breath, got a new piece of fabric and just doodled with my needle to recharge. 

I've used No 12 perle here, and the colour scheme was one used by a papercrafter I follow in a lovely piece she'd posted yesterday. I thought the colours were cheery. The yellow on the fabric is a mica powder. I've used a No 3 mould.

Size: 22mm / 1 1⁄16" / 42L

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Day 82 : Glimmer

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 82: Glimmer

Day 82 : Glimmer

Another late button today! I finished this last night, but spent the day sorting so many other things that I actually forgot that I hadn't put this on social media yet. Like so many, I've had a lot on my mind. I hope that you are all feeling, well, not so stressed as last week.

This is more needlepoint, using No 12 perle (variegated) on a 25ct linen. The mould is a No 3. Repeat patterns such as these are really really relaxing, and I recommend it. The sparkle is created using 90% silver spangles, and in a few years these will tarnish and darken. I've read that silver tarnishing has to do with pollution, and that before the Industrial Revolution, items took far longer to tarnish. I don't know if this is actually true or not - so don't quote me!

Size : 27mm / 1 1⁄16" / 42L

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Day 81 : Safe Distance

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - 81: Safe Distance

Day 81 : Safe Distance

Today's button wasn't going to have such a topical name until I photographed it, and the surrounding become more obvious. I really have to stop using colours like this though because the stitching has a lot more texture than can be seen here. And I took a fair few photos.

All in all, a normal day here in the sense that I usually do a bit of housework and laundry at the weekend, and Mark and I are real homebodies anyway except for our walks. I hope that you are all ok.

I've used a No 3 mould and perle cotton - No 8 & 12

Size: 27mm / 1 1⁄16" / 44L

Friday, March 20, 2020

Day 80 : Kernel

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 80: Kernel

Day 80: Kernel

I'm so sorry today's button is being posted so late. We've really been working hard to get as much done as possible at the unit, and get what we can sorted for working from home. You'd think it would be easy as we are self employed, but there is a reason we got the unit... 

This button is actually embroidered and then the mould covered, After that I added the surround. Working a surround like this - the eye shape - is a traditional German button technique. The centre is usually wrapped, and can really look like an eye. I just decided on a slight take on that.

I used a No 3 mould, and the embroidery was done with stranded cotton and No 8 perle for the small lines and the surround.

Size: 27mm / 1 1⁄16"/ 42L

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Day 79 : Column

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 79: Column

Day 79: Column

I am really quite pleased with this button - it is not what I had intended! This is needlework again, a combination of long and ordinary cross stitches, with some colonial knots in the gap that kept forming on one side. I am not sure why I decided to roll it, but I do like the way the texture of the stitches looks when rolled. 

Materials, the pink is a perle cotton no 12, and the purple is Au ver a Soie "Soie d'Alger" silk. I have decided it is high time I used some of my fancier threads. I do have a habit of saving lovely threads for "that" project - problem is, I have no idea what they project is! So why not this project?

This is stuffed with more fabric rolled up. I could have used a toggle bead, but the fabric works just fine.

Size (length x width) 
37 x 11mm / just under 1 1⁄2" x 7⁄8" / 51L (long) 
I am fairly certain there is only ever 1 measurement in lignes... 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Day 78 : Pillow

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 78: Pillow

Day 78: Pillow

I am so sorry that today's button has been posted so late! I had fully intended to schedule this post so that it would go live as I was doing the live Hochanda shows, but prep time ran away with me last night.

Today's button is a soft button, made from a length of tape woven on our tape loom . The tape loom was the feature of this morning's show, so there was a method in my madness last night. The mixed colours in the weave are because I painted the warp before weaving, trying something a little different that still needs perfecting. The green is decorative stitching to cover the seam. 

No solid mould - instead, this is stuffed with cotton.

Size (across the straight edge): 20mm / 3⁄4" / 31L

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Day 77 : Trifolium

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 77: Trifolium

Day 77 : Trifolium

A little bit of a different take for St Patrick's Day Today

Whatever the next few weeks hold, may you all be in clover. 

I'm busy prepping for my shows on Hochanda tomorrow - a very early start, have to be at the studio for 6am, so we'll be leaving home at about 5. Haven't quite figured how early I will get up, depends on how much I get sorted today I suppose!

This is needlepoint again, the top is a No 2 mould, while the bottom is a No 105, covered with cotton fabric. 

Size: 31mm / 1 3⁄16" / 48L

Monday, March 16, 2020

Day 76 : Muddle

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 76 : Muddle

Day 76 : Muddle

I do hope that everyone is keeping well. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Today's button has a linen ground that is the edge of a piece of fabric I marbled quite a few years ago. The areas weren't really dark enough to use, but I do have a habit of keeping small pieces of fabric, usually with the intention to use in mixed media. What the picture doesn't show - and believe me, I tried to get a good photo - is that there are very pale yellows and pinks and more lines in the area that I haven't embroidered. But they are so pale, this is without doubt a button that looks better in person.

The embroidery is with No 12 perle, and the button mould is a No 4.

Size: 32mm / 1 1⁄4" / 50L

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Day 75 : Julie

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 75: Julie

Day 75 : Julie

More needlepoint today - hmm, a bit of a theme happening here! This design and these colours reminds me of my Mom. These are her favourite colours. 

I think I'll be sticking to embroidery for a little longer, the thumb is still twinging when I try wrapped styles, so I'm not as tidy as I'd like! Not good when I am currently writing an article with step-by-step photos with a deadline of this month...

This button uses a variegated perle No 12 and plain No 8 along the edge. The mould is a No 4

Size: 32mm / 1 1⁄4" / 51L

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Day 74 : Grid

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 74 : Grid

Day 74 : Grid

Another needlepoint button today, using some wonderful Italian thread that I was gifted many years ago. I only have a small amount left, having made a set of Death's head buttons for my leather jacket with it originally! The mould is a No 3 again, one of my favourite sizes to work with. I do like textural stitches, whether needlepoint or embroidery. 

Size: 27mm / 1 1⁄16" / 42L

Have you seen my monthly slideshows over on YouTube? Click here to take a look!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Day 73 : Helter Skelter

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 73: Helter Skelter

Day 73 : Helter Skelter

Named for the fairground slide that twists around, not chaotic! This is a little too ordered to be that. 

Yesterday I received a lovely parcel from Japan, with materials for a stitching technique (to rest my thumb) that is very similar to canvas work embroidery (needlepoint), and florentine stitch in particular. It is different, as the ground fabric is different - and it is very fine, more like petit point. It reminded me how much I love this type of embroidery and how I haven't done it recently. So, today's button uses half rhodes stitch. I love the texture this stitch creates. It will be some time before the very fine Japanese button is finished, but I have to say that I am already hooked :)

The yellow is perle No 8 while the purple is a hand painted No 12 perle from my stash. The mould is a No 3

Size: 29mm / 1 1⁄8" / 45L

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Day 72 : No Man's Sun

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 72: No Man's Sun

Day 72: No Man's Sun

Today's button was a real experiment for me. I have never actually embroidered on faux leather and I am really happy with it. The faux leather is a good quality one as well, which has helped, it really does look like real leather. 

I'm really please with the experimental edge. I finished the button last night and it didn't look finished. It sat on the table while I worked on some braids and I mulled it over. I thought about covering a ring to add a frame, or even stitching along the edge, but neither method seems to suit, so I came up with this method that combines a bit of gathering and manipulation. The technique needs a bit of refinement, so here's full warning that you may well see it again!

So, faux leather and perle cotton No 12. I also used a No 4 mould.

Size: 34mm / 1 5⁄16" / 54L

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Day 71 : Kismet

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 71: Kismet

Day 71 : Kismet

This button includes a fingerloop braid made with gold thread. This gold thread was specially commissioned by a group of medieval textile enthusiasts I was involved in many years ago, and it does have a silk core - that's quite rare these days. Suffice to say I had a fair bit at the time!. I had already made the braid and knot - it has been in my goldwork tin. The centre domed embellishment is an antique - part of a few that I bought at auction some time ago. There are some interesting pieces in that tin, and I like being able to use them when I can. The person who originally owned them was, I think, making items for the church. These have been stitched to the silk ground, and I have added a double stem stitch in Soie Perlee silk to enhance the overs-and-unders of the knot. I've also used a No 4 mould.

I've had a few people ask me about how I finish the back of my embroidered buttons. To be fair, I don't tend to! I leave them the way 18th centruy buttons were left. After all, no one is going to see the back. Here is the back of this button to show you what I mean.

Now, if I were to make the buttons for sale, I would finish according to the end use. For most modern applications, this would mean fabric or felt stitched on the back to hide the working. I'd probably also include a stitched shank. If for a costume, I prefer to keep the back in keeping with the period. If for one of my couture customers, the back will get a special treatment, in keeping with the rest of the garment. I'll plan up a blog post on the 'regular' blog showing some different types of backs soon. 

Size : 31mm / 1 1⁄4" / 48L

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Day 70 : Bamboo

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 70 : Bamboo

Day 70 : Bamboo

Well, I have to be honest, this isn't really what I had in my head - although if you were to look at my initial sketch, it is really close! I wanted to incorporate sheer layers to look a bit watery - which doesn't make much sense I know - and that did not work and I cut it away. Ah well. 

I've used the  variegated No 12 perle for the leaves. It shows what variegated threads are really good at. Underneath all that padding (there's a few layers) is a No 3 mould.

The thumb is improving slowly, and I'm thinking I might try a wrapped button again at the weekend... just in case you are all getting tired of embroidery :)

Size: 28mm / 1 1⁄16" / 44L

Monday, March 9, 2020

Day 69 : Journey

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 69: Journey

Day 69: Journey

Today's button was actually made just before I injured my hand. I made it for a challenge in a Facebook art group I am in, (theme of adventure) with the intention that once that challenge had been completed and the button shown, it would become one of my One Button a Day buttons.

This is made using leather, which I've coloured a bit with ink. The strap is cotton, woven on my tape loom. The leather is glued over a No 54 button mould, and I glued a little button shank at the back of this too. 

Size:  about 16 x 22mm (excl handle) / 1 7⁄8" / 34L

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Day 68 : Celebrate

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 68: Celebrate

Day 68: Celebrate

I really wanted to name this button the sound that those little paper horns made (do they still have those, or am I showing my age?) but I really don't think anyone would get it, and how should I spell it anyway? 

So, today, celebrate! Be it women's day or a birthday or anything else. 

The embroidery is on linen, using some wonderful hand painted threads I picked up at a fair - I am afraid I don't remember exactly who created them as I soon wound them onto thread holders so that I could use them. They are about a size 12 perle size, but I think they are a spun silk. I adore these colours. 

The mould is the outer ring of the No 45 stacker mould - no reason for using a ring except that I was tidying up yesterday and one was on my desk. I first drew this design a few years ago - another that it is nice to be able to actually make, now that I cannot make thread wrapped or ring buttons for a while.

Size: 35mm / 1 3/8" / 54L

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Day 67 : Seventh Lace Stitch

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 67 : Seventh Lace Stitch

Day 67 : Seventh Lace Stitch

So I had an idea the other day - what about a series of sampler buttons? As I can only really work one-handed at the moment, I'm thinking both embroidery samplers (which is pretty much what yesterday's button was) and needle laces. 

In the Encyclopedia of Needlework by Th. de Dillmont (a book everyone should have if they can!), she sets out the lace stitches by number. She gives any common name that she knows of at the same time too. I thought a whole set might be interesting. I actually worked two - the second in a solid blue and with closer stitching, but this looked more decorative and button-like to me. I've used the variegated No 12 perle, with solid No 12 perle for the edge and number, and a No 3 mould.

Honestly, I have no idea why I started with the 7th. I did start this on the 5th, so there was no forward thinking that I would post it on the 7th of the month until I realised it last night. But a pretty cool coincidence, especially as she hasn't listed a common name (which I would have used as the title).

I will carry this on - it would make a nice hanging I think. So, the odd one might come up over the year :)

Size: 26mm / 1" / 40L

Friday, March 6, 2020

Day 66 : Bobble

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 66: Bobble

Day 66 : Bobble

Today's button is quite simple really, lots of colonial knots and a grappé surround. I love little knots, colonial and French are probably my favourites, with bullions a close second. I like the texture that they add to stitching. I also think that grappé works really well with a variegated thread. You can't see this so clearly head-on, but the side of the button is quite interesting! I've padded this button quite a bit too, which also shows off the stitches. I've used a No 3 mould.

Size: 27mm / just over 1" / 42L

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Day 65 : Briar

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 65: Briar

Day 65: Briar

Today's button has an inked background - I used an ink blending tool and an ordinary ink pad. So, it will not be waterproof as such, but that's ok, I'm hardly going to wash these! The design is actually loosely based on a pretty metal button I saw somewhere and drew up in one of my sketchbooks.I think it still looks quite 18th century though, so decided to add the classic curved satin stitch edging that is seen on so many buttons from that period.

I've used ordinary cotton stranded embroidery thread, and a No 3 mould.

Size: 26mm / 1" / 40L

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Day 64 : Shortcrust

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 64: Shortcrust

Day 64: Shortcrust

Of course, another embroidered button today (hope that isn't getting boring!). The ground fabric is a little piece that I eco dyed - I think it might be damson skins (needed to try after a discussion with a weaver friend of mine) but I honestly now do not remember. I don't worry too much about eco dyed fabrics. They can't be replicated, so I stopped worrying about keeping notes after the first time. I try to do at least one batch every year, it's just something I like doing.

The thread is a perle No 12 - in a variegated orange. We have just started stocking a few, we will increase the range if it proves popular. Of course, I have had to try them out! variegated threads are perfect for death's head buttons - automatic stripes, even if you are a beginner!

I've used a No 2 mould.

Size: 23mm / just under 1" / 36L

By the way - have you visited my YouTube channel? I've uploaded a slideshow of January's buttons, and will soon finish one for February .

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Day 63 : Tulip

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 63: Tulip

Day 63: Tulip

Of course, another embroidered button! This one really is based on 18th century examples. The ground fabric is some antique silk ribbon that I bought some time ago - it had (sadly) been taken out of sample books somewhere along the line so every piece (all different designs) have glue marks somewhere. I thought at the time they'd be nice for one-off buttons, but hadn't tried yet. It does really suit the look of the Georgian buttons.

I used stranded cotton for the embroidery - it should have been silk really, but I don't often use silk in such a bright pink. The mould is a No 4.

Size: 31mm / 1 1⁄4" / 50L

Monday, March 2, 2020

Day 62 : Anniversary

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 62: Anniversary

Day 62 : Anniversary

As usual, my Monday button is being posted late in the day, thanks to all of the work things that need sorting!

Today's button celebrates our 35th wedding anniversary. It is supposed to be 'coral' so I figured coral coloured - aka rose gold - will do ;) 

I've used faux leather for the padded heart and to wrap around the ring. This is the first time I've tried faux leather using the traditional technique - usually kid leather is used - and it worked just fine. This is a nice quality faux leather too to be fair. I've couched the metallic threads using a madeira copper embroidery thread from my stash - had it literally years - probably 20, as I have a tassel made with the thread. The embroidery is covering a No 3 mould, and the outer ring is a plastic ring I picked up somewhere... And, still resting my thumb as I should!

Size: 33mm / 1 1⁄4" / 50L

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Day 61 : Sky

One Button a Day 2020 by Gina Barrett - Day 61: Sky

Day 61 : Sky

Today's embroidered button uses split stitch throughout, with Soie d'Alger silks. I've also used a No 2 mould. I love split stitch fillings, one of my absolute favourites. I like how the stitch flows. It would flow even better using two hands of course! I've had a tough time photographing this one, the central area is purple but doesn't want to show up correctly.

Size: 22mm / 14⁄16" / 34L