My first Amazing Bargain of 2006 is this button collection. In search of embroidery floss I visited a quilting store and discovered a bucket of buttons at five cents each. It was a serious blast from the past.
My mother is the original thrifty seamstress. As kids, we joked she could cut an entire three piece suit out of a fat quarter. The woman knew how to stretch her resources.
One of her penny-wise practices was saving buttons. She had several Mason jars filled to the brim with buttons, all sorted by color.
I remember many happy hours dumping the buttons on the living room carpet and sorting through them to find the diamonds in among the stones. I can still picture some of the buttons, elaborate knot like forms, simple two and four holed varieties, some were shaped like flowers, and others looked like door knobs.
These practical little fasteners are tiny samples of design, an example of how form follows function, and function turns to decoration and fashion.
When I spotted the bucket of buttons at the quilt shop, I immediately plunged both hands into the mass, feeling the smooth plastic run between my fingers, listening to the gentle swish as buttons rubbed together.
It took some self control, but I didn’t sit on the floor and dump out the bucket in search for the diamonds among the stones. Still, I did find a few little prizes, and I know I will be back.