Tag Archive | vintage buttons

Working on a few things…

I have been busy in the studio, working on some new classes, working on some old classes, and working on some fun things.

kanthatablerunnerThis is my version of a Kantha quilted piece of fabric, which is a new class that I am offering locally. Click here for the information about the class.

vintageatheartI have made a few new pieces for my Vintage at Heart, a class that I offer locally. Click here for the information about the class.

ribbon embroidered broochI have made a few new pieces for my Ribbon Embroidered Brooch, a class that I offer locally. Click here for the information about the class.

finished cq squareI finished my wall hanging for the Crazy Corner, a class that I offer locally. Click here for the information about the class.

felt needle caseNow for the fun part. This is a little felt needle case that I just made for fun. My grandmother had one very similar to this. I used synthetic felt, perle cotton, ribbon, lace and some fun buttons. I would like to say this took an afternoon to stitch up, but it actually took me about 20 hours to make. There are two complete halves, a front and a back that are lined so that the stitches do not show.

Happy Stitching to you all, enjoy~ Christen


Treasured Memories Class

Treasured Memories Wall Hanging

I will be teaching this class for the Sunshine Quilter’s Guild on February 13, 2016.

treasuredmemoriesThis project combines vintage handkerchiefs with cotton prints. The hankies will be your focal point, with the embroidery or printed pattern, and any detailed edges as part of the design. Add in embroidery, using my book Embroidered and Embellished. Additional items can be ribbons, laces, and vintage buttons, voilà a star is born!

The location of the class is:
Central Sewing 1125 N. 2nd Street
El Cajon, CA 92021-5024

Class is from 10-4 I will be there by 9:30

Please contact Mary @ crazy4quiltingsd@gmail.com for further information.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

New Jewels and Stuff

I have been working on some new pieces and thought that I would share my treasures!

blackandcoralThis ensemble started with the earrings, which I found at the Goodwill Store, they were .99. Many years later I found the bracelet on eBay, it was a bit more, $22.99. I started searching for a necklace or something to go with my ensemble, and I found these vintage (new/old stock) glass cabs, with a two-hole channel on the back. I searched for a while longer to find the right beads (all new). The bracelet to the right uses vintage glass sew-through beads with vintage buttons and new glass beads.

coins and chainThis necklace started with the big link chain that is used in the lower portion of the necklace. My friend Phred gave me some smaller lengths of chain to “play with” which I wove through the big links. I then used old coins that had  holes in the middle; I inserted vintage livery buttons into the holes. I then inserted a jump ring into the shank of the button, and attached each coin/button combo to a link in the chain. I added a smaller chain to extend the necklace. I found the earrings, made from vintage American coins on eBay.

cats meowThis is called “Cat’s Meow”, of course! The base of the necklace is made from a picot edge grosgrain ribbon that has been stitched and embellished with a silk rouleau cord. I started collecting cat buttons after I found these fabulous enamel earrings. The larger cat faces are made from papier mache,  the other buttons include plastic, metal and glass. I have a charm bracelet with silver and gold colored cats.

chain linkThis necklace started with bits of left over chain (some given to me by my buddy Phred) in all shapes, metal colors and sizes. I linked the lengths together to make one length for a necklace. I then found all sorts of charms in silver, copper and antique brass colors. These I added at intervals to the chains, in a random-ish pattern (meaning the necklace is balanced but the charms rest on different portions of chain).

buddyBuddy, started with two antique glass doll eyes. I just fell in love with the brown color, and wanted to make a cat face. So I drew a few samples and this is the image that I came up with. He rests at 2-1/2″ wide x 2-1/2″ tall. He is made from synthetic felt, and is embroidered with cotton floss.

Thanks for stopping by! ~Christen

My Button Box by Christen Brown

I have an article included in the new July/August 2013 issue of Piecework Magazine, Volume XXI Number 4. It is available on their website here, and I am sure that you can find it in your local bookstore.

Here is a brief description of the articles included in the magazine:

“In this issue of PieceWork magazine, knit and embellish Scilly Isle socks, learn about collecting vintage buttons, knit Victorian beaded cuffs, learn raised filet crochet, discover coronation cord, learn about Latvian textiles, make silk death head buttons, and more!”

My article concentrates on vintage buttons that you may find in your own “button box” with lots of images of different kinds of buttons from my own collection.

I talk a little about the different materials that you may find buttons made from, and I have also included a brief side bar on how to clean these different types of materials.

I do have a lecture called “What’s in Your Button Box” that is part slide show and hand’s on where I share my collection that has grown in the over 40 years of sewing and creating.

I also encourage the participants to bring in a button or two of their own, to share with the audience. Please contact me if you are interested in hiring me to come and teach or lecture!

Hope that you enjoy the article, and the rest of the magazine!

Happy Stitching, enjoy~ Christen

Elegantly Embroidered Silk Gardens: New Class

Elegant Gardens Wall Hanging/10 Lessons/$90.00

silk ribbon embroidery with ribbonwork flowers

Elegant Gardens consists of nine individual panels worked in a variety of silk bias ribbons and silk embroidery ribbons. Each individual garden is worked in a variety of stitches, which also include extra embellishments such as buttons, vintage lace or charms. Each of these vignettes could also be worked into an existing quilt block or square. There are fourteen embroidery stitches, which you will learn in Lesson 1. There are nine ribbonwork flowers that you will learn throughout the following lessons, with variations of the fourteen embroidery stitches.

Lesson 1: In this class you will learn the embroidery stitches that include the blanket, feather, pistol stitch, outline, straight, couched, lazy daisy, bullion, French knot, ribbon stitch, bullion tipped lazy daisy, petite rose center, ribbon rose and loop stitch. These will be worked in silk embroidery ribbon and threads. In the second part of the lesson you will prepare your squares of fabric for the following classes.

Panel 1~ Roses • Panel 2~ Lace and Irises • Panel 3~ Hanging Heart Vines

ribbon embroideryembroideryribbonwork, silk ribbon embroidery

Panel 4~ Lace and Pansies • Panel 5~ Lace, Roses and Vines • Panel 6~ Ribbon Basket

ribbonwork, embroideryribbonwork, silk ribbon embroideryribbonwork, embroidery

Panel 7~ Fuchsias • Panel 8~ Hanky Basket • Panel 9~Lace and Vines

ribbonwork, silk ribbon embroideryribbonwork, embroideryribbonwork, embroidery

Spring Classes for Bravo School of Art

I am very excited to announce that I will now be teaching locally for Bravo School of Art.

It is located in the refurbished Marine Barracks in San Diego, now called Liberty Station. Please stop by the website and take a look at all of the classes that are offered.

Here are mine:

*New Class* Ruban Fleurs

$68 member / $78 non-member Materials fee $26

french wire ribbon worked flowers

Friday, May 610am – 3pm

Monday, July 25 10am – 3pm

Thursday, August 4 10am – 3pm

Do you love flowers? Do you love French wire taffeta ribbon? Then this is the perfect class for you! Learn the specifics of working with French wire ribbon, how to use the wire as a component and how to manipulate the ribbon to your advantage. Storage and other tips will be given for keeping your ribbon dust and wrinkle free. You will create 5 flowers: Pretty Posy with a button center, Quince with stamen, Pansy with ribbon center, Prim Rose with coiled ribbon center, and Cabbage Rose with beaded wire center. Make 3 separate leaves that can be used to complete a corsage or hat ornament. Materials list provided upon registration.


$128 member / $149 non-member Materials fee $13

traditional embroidery with bead embellishment

Fridays, May 20 & 27 1 – 6pm

Thursdays, June 9 & 16 9am – 2pm

Saturdays, August 20 & 27 9am – 2pm

This is a great introduction to traditional embroidery stitches with the added flare and dazzle of embellishing with beads. These stitches can be incorporated in any fiber design that you choose, whether you make a crazy pieced or a strip block. A variety of stitches are used in each separate embroidered design, a Base Stitch, a Design Stitch, and an Embellished Stitch. Materials list provided upon registration.


$42 member / $48 non-member Materials fee $2

button bracelets

Thursday, June 9 3 – 6pm

Sunday, July 31 9am – 12pm

Saturday, August 20 3 – 6pm

Bohemian, -n: a person, especially an artist, poet, or writer who lives in an unconventional, non-conforming way. Small bands of traveling wanders known as gypsies populated Europe. These colorful people conjure up thoughts of beads, charms, bells and ribbons that were used in everyday costume. Bring your precious stash of buttons and beads to class, to make a one-of-a-kind and unique bracelet. Learn about the history of buttons: the types and materials, and how buttons are made. The bracelet that you make in class from buttons, beads and charms will be reminiscent of the Bohemian Gypsy in all of us. Materials list provided upon registration.

Hope to see you in class! Enjoy,


Enchanted: MMM challenge

mixed media collageThis is my entry for Mixed Media Monday hosted by Lori, with the theme Enchanted. This collage started with a greeting card that was given to me by a friend. I was enchanted with the drawing, and I love this group of ladies. I imagine them having a lovely tea party. I have added art paper, trim, ribbon worked flowers and vintage buttons.

Enjoy- Christen