About 5 weeks ago we had a call from my husband's best friend. He was in the process of assisting his 91-year old mother to settle in care in a retirement village, and needed to clear out her flat. He asked if I would take any of her sewing things. Her niece had been the recipient of her sewing and over-lock machines, but I knew that even if there was nothing I could use, I would be able to find a good home for whatever was there (I was able to take dozens of patterns, metres of polyester fabrics and partly sewn garments to a local self-help organization). All her life she had sewed her own clothes (but was never a quilter!), and she had, amongst other things, the most amazing collection of buttons, all neatly sorted in colours. (I recognize lots of them from the clothing manufacturing company my husband had but closed over 12 years ago!) I had just that week been looking for a pile of buttons to make a pincushion jar as gifts for a group of quilting ladies I will be lunching with on Thursday.
I made the tops from scraps, stitched down on a circle (using the jar lid as a template) of needle-punch batting, . Trimmed the circle with a seam allowance. Stitched a strip of plain bias to the circle. Cut a piece of card 3/4" and glued the bias strip to give the height. Cut about 7-8 circles of batting,pushed inside, some glue on edge of jar lid and ease in. Don't think these have a long durability factor. Almost want to keep them as the colours together are fun. I scooped up a jar of buttons, then sorting and layering from dark to light for each jar (that took almost as long as putting the tops together!)
This was the best up-cycling ever!