I would like to tell you more about myself and my passion for buttons and button education. I began sewing at the age of 7 out of self defense: I have always been very tall! At one time I was hired to purchase trims, zippers and buttons for Patty Woodard Designs in Los Angeles, CA based on my sewing skills. I also worked in a cross stitch store when my 3 children were small. I learned to quilt after our family moved to Tucson, AZ. As you can see, I have a love of all things textile, and in fact, tactile.
While in Tucson I attended a vendor show in Phoenix and found a booth with buttons and bracelet hardware. I spent over 8 hours in that booth over the course of the 3 day show, digging and sorting through a huge tub of buttons! As collectors say, I was "bitten by the button bug". I made button bracelets for gifts, and sold them to friends and colleagues. I wanted to do more with my buttons and took my friend's advice to heart when she told me, "if it doesn't move, put a button on it". I started looking at the world through "button-colored glasses" and started my craft business, Jillions of Buttons.
After moving to Colorado in 2004, a quilt shop owner suggested I sell buttons and my creations at a local quilt show. While at this show, I heard no fewer than 80 out of 100 people in my booth recount stories of their Grandmother's button box, or similar button stories from childhood. I was intrigued. I was surrounded by creative women growing up, but buttons were not part of my experiences. A short time later I saw an advertisement for the Colorado State Button Society Spring Show and Competition. I attended the show in the hopes of finding answers. What I came away with was not only a new appreciation for buttons but a hunger for more knowledge about buttons that I could share with my sewing and crafting community. I am convinced that it is my mission to bring these two groups of people together. To this end I have written two books, I speak to groups of all kinds, teach classes, and travel with my business to many venues where I sell buttons and button related items. I have a web site business, a monthly informational newsletter and blog where I share ideas and button news.
My career has grown by leaps and bounds! I have published several new patterns for quilters, beaders and crafters and I am working on 2 new books. I have written many articles for publications such as Sew News, American Quilters Society, American Sewing Guild, Antiques Weekly and Bead and Button. I was honored to be the featured quilter for the 2013 Temecula Outdoor Quilt Show in Temecula, CA and I have appeared on "The Quilt Show" hosted by Alex Anderson and Ricky Timms. I was equally priviledged to be chosen to speak and teach at the National Button Society's annual convention in 2012.
I never would have dreamed that this would be my path in life! I studied to be a math teacher but instead chose a career as a driver. For 17 years I was called "the FedEx lady". Now I'm known as "the Button lady". Looking back, the progression seems so clear. It's easy to say, "I wish I knew then what I know now", but the process was so critical to who I am now. I finally get to passionately teach and educate after all!