Looking through a box of spare buttons, I found a large orange button for a garment that I no longer owned. I remembered my mother keeping extra buttons and notions in a red wooden box from Holland. The idea of saving small objects for possible future use inspired me. Button Quilt is a 168”x 84” piece composed of approximately 3,110 packages of extra buttons, spare yarn, beads, hooks, eyes, sequins, and snaps. The packages were initially taped together using a traditional nine-patch quilt block pattern. The blocks were fashioned into the quilt. Family, friends, colleagues, students, acquaintances, sales people, and strangers from across the nation and around the globe donated these packages for the quilt. Many people also shared stories of their memories of buttons; their memories of buttons transported us to a time when a collection of ordinary buttons had extraordinary possibilities.
Ms. Froukje Schaafsma-Smith is an artist and arts educator with over 20 years of experience. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Teaching Credential from the University of California, Riverside, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her autobiographical narrative art has been featured in one-person and group exhibitions and is in the public collections of UCR and UCLA. Her work was featured in The Ontario Invitational 2012, Ontario Museum of History and Art. She received The Curatorial Award, Members’ Art Exhibition 2012, Riverside Art Museum, and The Fred Bird Memorial Award, Artist Council Exhibition 2011, Palm Springs Art Museum.