Tu-Na Quilts: It’s Cute as a Button

Welcome to the Modern Plus Sign Quilts Book Blog Hop

I’ve always had a fascination with buttons. When I was young, I remember sorting my mama’s button box into piles of colors and then using a needle and thread to string them into long strings. I’m sure my mama did it to keep me busy. Little did she know it would lead me to collecting buttons. You’ll find the buttons pictured below residing inside blue vintage Ball jars on a shelf above my window in my sewing room in my summer house.

Paige and Cheryl asked me to pick a pattern from their new book, Modern Plus Sign Quilts.

Modern Plus Sign Quilts Cover

I couldn’t help but take the one titled Cute as a Button.

Cute as a Button Full

Photo courtesy of C&T Publications

The Idea

I need pillows on my couch in my living room. My idea was to use these plus signs and lay them on their side to make them resemble how I sew on four hole buttons.

tunaquilts 6a

So I sewed 9 blocks into a pillow,

tunaquilts 1a

I spray basted the 100% cotton batting to the muslin backing and to the top.

quilted it,

tunaquilts 4a

I quilted straight lines about 1/2″ on each side of all the seam lines, 1/2″ inside each of the circles, and four lines of straight stitching in both directions of the plus.


tunaquilts 2a

I couldn’t resist playing a bit of tic, tac, toe before I finished quilting all the circles and pluses.


tunaquilts 5a

and finished it off with an envelope style back.

I buttoned up this project by appliquéing three small buttons on one side of the back.

tunaquilts 7a

I printed the pattern from the book at 40% to give me a button that was close to 2 inches in diameter. It was perfect. Thanks Chery and Paige for letting me be part of your blog hop. 

tunaquilts 8a

Isn’t it just Cute as a Button?

Order your book here:

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Join the Fun Here This Week

Monday, March 19th

Faceted Rings

Jessica @ Quilty Habit

Cindy @ Hyacinth Quilt Designs

Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter

Petal Plus

Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

Tuesday, March 20th

Message in a Bottle

Tish @ Tish N Wonderland

Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine

Emily @ The Darling Dogwood

Cute as a Button

Wanda @ Wanda’s Life Sampler

Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good

Wednesday, March 21st


Anja @ Anja Quilts

Kate @ Smiles from Kate

Sue @ Sevenoaks Street Quilts

Pinwheel Plus

Carole @ From My Carolina Home

Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts

Thursday, March 22nd


Debbie @ Esch House Quilts

Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts


 Bear Claw Plus

Janice @ Color Creating and Quilting

Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne

Friday, March 23rd

Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs

Cheryl and Paige have giveaways going on all week. You’ll want to check them out.

And if you missed last week, see my post here for direct links to creative takes on projects posted last week from this book.


If you are looking for my UFO project for Quilt Qwazy Queens post, click here to see my progress on the elephant quilt.


What I Learned Today:

  1. No one seems to know who started the phrase “Cute as a button” but it sure sounds better than “cute as a bug’s ear.”
  2. Buttons have been around for thousands of years decorating clothing but it wasn’t until the invention of the button hole that people started using them to keep their pants up or blouses shut.
  3. Buttons can make a fashion statement. I think my pillow does, too.
  4. I must be a better sewer than I thought. I did not match up the zigs or zags on this pillow. I originally was going to switch the directions of every other one so I wouldn’t have to worry about matching but then decided it looked too busy. Imagine my surprise when I saw how well the seams matched when I laid them out!
  5. We’re going to have a large crop of oranges next winter; the orange tree is loaded with blooms. tunaquilts 3a

Question: What do you collect? Besides buttons, I collect cookie cutters. But Tu-Na Helper says that I collect fabric and quilt books. He might be right.

Thanks for stopping by and do come again. If you enjoyed reading and would like to be notified when I post again, please consider following me using email, WordPress, or Bloglovin, buttons are on the sidebar. 

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts

Linking to:

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Wait Loss Wednesday at The Inquiring Quilter

Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilt

TGIFF at Sarah Goer Quilts

59 thoughts on “Tu-Na Quilts: It’s Cute as a Button

  1. Lisa Marie

    Fabulous pillow and the buttons on the back are the cherry on top! Quilting books and fabric, I definitely collect those! I try not to collect anything that isn’t “useful” but still, things can really accumulate!


  2. Paige @Quilted Blooms

    Karen, I love what you have done with Cute as a Button! And I didn’t even think to research the origin of the phrase! And the little ‘buttons’ on the back are adorable! Thank you for joining the book hop!


  3. Cocoa Quilts

    Karen, what a great way to adapt the pattern. The buttons look great, especially the back buttons. This pillow is cute as a button.


  4. Tish

    This pillow is cute as a button! What a great way to use the pattern to add some fun to your living room. What do I collect? I’m beginning to think I collect half finished quilt projects 🙂


  5. piecefulwendy

    This is such a cute and clever pillow! The yellow and grays together are such a fun combination. I think your tic-tac-toe was a fun addition. I used to collect snowmen. My mom would give me one each Christmas.


  6. Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting

    Love your tic tac toe pillow, PLUS, nice touch on the back! The “Things I learned” part made me laugh and think. Thanks! I only collect quilt related items nowadays. But from my past I have a Dala horse collection (all hand carved by my dad) and a Kokeshi doll collection.


  7. thedarlingdogwood

    I LOVE that you put small buttons on the back!!!!! How funny and clever and totally you! I also giggled when I saw you played tic-tac-toe- as you were working on it. You are so fun! Lovely cushion!


  8. cheryljbrickey

    l love your pillow and how you rotated the applique pattern to look more like a sewn on button. The tiny buttons on the back are adorable too! Thanks so much for being part of the hop!!


  9. Karen

    Oh I do so love your jars of buttons! I used to have a jar of buttons years ago when I made clothing mainly for the kids but no longer have them. I like your X’s they give me ideas for the living room – but you know I have enough ideas and not enough life time left to use them all LOL


  10. Lisa

    Wow Karen. I can’t believe how many buttons you have. This pillow is cute as a button and I really appreciate seeing the closeups of all the little details you included like the smaller buttons on the back and the tick tack toe quilting. How wonderful. I don’t think I would have thought to do that.


  11. Jayne

    You are clever! I love your button pillow and it is…cute as a button! The tic tac toe special touch is just too good! I don’t really collect anything…is that bad?!


  12. KJ

    Thank you so much for sharing how you did this adorable pillow. It looks great on the couch.
    I collect Halloween items: candle holders, salt and pepper shakers, cake plates. One entire shelving unit in the dining room is devoted to my Halloween collection. I also collect dragon candle holders. And cat tea pots. 🙂


  13. Julie C.

    How adorable your pillow is! The back is just as cute as the front. I loved reading your “lessons learned”, too.


  14. Kris

    I love your pillow and the back really won me over! Thanks too for sharing a bit about buttons. I really enjoyed my visit. Happy stitching!


  15. Danette

    Loved how you thought to photo the tic-tac-toe design, along with adding the design to the back of your pillow. This pillow looks so cute on your couch. I’m sure you will enjoy it.


  16. Diane M

    Your pillow is adorable and I love how it ties in with your button collection. Your orange tree looks fantastic, too.


  17. Barbara Mitchell

    Cute as a Button! I love the pillow….the tic tac toe made me smile….you are so clever and real! I also have buttons in mason jars, old tins and display them in my sewing room! I collect fabric, buttons and notions.


  18. smilesfromkate

    Oh cuteness, it makes a great cushion, and I so love the buttons on the back, they could be incorporated into a so sophisticated front with lots of negative space too, very clever Karen, love it.


  19. Rochelle Summers

    I do love the phrase “As cute as a Button”. Don’t intentionally collect buttons but have a huge assortment….when they go on clearance at the fabric store, I can’t help but grab them. Your pillow is so great. Thank you for telling us how much you reduced the pattern. And I love the addition of the buttons to the back. What a great finish!


  20. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts: It’s Happening – The Modern Plus Sign Quilts Blog Hop | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

  21. ioleenkimmel

    Love your pillow, it is indeed cute as a button. I have been following this hop since the beginning and I really must order this book.


  22. dezertsuz

    I do like your pillow, and the addition of the little buttons on the back closure are wonderful whimsy. This is an outstanding example of this pattern, I think, and the tic-tac-toe was a cute plan, too.


  23. inquiringquilter

    Oh Karen, this pillow is so cute! I love that you tilted the pluses on their sides to better resemble buttons. And the back is a cute as the front! Great job!


  24. Needle and Foot

    super cute interpretation of the pattern! everything is cute when made smaller for some reason. Karen, you have tons of buttons. Do you sort through them and use them or just admire them? About the only thing I collect is dishes – like full sets of dishes. I love changing out the table settings. It is bulky tho and my cabinets are filled. Sometimes I think I should get rid of a set or two so I would have room for a new color or pattern. 🙂


  25. Karen

    Hi Karen. This is my first visit to your blog and I’ll be back. I read your intro first and LOVE that your grandson calls you Tu-Na! Your pillow is lovely. I must admit I went back and forth a few times trying to figure out how your quilting description worked with the backside photo till I finally read you were playing tic-tac-toe with the photo! Because you collect buttons I must ask if you’ve ever been to the Warther Museum in Dover, Ohio? I went as a child and will never forget an entire house full of buttons! I just Googled it and it’s still open and the 73,000 buttons are still on display. I collect old children’s books…and fabric!


  26. helen

    love your cushions, I really should make more cushions rather than more quilts! I always wondered if the cute as a button came from button nose. You know, where we tap a baby’s nose and say you are as cute as a button?


  27. Katherine

    Brilliant version of Cute as a Button! I love not only that you made this design into a pillow, but that you turned the pluses to look like x’s to mimic the stitching of buttons – so good! As much as I love the front – I really love your clever use of the applique on the back closure. Fabulous!


  28. Sarah Goer

    I love your spin on the pattern. Grey and yellow is a great combination and your tic tac toe pic is fabulous! 😉 It is a lovely addition to your couch. Thank you for linking up to TGIFF. As for what I collect… I think it’s mainly fabric and thread these days. 😉


  29. Lynette Caulkins

    Nice pillow! That worked perfectly to put the +’s on-point for buttons. The colors look awesome with the chair in the background, too.


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