In 18th-century Colonial Williamsburg, a manís dog was his best friend. Philip Lightfoot II was no stranger to this phenomenon. It was noted that most Englishmen found more pleasure in the company of their dogs than their children. Lightfoot took this admiration to a legacy level. He had 13 of his hounds engraved onto buttons for a set that could be sewn on to his coat. There are several painted portraits that show him wearing these buttons.
In doing research for my sewing box project for Christmas in Williamsburg, instructor Elizabeth Talledo found this bit of information interesting and thought it helped tie this home and its history to our love of stitching. While it is not a sampler or a textile, buttons are certainly a love for all stitchers. Who didnít play with Motherís button box growing up or even compile their own button boxes now as adults?
It is my pleasure to present to you Christmas at Lightfoot House Button/Sewing Box, a quaint sewing box that can hold your button collection or sewing tools. The outside of the box is stitched in counted threadwork, and the box is finished in a flat finishing technique with box finishing assembly. The Lightfoot House Button/Sewing Box will be completed during the class. The treat is the Lightfoot Tenement Ornament Companion box will be worked on in class and will cover all the construction techniques needed to finish the Button/Sewing Box. The Ornament Companion box will be a mix of stamped work and hand embroidery. This is a technique that Dame Schoolteacher would have used with to teach silk embroidery technique to her students.
It is Talledoís hope to enlighten you with a small glimpse of the history of the area that she grew up in, while providing you with these lovely mementos of your experience at Christmas in Williamsburg.