Buttons and Thread (almost) All in Place

Button-Up with Flower Thread …

Confessions of a Cross Stitcher

So all my creative wonders out there, I have demonstrated how various media can be incorporated into your cross stitch, from paints and beads to crystals and stampings. So what next? What about buttons? This month I want to show you what you can accomplish with some wooden buttons, flower thread and a little imagination, of which I know you have a good supply.

The Buttons
When you are a mixed-media cross stitch junkie like me, ideas can spring from anywhere. When I first saw these beautiful wooden butterfly buttons I knew there would be a project in the future for them. A while later I spotted the cute little kimono girl buttons and it was a match made just for creating!

These wonderful wooden buttons can be found in many different designs, colors and shapes for any preference and are widely available on Etsy. These are priced such that you can buy tons of them and not break the bank or your budget. Easy and inexpensive, what’s not to love!

You can fasten them with thread or beads, which is what I did with black Swarovski 2.5mm bicone crystal beads. You might try 11/0 glass beads for a fit too. I will tell you that it is easier to fasten the buttons with regular cotton floss because it has a smoother finish than the flower threads.

The Threads
Let’s get to the meat of the project which is of course the thread. In this project I used three different threads, DMC Flower Thread (discontinued), DMC 6 ply cotton floss, and Ginnie Thompson Flower Thread. Let’s talk about the flower threads.

The DMC Flower Thread was discontinued years ago so my stash of it is relatively old. I wanted it in my inventory because I thought it would be perfect for antique sampler reproductions or any type sampler really. It is not a polished cotton and has a matte finish. It is a single, non-divisible twisted strand that is equal to two strands of regular cotton thread. I only used one strand of it on some of the stitching on the bottom. I used it side by side to a similar coloured regular cotton strand for comparison. Here is the con I found with it, it tangled/knotted easily and when it did there was no getting it untangled, unknotted.

The Ginnie Thompson Flower Thread was the same with one strand being the same as two regular strands and it has a matte finish. I have to tell you after using it my crush turned into love. This thread is a dream to work with and was so easy to unknot, which for me is huge! They come pre-wound on these wonderful large bobbins (40 yards) that have all their information on it and a hole for hanging on a ring. I paid a small bit more for it but it was still a lot less than a lot of specialty threads I have purchased. I used the Ginnie Thompson thread on the top black rows. You can get these directly through the Ginnie Thompson Flower Thread website.

Both of these flower threads are nice threads. The reason the DMC was onerous could be attributed to its age rather than its production processes, I can’t say for sure. Something I noticed with both is that looking closely you can tell a slight color variation in the threads when stitched. I liked it so it definitely was a plus for me.

Stitch Variety
I wanted to add French or Colonial Knots on top of the base on the bottom of the design. I ended up doing what I call a stretch knot with 3 strands of black regular cotton floss. It is a stitch with a knot in the down stitch. I used a Colonial Knot because I think they are a little bulkier than the French Knot. Just a little accent to it.

Not the End
I am not finished with this design yet. I will be adding details with DMC Etoile floss and a bit of ribbon too. So stay tuned next month and keep creating!

Wooden Buttons
Variety of lovely wooden butterfly and kimono doll buttons.


Buttons and Floss
Narrowing down the choices for the project.


Comparison Flower Thread and 6 Strand Floss
DMC Flower Thread (left) and DMC Cotton Floss (right). Flower thread is definitely thicker equal to two strands regular cotton floss


Ginnie Thompson and DMC Flower Threads
The difference between the Ginnie Thompson and DMC Flower Threads starts with the packaging and of course, the fact that DMC discontinued its flower thread.


My DMC Flower Thread Bird's Nest
The DMC Flower Thread tangled on me a lot and near to impossible to unknot. Could attribute it to the age of the floss.


Stretch Knot Instructions
Start your stitch back to front. (Stitches shown larger than actual size for better viewing)


Stretch Knot Instructions
Pull your thread to where you want your knot to be placed, using either a French or Colonial Knot. I used a Colonial Knot.


Stretch Knot Instruction
Finish your knot by pulling your thread through the fabric. Voila, your stitch is done!


Variations of the Stretch Knot
Different looks for the same stitch. The small slanted ones are over two on 14 count Aida fabric same as on my project.


Buttons and Thread (almost) All in Place
Here is the project almost finished. I love how all the colors work so well together along with the different fibers.


Preview of Projects Coming Attractions
Here are some of the ingredients I will be using to finish up the project next month. So much fun to come!


Jamie "Mr X Stitch" Chalmers

Hi, I’m Jamie “MrXStitch” Chalmers and since 2008 I’ve been on a mission to change the way the world thinks about needlecraft.

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