Flat Finish Tutorial


Flat finishing is the fundamental finish for the [square·ology] series…so we are THRILLED to share a tutorial for it today!

Everyone send a big THANK YOU to Cathy Habermann for writing and photographing the instructions for this tutorial. Cathy(Hands On Design) is an expert finisher AND one of the designers of [square·ology]!

The full tutorial is shown below, but you can also download the PDF here.

Happy Finishing!

Tut pg. 1

Tut pg. 2

It’s Good to Be Square!

Bloom on ring promo image - rachel's blur

I’m excited to share the scoop on a SMOKIN’ HOT new series today!

[square·ology] is the brainchild of Cathy Habermann, Cecile McPeak and Rachel Martin of Hands On Design and Just Another Button Company.

We got together with the idea of creating something unique and fun for the cross stitch world.

The result was a delightful collaboration of three styles, presented in a brand new– and totally fun format!

Today, I’ll share the format AND give you a peek at the first designs.

We hope you have a blast with this series!


It all starts with a square!

Let me show you how [square·ology] works!

You start with a square chart– nothing new about that!

But a [square·ology] chart is just a 1/4 of a complete cross stitch design.

It might look like this:

corner start with pivotDo you see the red dot at the bottom left corner of the chart? It’s a pivot point!

Center the pivot point on your linen and stitch the chart once.

Now hold on to your Q-Snaps as I tell you what happens next…trust me, it’s soooo much fun!


Turn & Stitch

Turn your chart 1/4 turn clockwise, keeping the pivot point in the same position. I know, it’s radical, but you can do it– and it’s the [square·ology] secret!

Stitch the chart again in this position, leaving no spaces between the lower edge of your first stitches and the upper edge of your new stitches.

 half chart with text smallDo that, without losing your cool, and you’ve completed 1/2 of the design.

[Note: in the graphic above, the colored sections have been stitched, the gray sections are the fun yet to come]


Turn & Stitch Again

I bet you can guess what comes next!

That’s right, keep the pivot point in the same spot and turn the chart another 1/4 turn clockwise.

Now stitch the chart for a third time.

You’re so smart…I know you know what it looks like now, but I’m going to show you anyway because it’s part of the fun!

 step 3 smallerNow do a little dance or jump up and down because you’re almost there and you’re having soooo much fun!

Keep the pivot point in the same spot and rotate the chart 1/4 turn clockwise one last time.

Stitch again and voila! The design is completed!

Aren’t you clever!



step 4

I hope you’ve enjoyed this demo of the [square·ology] concept!

This simple chart is only an example of how [square·ology] works. To see the first designs from the actual series keep reading!


What is Bloom?

The first [square·ology] release, Bloom, celebrates all the things we love about the warmer months of the year.

It sets the pace for all [square·ology] releases, with 3 charts that feature the turn and stitch concept. These designs are small and easy to finish, measuring 4″x4″.

[square·ology] releases will each also have a 4th chart for a 2 1/2″ square fob companion piece.


side by side

final bit1 - blurred


Are you ready for all this fun?

Look for [square·ology] in a shop near you!

Then watch for the next 2 [square·ology] releases, Ahoy and Whimsy, coming in May and July respectively.

Also you will want to check back here for finishing tips for the [square·ology] series.

Have a question about [square·ology]? Leave a comment and we will answer you!

A Bit of Buttoned Whimsy

Stitchery Book!

Sewing and stitching are my favorite ways to be creative, but there’s a certain part of my brain that clamors for just a little more dimension.  Way back when, I was inspired to create polymer clay bees and bugs to add to my silk ribbon embroidery. Those little buttons were the perfect finish–and the beginning of Just Another Button Company!

bee on silk ribbon   monarch on silk ribbon

Who knows how many batches of ladybug and bee buttons we’ve gone through in the last 18 years? But some things don’t change– many of the same buttons are a perfect fit for our new Woodland Whimsy stitcheries.

rabbit copy

Seven fanciful forest friends are created with simple embroidery stitches, then we add buttons and some other fun dimensional elements. Each stitchery features a familiar animal in an unexpected setting–the hedgehog is knitting, the possum is reading a book and the rabbit is riding a bicycle.  Most of the stitching is done with two strands of embroidery floss, but for the animals, we used Simply Wool from The Gentle Arts.  The Hedgehog lines are a just a bit wider and softer than the other details. There’s a little perle cotton too for the knitting needles.

hedgehog st copy

The tree branches are filled out with leaves cut from Weeks Dye Works felted wool–lots of greens.  Then there are the buttons…from Just Another Button Company and Hillcreek Designs.  The old favorites– ladybug and bee –are there, but so are some new ones.  The Woodland Owl sports a houndstooth button on his vest and the acorns have herringbone caps. Join us for some needlework fun–all of the designs are in our new little book– 7 Stitcheries with a Bit of Woodland Whimsy.  Rachel and I have provided complete lists of the floss colors and full-size patterns for tracing the designs, plus instructions for a couple of finishing ideas.

web front cover  9867 Button Pack Just Another Button Company

Find the book and button packs in your favorite independent quilt and needlework shops–and on our website.



Happy Stitching!



Red, White and…Blueberry

7414 Sweet Liberty automatic photo SED.indd

Do you cringe when you see the words Throwback Thursday? Do you hope you are not pictured again in a high school photo sporting a hairstyle you’d just as soon forget?

Not this time–although we enjoy seeing those photos of our stitching friends in the days before we knew them!

This version of Throwback Thursday will be free of embarrassment! Just Another Button Company is going to have a little fun on selected Thursdays showing you some of our old free designs and occasionally a new release based on the original theme. As before, you will receive a complimentary chart when you purchase the button pack for the design. Both the old and the new charts will continue to be available.

The new designs will be presented in shiny new packaging with the chart enclosed. Older free charts are black and white copies—the new ones have a color photo.


This is Sweet Liberty, circa 2005—

7414 Sweet Liberty automatic photo SED.indd#7412

$16.50 retail price for the JABC buttons

The chart is FREE!

We’ve freshened the look for 2014 with some deeper reds and blues and created a new button pack using berries and birds we didn’t make yet in 2005.

The result is Red, White and Blueberry—a fresh-picked berry design perfect for summer!

front of Red White and Blueberry #9862


$11.70 Retail price for the JABC buttons


The chart is FREE!

Look for this new product in your favorite needlework shop!

Thanks for stopping by! Here’s hoping that no one posts any embarrassing pictures of you..or me today!


Cecile McPeak


Nautical Nursery

Martin Nursery-10

Please come in…

Martin Nursery-5

Welcome to Amelia –Miss Button’s nursery!

Martin Nursery-22

With pirates, whales, octopus, waves, and mermaids for inspiration, the result is this special room for our daughter Amelia. My hope is that it will inspire her imagination as much as it does mine.

I have a special place in my heart for the sea and my husband Josh has been interested in pirates all his life –he has a collection of Lego pirate ships (he might be a little geeky, but in a good way). So when Sarah Jane Studios released a line of nautical fabric and art prints, Out to Sea, I just knew it was for us! The only problem was that we didn’t have a baby.

But I had faith that we would one day be parents so I collected as much of the fabric as I could and bought as many of the art prints as I could afford (and then a few more) so that when the day came, I would be able to decorate a beautiful nursery for our child.

About a year later our prayers were answered when I found out I was pregnant!

We combined the Out to Sea fabric and art prints with lots of props and some special DIY’d furniture to create the room of our dreams.

Here’s a closer look.

Martin Nursery-9

Dresser and Hutch – We added the accent at the top with some of the Out to Sea fabric and gave it a nice creamy-white coat of paint and some pink glass knobs

Martin Nursery-17

We wanted the crib to be extra special so we upholstered a custom headboard with another Out to Sea fabric

Martin Nursery-11

The ottoman – we reupholstered this tufted ottoman using more of the Out to Sea fabric

Martin Nursery-21

Here’s a close up of the buttons on the ottoman – my favorite part!

And we added some adorable props…

Martin Nursery-13

It’s a whale weather vane! How cute!


Martin Nursery-10

An aqua and white ship’s wheel

Martin Nursery-19

A mobile that reminds me of a jelly fish

Martin Nursery-14

And a pirate ship kite!

All finished!

Martin Nursery-7

Martin Nursery-25

Martin Nursery-23

Martin Nursery-20

This room is now our favorite place to spend time. Ameila is 3.5 months old now and we’ve already made so many wonderful memories here.

2014-01-26 18.37.50

A special thank you to our friend David (David Ayres Photography) for meeting us when we brought Amelia home from the hospital. He was able to take photos before anything had spit-up on it. : )

The Sweet Things in Life

Free instructions from Just Another Button Company!



As February approaches, stores tempt you with a red and pink bonanza of Valentine greetings–cards, candy, gifts and flowers.  Where do you look if you want a special Valentine treat for a friend who appreciates your creative talents?  Just Another Button Company has lots of ideas, and here’s a great one!

This is a special Valentine gift for YOU from Just Another Button Company–free instructions for Sweet Treat, a quick-and-easy pincushion in an ice cream cup.  You eat the ice cream first–tough job, but someone’s got to do it!  Roll strips of wool to fill the cup then top with our Just Pins.  A stitch here and there helps hold the layers together as you roll, but you could actually make this pincushion with no sewing if you want.

Sweet Treat

@2014, Just Another Button Company


Now you can make a Sweet Treat for all the names on your Valentine list.  Look for JABC Just Pins and Weeks Dye Works felted wool in independent quilt and needlework stores!  We have lots of Just Pins–if you are inspired to create more flavors.  See more Just Pins on our website.


Just Pins - Sweet Tooth

Just Pins – Sweet Tooth

Click here to find printable instructions for the Sweet Treat Pincushion!

A free instruction sheet from Just Another Button Company.  Permission granted to print the page for personal use.  Wholesale customers of Just Another Button Company permitted to reproduce the page as gifts for their customers.  Instructions may not be sold and can only be reproduced, published or promoted using Just Another Button Company Just Pins.

A free instruction sheet from Just Another Button Company. Permission granted to print the page for personal use. Wholesale customers of Just Another Button Company permitted to reproduce the page as gifts for their customers. Instructions may not be sold and can only be reproduced, published or promoted using Just Another Button Company Just Pins.


Believer in sharing the SWEET!

An Afternoon Project with Martingale


The Pincushion Appeal books have been shipped!  Just Another Button Company has sent copies to all the pincushion friends we met at the Quilt Festival last fall and we have more in stock.  Whether you are a stitcher or a shop, please see our online shop for details.


Will you make the pincushions from beloved materials in your stash or search out the fabrics and pins we used?

Our favorite Weeks Dye Works felted wool is available in fat quarter cuts at independent quilt and needlework stores.   If you are a “kit” person, you’ll be happy to hear that Just Another Button Company will offer wool and fabric kits for the pincushions in the book.  Look for item #f705 for the wool pieces you need for the aqua Santa pincushion.  And don’t forget you can also order e705–the embellishment pack that includes the two JABC Just Pins shown on the Santa.

aqua santa aqua santa fabric kite705

Have even more pincushion fun by making the pincushions in a variety of fabrics.

aqua santa red santa white santa



Make a pincushion–here’s how our friends at Martingale Publishing suggest you can spend a very satisfying creative afternoon.  And be sure to enter their fabulous giveaway!






Happy member of the Martingale family

It’s The Pincushion Effect!

The Pincushion Effect

It’s the Pincushion Effect!


Look up the definition of “pincushion effect” and you’ll find it described as distortion. Wikipedia gives you a simple illustration for the distorted shape we’ve all seen when we stuff a sofa pillow into a slipcover.


Add that third dimension and a square is no longer a square.  But looking at it as distortion means you aren’t thinking creatively.  Think of it instead as opportunity!  A fabric square or any other flat shape becomes something entirely different when stuffed.  A square becomes a pointy pillow, a circle has lovely pleats, a pentagon is a star, and a barrel-shape…becomes a square.

carrot tuft


Do you see it?  The pincushion effect has really hit you when you see pincushion opportunity in all kinds of everyday objects.  I spotted yellow striped paper cups on the store shelf and saw a Cherry Limeade Pincushion.



At this time of the year, the local Goodwill Store has dozens of mis-matched holiday mugs.  I see Hot Chocolate Pincushions.


It’s the Pincushion Effect in action—pincushion opportunities are everywhere!


Creative–not Distorted

How Big is Baby?

feature photo

A popular website, The Bump, helps young parents imagine the growth of their unborn child in a wonderfully visual way.  Early this year, as my daughter Rachel’s pregnancy progressed, she would share with her JABC friends that today her baby was:

the size of an apple seed at 5 weeks…

2232 T

and the size of a sweet pea at 6 weeks…


and the size of a blueberry at 7 weeks…

2330 S

I’m sure you’re not surprised that when Rachel said appleseed, I pictured an appleseed button, …and sweet pea button… and blueberry button.  I can’t help it.


What this expected Button Baby really needed was a fanciful button growth chart. With baby’s mom and dad having back-to-back birthdays a few weeks away, a gift-worthy project was born. I chose some of Rachel’s favorite buttons in sizes to represent the growing baby and pictured embroidered dates for each week–with the buttons stitched to a tree to represent the new growing family.  At 12 weeks I ran out of buttons large enough to continue the growth chart, but no matter, it was the parents’ birthday week–a perfect place to finish.  Week 13 would be a little button collage.

baby martin


To begin the growth chart design, I drew a tree trunk on cotton fabric and used all the woodsy brown and gray wool threads from The Gentle Arts to fill the trunk with rows of stem stitches. A big handful of leaves snipped from Weeks Dye Works felted wool filled out the branches.  A heart button on the tree trunk with Josh and Rachel’s initials was a perfect way to acknowledge the parents’ love for each other and the child.

top of chart        gc photo3        gc photo4

It’s been a while since I made a birthday gift and I enjoyed every minute!


So, how big is baby now?  Please meet Miss Button…

amelia & chart1 copy

She joined us on November 18, 2013 at 1:07pm, weighing 8 pounds and 1 ounce.  Congratulations Claire N.–your guess was the closest!

in the buttons

We think little Miss Button will be quite comfortable when she joins us at Just Another Button Company in a few weeks.


New Nana



What If?


Rachel and I love the fun of creating tiny works of pincushion art almost as much as we love hearing from you after you finish one of our kits. It’s true that pincushions delight beginners and experienced stitchers alike!

Sometimes it’s a challenge for us to corral a big idea into a pincushion that will fit into our kit packaging.

What if we changed our pace for a bit?

A year and a half ago at Quilt Market, Martingale Publishing offered us a chance to write a book about pincushions. A flood of What If? questions followed.

What if we made pincushions that were tall?

B1221 Pincushion Appeal 3rds.indd

What if we used unusual elements and one-of-a-kind collectibles for embellishing?

B1221 Pincushion Appeal 3rds.indd

What if we gave in to our love of vintage?

B1221 Pincushion Appeal 3rds.indd

What if we added tips for choosing materials and for creative display?

B1221 Pincushion Appeal 3rds.indd

Martingale loved our What If? ideas. The result is Pincushion Appeal– a collection of eight pincushions presented in book form with beautiful photography, detailed material lists, complete instructions and expertly drawn diagrams.


Pincushion Appeal is available December 3, 2013 at independent quilt and needlework shops and through online sources.

We think you’ll have fun choosing materials and embellishments from your own stash. Coming soon to our website–embellishment packs plus material and findings kits for the projects shown in the book.


Pincushion Enthusiast