2 pieces to share

We were inspired to create a Halloween mini-set of [square.ology], that we’re calling [scare.ology]…aren’t we clever?

We’re always looking for fun new finishing ideas for [square.ology] and we’ve definitely found a good one for Scare.ology! We teamed up with Retromantic Fripperies to make a special thread organizer and box that make these finished pieces to-die-for! The box and the thread organizer are hand painted black with have a rubbed wax finish. The edges are distressed which adds a touch of vintage flavor.

scare.ology cross stitch by Just Another Button Company and Hands On Design


Never.More Cross Stitch Chart

never.more cross stitch chart - Just Another Button Company

And Scary.Bit Cross Stitch Chart

scary.bit cross stitch chart


You can finish your stitching just like we did! Start by following our Flat Finish Tutorial to flat finish your stitching. Then attach to the box or the thread organizer with stitchery tape.

nevermore cross stitch chart - Just Another Button Company

The scare.ology box works with the never.more chart as it is optimized for a 4″ square design.

scary bit cross stitch chart - Just Another Button Company



The scare.ology thread organizer works with the scary.bit as it is optimized for a 2″ square design.


We hope you enjoy stitching and finishing scare.ology!

Cross Stitch Finishing Tutorial – Ahoy Frame

cross stitch finishing tutorial

We’ve had lots of button fans ask about the frames we used to finish [square.ology] Ahoy. Today’s cross stitch finishing tutorial will share where to find them and how to finish them for your own Ahoy pieces. Before you start, you’ll want to read our Flat Finish Tutorial, it is the basis for all of our [square.ology] finishes and is a great finishing technique to have under your belt.

Now that you’ve read the Flat Finish Tutorial you’re ready to start finishing Ahoy! This cross stitch finishing tutorial shows how to finish the three 4″ x 4″ designs from Ahoy (Octopus Dance, Sail Around and Sandcastle Frame), however this will also work with any 4″ x 4″ [square.ology] design!

Follow the full tutorial below or download a PDF here.

Ready, Set, Finish!


Any of the 4” designs from Ahoy stitched on 30 count linen



Lacing thread (hand quilting thread or pearl cotton #8)

Stitchery tape (double-sided, acid free)

Acrylic paint

Tim Holtz Distress Ink

Art Minds 5 1/2” unfinished wood frame—from craft stores



Sharp sewing needles

Rotary cutter

Quilter’s ruler

Cutting mat

Box cutter

Iron & pressing surface


[square.ology] flat-finish tutorial

Foam brush





Prepare the Flat-Finished Squares:

  • Using the complimentary [square.ology] Flat-Finish Tutorial, flat finish your Octopus Dance, Sandcastle Frame or Sail Around stitching.
  • Sew any embellishments to your stitching with a sharp needle and matching thread.

Pick a Frame:

The original frames that are pictured on the chart were purchased from Hobby Lobby. The frame pictured at the beginning of this tutorial is from Michaels. Either of these frames (or others too!) will work, just be sure the wood is unfinished.  When picking a frame, take your flat finished stitching along so you can be sure the frame is big enough. Lay the flat finished piece on top of the frame to check that the edges of the frame show around the linen.

Paint the Frame:

Now comes the fun part —let’s play with paint!  I used  Sea Breeze Americana acrylic paint plus a few drops of white to achieve the color I wanted.

supplies for ahoy frame

  • Cut the twine hanger off of the frame at the knots. Cut carefully so you can tie this piece back on at the end.

ahoy frame tutorial

  • Use the foam brush to apply paint evenly to all of the frame’s edges, like the photo below. The  unfinished wood will absorb the paint.  There is no need to paint the middle section because it will be covered.

ahoy painted frame tutorial

  • Let the paint dry for about 15 minutes. Touch lightly with your finger to test dryness. If dry, apply a second coat of paint. This coat will take approximately 30 minutes to dry.

Distress the Frame:

  • Test the paint again with your finger to make sure it’s dry. If it is, then it’s time to sand the edges. Rub the edges with a small piece of sand paper to remove some of the paint from the curves to get a distressed look.

ahoy painted frame tutorial

Now we’ll distress the paint. I used Tim Holtz  Distress Ink—Frayed Burlap color.

ahoy frame tutorial


  • Take the ink pad and lightly sweep it across the paint. Don’t press it into the paint, just draw it across the surface so it brushes the frame.  It will look like this.

ahoy painted frame tutorial

  • Using  a Kleenex and moderate pressure with your fingertip, smudge the ink so that it is absorbed into the paint.

File Jul 07, 1 12 09 PM

Now it will look like this!

ahoy frame tutorial

Finish the Frame:

  • Retie the twine hanger onto the frame.

ahoy frame tutorial

  • Apply stitchery tape to the back of your flat finished square and remove the backing paper.
  • Position the flat finished square in the middle of the frame so that an even amount of the frame shows around all of the edges. Press firmly to apply the stitchery tape to the frame.

ahoy frame tutorial


Hang your finished frame in a prominent spot so you can look at it often and admire your handy-work!

I hope you enjoyed following our tutorial. While you’re here check out some of our other finishing tutorials–


Whimsy Pennant Banner



Bloom Bit Fob


©2015, Hands On Design, Just Another Button Company™    No permission is granted to reproduce these instructions or images for commercial purposes, although shops may distribute the instruction sheet as part of a class or tutorial featuring [square.ology] or other products by Hands On Design or Just Another Button Company.  Permission for other uses must be granted individually and in writing.  The instructions and images may not be published or shared electronically by shops or individuals. Instructions and images are property of Hands On Design and Just Another Button Company.



Cross Stitch Finishing Tutorial – Pennant Banner


Today we’re bringing you the third cross stitch finishing tutorial for square.ology. We hope you’re having fun following these finishing tutorials. We’re having lots of fun sharing our ideas with you. Follow this tutorial to make a pennant banner from our Whimsy Cross Stitch Charts. The full tutorial is shown below but you can also download a PDF here.


[whimsy] design stitched on 30 count linen

Matboard (4 3/8” square)

Batting (4 3/8” square)

Lacing thread (hand quilting thread or pearl cotton #8)

Stitchery tape (double-sided, acid free)

Scrapbook paper

Paper Accents – Kraft Chipboard Pennants   (5” x 8”, available in craft stores)

White twisted cord—1/4” diameter

Scotch tape




Sharp sewing needles

Rotary cutter

Quilter’s ruler

Cutting mat


Box cutter

X-acto Knife

Hole punch

Iron & pressing surface

Brown Sharpie

[square.ology] flat-finish tutorial


Prepare the Flat-Finished Square:

  • Using the [square.ology] Flat-Finish Tutorial, flat finish any of the 4” whimsy designs.
  • Sew any embellishments to the flat-finished piece using a small needle and matching thread.

Prepare the Paper Pennant:

  • Cut small pieces of stitchery tape and apply around the edges of a chipboard pennant. Remove the backing paper from the tape.

photo #1 - whimsy

  • Lay the pennant (tape-side-down) on the wrong side of your scrapbook paper. Press the pennant against the paper to make the tape stick.
  • Using an X-acto knife and cutting mat, trim the paper even with the edges of the chipboard pennant.

photo #2 - whimsy

  • Line up the hole punch with the holes in the chipboard and punch holes in the paper to match.

photo #3 - whimsy

  • Using a brown (or dark blue) Sharpie, color any visible edges of the chipboard.


Finish the Pennant:

  • Place the flat-finished stitching face-down. Put strips of stitchery tape along the edges and remove the backing paper.

photo #4 - whimsy

  • Arrange the flat-finished square on the paper side of the pennant according to the picture and press down to apply the tape to the paper.

photo #5 - whimsy


Finish the Garland:

  • Make more pennants with the other [whimsy] stitched pieces and extra ones by covering some pennants with just paper.
  • Tie a knot 12” from the end of your cord (adjust the 12” if you want a longer “tail” at the end of your banner).

photo #6 - whimsy

  • Lay the cord with the knot on the right and the unknotted end on the left. You will string from left to right. Wrap a piece of Scotch tape around the left end of the cord to make threading easier.
  • String the cord through the right hole of the first pennant, from the front to the back. Slide the pennant to the right until the hole meets the knot you made.

photo #7 - whimsy

  • Now thread the cord through the left hole, from the back to the front. Tie a knot right in front of the hole.

photo #8 -whimsy

  • Choose how much space you want to leave between this and the next pennant and then tie a knot at that point.
  • Repeat steps 4 & 5 until all of your pennants are threaded onto the cord.


Enjoy your [whimsy] pennant banner!




©2015, Hands On Design, Just Another Button Company™    No permission is granted to reproduce these instructions or images for commercial purposes, although shops may distribute the instruction sheet as part of a class or tutorial featuring [square.ology] or other products by Hands On Design or Just Another Button Company.  Permission for other uses must be granted individually and in writing.  The instructions and images may not be published or shared electronically by shops or individuals. Instructions and images are property of Hands On Design and Just Another Button Company.



Whimsy Wedding


Today we’re sharing the inspiration behind our newest [square.ology] release, Whimsy.


5 years ago on a hot day in June JABC designer, Rachel married her husband Josh. The outdoor ceremony and reception where full of red, white and blue whimsy. From vintage blue mason jars and fabric pennant garlands to bouquets of paper flowers, it was festive summer affair.

These photos were taken by Elizabeth Maxson for Where Women Create and shared originally on her blog. Enjoy!
















Now you can stitch some festive, summer-time Whimsy of your own! See the charts here.


Cross Stitch Finishing Tutorial – Bloom Bit

bloom - cross stitch finishing tutorial

It’s good to be back online! After two months of working around website issues we’re finally back to share some button fun with you. Today we’re bringing you a cross stitch finishing tutorial for finishing [bloom.bit] as a fob like the one pictured on the cover of the chart. If you’re unfamiliar with the [square.ology] series, read about it here. If you are familiar with it, then read on and enjoy this step-by-step tutorial for making a fabulously-fun fob!

Bloom Bit chart


The full cross stitch finishing tutorial is shown below but you can also download the PDF here.


JABC - HOD bloom bit tutorial-1JABC - HOD bloom bit tutorial-2

JABC - HOD bloom bit tutorial-3


JABC - HOD bloom.bit tutorial-4

JABC - HOD bloom.bit tutorial-5

For more [square.ology] fun…

JABC - HOD bloom.bit tutorial-6

We’re Back Online!

juicy fruit on buttons1

It was Black Thursday—April 30th—when our website went berserk.  First the wheels fell off the Shopping Cart and then the Search Box forgot how to spell and then entire pages began to play hide-and-seek. We kept in touch with you by phone and email, taking lots of deep breaths as one fix after another led to more digital issues.




Some things that we did to stay busy while living under our digital black cloud:

  • Four Buttoneers celebrated birthdays and three celebrated graduations. And JABC marked it’s 19th anniversary! 
  • Rachel bought a new house AND had a baby. That’s right—we have another Miss Button!
  • Miss Amelia Button learned at least 75 new words, including sunshine and helicopter. She’s mastered all the hand movements to accompany Wheels on the Bus, and she is thrilled that the new baby doll at her house (Miss Anna Button) has real hair—not the molded, painted-on variety.


button babies


  • [Square.ology] releases [AHOY] and [SCARE.OLOGY] were shipped to shops, and Juicy Fruits Sliders slid in right behind. New [WHIMSY} and halloween Sliders are underway!

juicy fruit on buttons1


  • Row by Row launched in quilt shops all over North America and we shipped a boat-load of water-themed buttons to happy shops.
  • On a related note, Buttoneer Darla drilled 132,730 holes in JABC buttons and Dawn labeled and filled about 6000 little zip bags.



  • Meanwhile Cecile learned a bunch of tech-speak from the support team at our hosting company—and the first names of EVERY team member. Sadly, none of these smart-guys could figure out how masses of digital garbage could suddenly clog my site when all I did was upgrade the server to handle credit cards more safely.


We needed a real human to help.  Enter our Database Ninja—Brittany.  She’s been working round-the-clock since the end of May to fix what she called the Perfect Storm hidden behind our site.  I pictured cleaning out a closet.  Brittany pulled everything out and was amazed at how it all could have fit into a space so small.  Apparently she found over a half a million digital mismatched socks and broken tennis rackets that should have been pitched months ago.

Thanks to Brittany, storm damage is repaired, the closet is clean and the wheels are back on the shopping cart. Plus, our brand new website maintenance plan is in place.

We love our customers—we appreciate that you continued to call and email us when you couldn’t get the site to work!  To thank you for weathering the storm—we are offering free shipping on all online orders through July 8th, up to $10 value. Includes wholesale and retail orders.


A last deep breath as we put this chapter behind us,

Cecile's Signature



Cross Stitch Finishing Tutorial – The Flat Finish

cross stitch finishing tutorial - flat finish

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

Once you’ve mastered this technique, you can move on to our other complimentary finishing tutorials!

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 cross stitch finishing tutorial is shown below, but you can also download the PDF here.

Happy Finishing!

Flat-Finish Tutorial

Materials & Supplies

[square.ology] stitched piece


cotton batting

Stitchery tape (double-sided acid free)

Lacing thread (pearl cotton #8

or hand quilting thread)

Sharp needles

Rotary cutter

Quilter’s ruler

Cutting mat

Box cutter

Iron & pressing surface



Measure and cut on your cutting mat:

  • With the box cutter, cut the matboard to the desired size (4 3/8”square for 4” designs, 2 1/2” square for 2” designs).
  • With the rotary cutter and quilter’s ruler, cut a matching piece of cotton batting . Cut a second smaller piece of batting if you would like a more cushioned look. Attach the first layer of batting to the matboard piece with double sided tape, lining up the cut edges.  Center the optional second piece of batting on top.
  • Press, then trim your stitched piece approximately 1 1/2” away from the stitched image of a 4” design using the rotary cutter and quilter’s ruler. Leave just 1” of linen around a 2” design.



Lace the needlework

  • Thread your needle with a long length of strong thread. Knot the thread near the end.
  • Center your stitching over the batting side of the matboard. Place face down on your work surface and begin to lace.
  • Fold the upper edge of linen down over the matboard. Anchor a knot in the top right corner of the linen at the edge of the matboard.
  • Secure the first stitch by running the needle in a scooped motion through the linen (needle in and out of linen parallel to the edge of the linen—a scoop is less than 1/4”). Scoop it through again close to the first scoop. Pull the thread tight.  Now your knot will not pull out.



  • Scoop stitch your way across the board, first on the lower linen edge folded up over the matboard, then back up to the top edge—about 1/2” between two scoops. Be careful to pull firmly, but not too tight so as to distort the linen. Knot at the far end.




  • Turn the piece over to the front to make sure that the design is still centered. Move linen around to make any adjustments.



  • Fold the two remaining edges of linen toward the back. You may need to trim away some of the excess corner linen if it appears too bulky. If so, cut away linen from the corner only—and don’t cut any closer than 1/2” from the matboard edge or the cut may pull around to the front.  The linen tends to angle in at the corners as you fold it.  Tuck it in a little as if you are wrapping a package so than the end of the folded edge is at least 1/4” in from the edge of the matboard.  This keeps the edge smooth and neat from the front if you are top-mounting the finished piece.



  • Scoop stitch back and forth to lace the two new folded sides. Sew the angled edges of the new folded sides to the sides already laced.  Knot off and run your needle through the linen about 1” away from knot and toward the center of the piece before clipping the thread.  This helps keep the thread tail from showing on the front of your work.



  • You are ready to flat-finish all of your [square.ology] stitching—to mount with double-sided stitchery tape on all sorts of fun boxes, frames, fobs and wall-hangings!   Show us what you create!



©2015, Hands On Design, Just Another Button Company™    No permission is granted to reproduce these instructions or images for commercial purposes, although shops may distribute the instruction sheet as part of a class or tutorial featuring [square.ology] or other products by Hands On Design or Just Another Button Company.  Permission for other uses must be granted individually and in writing.  The instructions and images may not be published or shared electronically by shops or individuals. Instructions and images are property of Hands On Design and Just Another Button Company.






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