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& Illustrations

A Button Cover to Embroider

Design Adapted by Susan Strawn Bailey

Create a bright flower button cover while you sample five classic embroidery stitches with silk thread on linen. One of the individual plain-sewing samplers from Deborah Dwyer's collection served as our inspiration.


  • Kreinik 100% silk thread, 1 spool each of Soie Gobelin (10 m/11 yd) #2125 (darker green), #2123 (lighter green), Noir (black), and 1 spool of Ping Ling (7.3 m/8 yd) #520 (Poppy)
  • Zweigart 36-count linen fabric
  • Embroidery hoop, 5 inches (12.7 cm) in diameter
  • Needles, sharps
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencil, soft head
  • Button kit, metal, size 45 or 1 1/8-inch (2.9-cm) diameter


Tape pattern to a window or light box and trace with pencil onto tracing paper. Turn tracing paper over, and carefully retrace the pattern lines on the back of the tracing paper. Place tracing paper right side up on fabric and press with a medium iron to transfer pattern onto fabric. With design centered, tighten the fabric in the embroidery hoop.

Stitch flower petals and buds with buttonhole stitch using three plies of 520.

Using satin stitch, work one half of each large leaf with one ply of 2123 and the other half with one ply of 2125.

Stitch outline of smaller leaves with lazy daisy stitch using one ply of 2123 above large flower and one ply 2125 at base of stems. Fill in leaves with satin stitch using one ply of 2125 or one ply of black.

  • Silk thread
    Kreinik Mfg. Co.
    3106 Timanus Lance, Suite 101
    Baltimore, MD 21244
    (800) 537-2166
    Contact Kreinik for the name of your nearest retailer.
  • Fabric
    Zweigart Fabrics
    2 Riverview Dr.
    Somerset, NJ 08873-1139
    (732) 271-1949
    Call or write for the name of your nearest retailer.

Stitch stems and base of buds with stem stitch using one ply of 2125.

Stitch individual French knots alternating one ply of 2123 with one ply of black at the center of the large flower and the tops of the flower buds.

To assemble, follow instructions on button kit.

About the Designer. Susan Strawn Bailey writes, illustrates, and styles photos for PIECEWORK and other Interweave publications.

Embroidery pattern

French knot

Buttonhole stitch

Stem stitch

Lazy daisy stitch

Satin stitch

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