How to work Crossed Buttonhole Stitch

crossed buttonhole stitch sample

Crossed buttonhole stitch is an interesting variety of buttonhole. You can create patterns and interesting borders with this stitch.

How to embroider Crossed Buttonhole Stitch

You need to know basic buttonhole to work this stitch, as it consists of pairs of angled buttonhole stitches which are crossed.

step by step tutorial on crossed buttonhole 1

Work between two imaginary lines. Bring the thread out on the lower line and insert at an angle with the tip of the needle pointing left. Loop the working thread under the needle point.

step by step tutorial on crossed buttonhole 2Pull the needle through the fabric to form the first stitch.

step by step tutorial on crossed buttonhole 3Insert the needle to the left of the first stitch, at an angle with the tip of the needle pointing right. Loop the working thread under the needle point and pull the needle through the fabric to cross the last stitch.

step by step tutorial on crossed buttonhole 4Repeat this process along the line.

step by step tutorial on crossed buttonhole5I have to admit that when you first look at this stitch it looks a little mundane but there really is many create ways  you can work with it.

Crossed buttonhole stitch sample 1You can stack it, work the stitch in a square and overlay it.In the sample below I have worked the units of crossed buttonhole in a square pattern and added beads to the middle. The thread is an overdyed cotton perle #5.

Crossed buttonhole stitch sample 3You can also create variations by changing the spacing of the stitch or lengthening the height of the arms on the stitch

Crossed buttonhole stitch sample 2It is also interesting to use this stitch to couch on textured threads. In the sample below I have used it to couch down eyelash thread. I also added beads to create an interesting edge. This decoration could also be used in crazy quilting.

Crossed buttonhole stitch sample 4There are also numerous possibilities if you work it diagonally or extend one of the arms too!

sample of stitch

Worked evenly and row upon row a patterns are easily achieved. It is a stitch that is worth playing about with as experimentation will lead to some fun and interesting results.


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57 Responses to How to work Crossed Buttonhole Stitch

  1. regina drumond says:

    Beautiful and unusual for me.
    Thank you for your super ideas for to embroidery

  2. Dianne says:

    I have used the crossed buttonhole to couch down some fabric strips. I have shown it on Stitchin Fingers here:

  3. Julie says:

    I have made another block for my TAST 2012 Attachments Quilt with the crossed buttonhole stitch. Guess what the attachments are?! Find out here:

  4. Jenny says:

    I finally posted my crossed buttonhole samples on my blog.

    Nothing very inspiring but some random layered stitches and a nice border.

  5. You can view my Crossed Buttonhole stitching at
    Hope you’ll all pop by and say Hello!

  6. Annet says:

    I stitched my samplers for this week on Aida. I wrote about it here:
    And I shared how I made the woven crossed buttonhole stitch here:

  7. Debbie says:

    Just finished before the start of week 19! Here is my sample of the Crossed Buttonhole Stitch:

  8. Pippa says:

    Hi Sharon
    I have just finished crossed buttonhole


  9. Mariainez L. Ribeiro dos Santos says:

    My work of this week.
    Have a nice week!!!

  10. Yuma Tatter says:

    This week’s stitch immediately brought to mind a crossed rail fence. You can see my stitching at:
    Each week’s stitching occupies a little more than a square inch on my year’s sampler. You can see the previous week’s stitching at

  11. Maureen Bond says:

    I have posted my Crossed Buttonhole work at
    Some are from Tast 1 but there are new also.
    Thanks Sharon for sharing the link to the Antique Pattern Library. It’s fun using some of the patterns for Tast.

  12. Nalini Vasudevan says:

    I have given an incomplete link in the previous comment. Please check my correct link .

    thank u

  13. SusieW says:

    I’ve completed and posted weeks 17 & 18 here While sometimes having to stretch out my posting times, I am still very much enjoying the challenge and looking at embellished seams with a new eye. Thank you Sharon!

    • Sue says:

      I just saw your work on Pintangle TAST and your Flickr photo stream – I think your work is amazing and so lovely…. I’m not normally a fan of muted colours but your colours are beautiful and harmonious. I look forward to seeing your new work. I am new to all this – only started TAST last week but I’m loving it already

  14. Hi Sharon,
    another week, another sample.
    I posted at my blog:
    and in the Flikr group:



  15. Isabelle says:


    this week, I was a bit lazzy and make just a little thing. Pauline makes her stitchs too.

  16. Hi Sharon, I have completed my crossed stitch sampler, the detaisl are here-
    stitchchin fingers-
    Thank you,

  17. Severine Allais says:

    This week I put a little sampler on my new blog:

  18. Sue says:

    Here are my samples for TAST week 18 crossed buttonhole stitch. I hope you like them…

  19. Hello sharon,
    Found this stitch hard to get my head around !
    You can find my sample here……..
    chris richards

  20. Hi Sharon,
    I have posted this week’s stitch here on my blog-
    Thank you,

  21. christine says:

    It was a nice stitch for a rainbow….

  22. Marjolein says:

    It is not exactly a crossed buttonhole stitch with what I ende with. The result is interesting though.

  23. Karrin Hurd says:

    My sample is posted here:

  24. May 4, 2012

    Nice stitch. I tried first time cross buttonhole stitch 18


  25. Anna says:

    First time crossed buttonhole stitch for me… and I have made a little fish!

  26. Claudia says:

    Here is my attempt on week 18 buttonhole stitch crossed:
    Happy Stitching!

  27. Shami Immanuel says:

    Here is my post for this week’s challenge. Happy that I have learned a new stich this week.

  28. shirley says:

    Hi everyone, I have chosed ‘feathers’ to demonstrate the use of this stitch this week. There is also a work in progress

  29. Luiz Vaz says:

    Hi Sharon & Friends, my first post for the week 18. Have a nice stitches!

  30. Christina says: Due to lovely weather my efforts aren’t quite right. But a very nice and usable stitch this one.

  31. Ann says:

    Originally I tried to do the stitch on fabric. I found it easier to do on Aida cloth so the stitches looked a bit more uniform. The sampler is integrated into my embroidery journal. More information and pictures are here:

  32. Angela says:

    Thanks Sharon for continuing to host and instruct this! I appreciate learning the new stitches. This stitch was definitely new to me and I had a bit of a hard time ‘getting’ it. You can see my humble attempt at

  33. ValerieL says:

    I really enjoyed doing this stitch. You can see what I have done here:


  34. Hi Ladies and Gentlemen, here is my weekly sample
    Thank you for the visit.

  35. Geez this is getting to be a pain, the link is:-
    As the link isnt showing up in my comment I have no idea if its working…none at all 🙁

  36. My sample may be found at the above link

  37. Iris Lins says:

    I found this stitch cute for crazy quilt flower seams.
    See mine

  38. Hi Sharon,
    my earlier crossed buttonhole stitch sampler details are here-
    thank you,

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