Buttonhole Wheel stitch

Buttonhole wheel pulled stitch sample Buttonhole wheel is buttonhole stitch worked in a circle so obviously it is part of the buttonhole family of stitches. Buttonhole wheels are also known as Also known as wheel stitch, buttonhole rings, buttonhole flowers, buttonhole disks and disk stitch.

Buttonhole wheels are a fun and are an undervalued little stitch. Many people are introduced to buttonhole wheels as a beginners stitch but do not realise how versatile they can be. You can do so much more with them! They are often used to form small floral sprays making it a useful stitch for contemporary crazy quilting and surface embroidery.

It stands to reason that  in order to work this stitch with ease you need to know how to work regular buttonhole stitch or as some people call it blanket stitch.

A tip! 

If you have problems with the rim flicking up and not sitting flat, it means that you are not working enough spokes in the wheel. Add a few more spokes and they will sit flat to the foundation fabric.

Buttonhole wheel stitch sample 2How to hand embroider a Buttonhole Wheel

step by step tutorial buttonhole wheel 1Using a disappearing marker or pencil, mark a circle and mark a dot in the middle on your fabric.
Bring your thread from the back of your fabric on the outer line. Insert the needle in the middle of the circle and and have the point of  your needle emerge on the outer line. Loop the thread under the needle point.
Pull the needle through the fabric to form the first spoke of the wheel.

step by step tutorial buttonhole wheel 2Repeat this process around the disk.

step by step tutorial buttonhole wheel 3This stitch can be used in both contemporary and traditional stitching.

Buttonhole wheel stitch sample 7Above is an example of half buttonhole wheels worked in combination with an area of couched novelty yarns on a foundation fabric of hand painted Aida cloth.

Below is a traditional use of buttonhole wheels and quarter wheels in a floral motif.

Buttonhole wheel stitch sample 4Half and quarter buttonhole wheels

You can work this stitch in units that are half wheels or in units that quarter wheels.

Buttonhole wheel stitch sampleIt is fun to create patterns by arranging  units in rows such as this example on a piece of crazy quilting.

Buttonhole wheel stitch sample3Here is another example of half wheels used on crazy quilting. Although both are half buttonhole wheels they can look very different according to spacing, placement and size.

 Buttonhole wheel stitch sample 9Another way of using half buttonhole wheels is to flip or mirror them along a seam.

Buttonhole wheel stitch sample 10Or once you break the wheels up into units such as quarter wheels you can flip them along a seam and create different arrangements and combinations. This sample is used in crazy quilting but a line of quarter wheels can make an attractive decoration as is.

pulled Buttonhole wheel stitch sample 8Buttonhole wheels in Pulled embroidery

In pulled embroidery buttonhole wheel is worked on a fabric such as even weave linen, something that has give and will ‘pull’ or pucker. You also need to use an embroiderers hoop to control your tension.

As the Buttonhole wheel is worked you tug on each stitch slightly so that the threads of the foundation fabric are pulled in by the stitching. It is not a tug of war all you need is to just give each stitch a tug and then move on. Make sure your needle always goes back into the same hole in the middle and a neat hole will form. The size of this hole can be increased with the aid of a stiletto or knitting needle. Basically you push the end into the hole to make the hole bigger or in my case more even.

Buttonhole wheel stitch sample 5

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59 Responses to Buttonhole Wheel stitch

  1. CaLynn says:

    I did not get a chance to explore solely this stitch, but I do have some half-wheels on the sampler I made for 2018 week 2’s buttonhole stitch: https://www.thecrafties.com/2018/01/tast-buttonhole-stitch/

  2. Christine B. says:

    Hello Sharon! I love using this stitch. Thank you for the lovely inspirational photographs! Christine x Here is my link: http://patchworkallsorts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/tast-week-twenty-two-buttonhole-wheel.html

  3. vero says:

    je viens de finir ce point aussi merci sharon

  4. Latha says:

    Myhttp://latha-mycreations.blogspot.com/2012/06/tast-2012-week-24.html first post on TAST.

  5. Uma Srinivasan says:

    I have posted my sample on this stitch here

  6. Ann says:

    I was looking forward to doing this stitch. For some reason, my wheels turned out clunky and caveman-like. Oh well. Perhaps I’ll have better luck next week.


  7. Luiz Vaz says:

    Hi Sharon & Friends, my post for the week. I really enjoyed it!
    thank you all!

  8. crazypatch says:

    voici quelques points pour la semaine 24, maintenant, je vais faire mes petites visites sur les blogs des copines.

  9. Cy says:

    I did a TIF (Take It Further) for this stitch, and it can be seen on my blog at


    Thanks for the ‘push’ Sharon.

  10. Rose says:

    I love doing wheelies! Can’t wait to do some more, great for my crazy quilt blocks I need to catch up on! Blogged at http://www.therosejournal.blogspot.com and posted my pic on Flickr and Stitchin Fingers http://stitchinfingers.ning.com/photo/buttonholewheels

  11. Lucy Landry says:

    Loved this stitch! I also appreciated the break last week.


  12. Mariainez L. Ribeiro dos Santos says:

    Here is my challenge´s week
    Thank you

  13. Hi Sharon,
    I see that everyone else saw this stitch as fun as well. I have posted my process on my blog.


  14. Sandy says:

    I’m not doing TAST – too much Other Stuff – but I just had to comment. I love hollyhocks, and, Sharon, yours are just beautiful – and so imaginative!

  15. This was fun, this will be my second cq block and first time I try to make a crazy quilt. You can view it at http://meanderingwithmymuse.blogspot.com/2012/06/buttomhole-wheel-tast.html

  16. SusieW says:

    Spring gardening and travel for a visit with my sister put me behind on my TAST stitching. I have now “caught up” …. HOOO RAY!! I posted the last 5 stitches on my flicker site. You can view them here http://www.flickr.com/photos/susie_w/ Hope to also catch up on the CQJP soon.

  17. Christine says:

    I stitched some butoonhole wheels. You can see them here http://6stem5.canalblog.com

  18. Hobby Sewer says:

    I enjoyed playing around with this stitch. Here are my trials.


  19. Maureen says:

    My samples this week were purely for fun and they are here

  20. Debbie says:

    I had fun working this stitch – here are my samples:

  21. No, I am!
    Enjoyed playing with this stitch and made the back of my bead wallet using it 🙂

  22. ValerieL says:

    I finished my sample for this week. It was very enjoyable to do. You can find it at:


  23. Anna says:

    Thanks for the break! I really needed it! This is this weel stitch http://stitchinfingers.ning.com/photo/tast-2012-buttonhole-wheel?context=user

  24. KathrynK in Blacklilck says:

    Thanks to the catch-up and life getting calmer, all the past weeks are now posted. Here is the buttonhole wheel. My favorite is the double red with metalic weaving in the outer wheel.


  25. libbyQ says:

    so pleased that this week i am not the last contributer~!
    see what i’ve added to the christmas stocking project using the buttonhole wheel stitch.


  26. Nancilyn says:

    I like working the wheels freehand and the resulting sometimes off- centered, eliptical shapes. I didn’t go extreme wonky this time: http://www.flickr.com/photos/playswithfibers/7372381812/in/photostream

  27. Claudia says:

    I think everyone likes this stitch and so do I., Here is my attempt: http://fabricfusion.blogspot.com/2012/06/tast-2012-week-24-buttonhole-wheel.html

  28. Hi Sharon,
    I have started the experiments with buttonhole wheel . the details-

  29. Hi Sharon, I love this weeks stitch and enjoyed stitching it
    You can see my sample here…………..
    chris richards

  30. Marjolein says:

    I made a sort of felted stones and attached them with this stitch. You can see them here: http://threads-and-patches.blogspot.com/2012/06/tast-week-24-buttonhole-wheel.html

  31. …and here is my earlier example, http://alovchany.blogspot.com/2012/01/needlebook-cover.html
    maybe you have already seen it

  32. Just before Sharon gives this week’s stitch, I’ve been stitching some buttonhole wheel (hollyhocks) in a other project. You can see them here http://j-en-revais.blogspot.com/2012/06/tast-24.html

  33. Debbie says:

    I’m really liking the TAST, Sharon, but my obsession with it is taking me away from other things! This was a good one:

  34. The buttonhole wheel stitch is so easy and found interesting too.
    My trials are posted in my blog here.

  35. Maureen says:

    Sharon, whether it is the variegated thread, Buttonhole wheel placement or both, your first sample is gorgeous. I love the encrusted sample also.

  36. Arlene says:

    I love this stitch, which I first learned in the first class I took with you. I use it all the time.

  37. Angela says:

    Love this stitch! I am so grateful for your good instructions! The last time I tried this stitch I wasn’t quite so successful. You can see what I did here

  38. Nancy Larsen says:

    I’ve always liked the look of your little buttonhole wheels that stand up and look like barnacles or anenome. Could you talk about how you get that affect?

    • sharonb says:

      Hi Nancy the stand up version is buttonhole wheel cup – it is made using detached buttonhole stitches around the edge. I will have to include it in one of my worksheet modules as it not well known. I discovered it by accident.

  39. Annet says:

    Yes, I enjoyed the catch up week. Combined with a blog break it allowed me to catch up on a lot of things. Today I wrote my weekly post with old TAST stitches here:

  40. Hi Sharon,
    I loved this week’s challange, as it is one of my favourite stitches. You can see what I did with it on my mandala:
    Best wishes, Jessica

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