Friday, April 20, 2012

Cajun Corner - Vol. 4, No. 15

Cajun Corner – Vol. 4, No. 15 – April 20, 2012

Bon Jour!  Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.


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We began this week going to my friend’s funeral on Monday.  It was a double funeral since he and his daughter passed away within three days of each other.  Our hearts and prayers are with this family.  I must say that was one of the most beautiful services that I’ve ever seen.  It began with a rosary and the service was sung.  I saw many old friends from when I worked at the Levin firm.  It was good to see everyone.  It was just sad the circumstances that brought us together.

To top off the week, George and I were in a wreck last night.  I’m still dealing with the insurance company.  Today we’ve decided to cancel all appointments and just be kind to ourselves and hang out around the house.

One of the reasons that I love embroidery is because the machine takes charge and stitches incredibly accurate designs.  I also love to sew but for all of the years that I have sewn, I still cannot sew a straight line.  This brings us to this week’s topic of buttonholes.  Don’t you just love that segue way?

Any sewing machine can do a straight stitch and create seams.  Most sewing machines can do zigzag stitches to secure the edge of a seam, but what about zippers and buttonholes?  Any stitch on a sewing machine is a combination of straight stitches and/or zigzag stitches.  That sounds simple enough. 

Historically buttonholes first appeared in Europe in the 13th century.  They are simply a hole in fabric to insert a button.  A hand sewn buttonhole is created by making a slit in the fabric and encasing the edges in small, tight stitches.  A sewing machine buttonhole usually has two parallel rows of zig-zag stitches with bar tacks on either end.  The hole is cut after the stitches have been sewn.  A keyhole buttonhole is a normal buttonhole with a tiny circle at one end, rather than the bar tack on that end.  The circle is intended for the shank of the button, so the fabric isn’t distorted.  Then there is the bound buttonhole, which is a slit in the fabric encased with fabric or trim.  Men’s buttonholes are on the left and women’s buttonholes are on the right.

A button and buttonhole are pieces of a closure, just like hooks and eyes are pieces of a closure, snaps are closures, frogs are closures, and several others.

My first buttonholes were nothing less than ugly.  It was difficult for me to get the satin stitches (tight, cumulative zig-zag stitches) even and smooth.  We already know that I’m impatient.  Hence, buttonholes were always frustrating for me.  I have gotten better with buttonholes and sewing machines have become easier to make buttonholes, but nothing does buttonholes as nice as an embroidery machine.  Depending on how big of a hoop you are using and how many buttonholes you need, etc., you can digitize the buttonholes in a line with precise measurements, secure your fabric to the hoop and let the machine work its wonders.  But that isn’t all an embroidery machine can do with buttonholes.  Because it is, after all, an embroidery machine, you can actually turn your buttonholes into embroidery designs.  Or, rather, the other way around, you can turn your embroidery designs into buttonholes. 

This opens up a world of possibilities.  It is possible to take your logo, for instance, and insert the buttonhole stitching.  Maybe you wouldn’t see a need for that, but what about your logo as a patch with a buttonhole.  You could wear it as a name tag when you go to conventions or seminars.  Just hook it onto your shirt button.  This would be unusual and an eye catcher.  We have several designs for beautiful, embroidered buttonholes in stock, as well. 

Shirts are not the only items that have buttons.  Since buttons and buttonholes are merely closures, this would work for any closure, replacing the closure with buttons and buttonholes.  In fact, one of the online embroidery design websites shows how to make a purse, surround the top edge of the purse with pretty buttons and make difference covers for the purse to match each of your outfits by embroidering buttonholes at the top to match the corresponding buttons on the purse.  You never have to change the contents of your purse, just the outer casing.  How nice is that? 

What about making an embroidered pocket with a buttonhole?  The possibilities are endless.

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Have you ever asked someone what they want for their birthday or Christmas or whatever the occasion, and the reply was, “Nothing”?  This would make the perfect gift.  I found this at

For this project all you need is an empty jar.

You can print this saying out onto some adhesive label paper suitable for your printer or print it onto normal plain paper. Use some clear craft glue to adhere it to the jar.

If you want to go all out you can add some ribbon to the jar and even box it up for a great gag gift.

--The Saying---

Did you say nothing?
When you were asked what you wanted for
Birthday, Anniversary, Graduation or Christmas.
Don't you remember saying NOTHING
Well this time someone heard you, searched
high and low and found this perfect gift for you.

The 'Mint-Chocolate' Herb Plant has a chocolate and peppermint fragrance that will remind you of an after-dinner dessert! Its attractive spike-toothed leaves are bronze-green and blooms are long, feathery, and lavender-hued. The perennial Chocolate Mint herb needs full sun and does well in most well-drained soils. It reaches a height of up to 18 inches and is a somewhat invasive spreader if not controlled. Bees and butterflies flock to mint flowers. Fresh or dried, this mint is delightful added to teas, coffees, chocolate desserts, and baked goods. It's a beautiful edible garnish!


C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall

Cajun Stitchery

(850) 261-2462

P.S.  You are always welcome to stop by and look at all of the catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

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