Skip to main content

Break for Boutis

You may recall my post on July 31, 2014, (which I just republished because I somehow returned it to draft mode?!?), in which I showed a few of the boutis projects that I am currently working on. In that post I show one rose window, completed in white batiste, which will become a wall hanging, (stay tuned!), and another rose window that I had just started in the saffron batitse.

Progress in July.

This saffron boutis rose window will become a pin cushion and be partnered with the "cigale" needle fold shown in the post from August 12th.

In this little project, the two basic stitches that I have used  are the back-stitch and the running stitch, as well as variations to the pattern of each stitch. The back-stitch completes the tiny round petals in the center of the design. It is also used in the background, where a variation of the design creates the "point de vauvert" stitch. Everything else is stitched in just a plain running stitch.

In the photo directly below, using a variation to the pattern, the running stitch acts as a filler stitch inside each of the petals. Called "point rapproche", (which means to bring closer together/to create a connection), it is used the way we use a stipple stitch in free motion quilting. I have seen this stitch filling in the entire background of a lap quilt. Now that's a lot of tiny, little stitches!!!

"Point rapproche", filling the inside of the petals with tiny, closely spaced running stitches.

"Point de vauvert", shown in the background pattern below, is a series of short lines, each line made with 3-5 back stitches, and each row off-set from the previous row. When filled with the cording, it makes for an interesting background to frame the central design.

Here the stitching is completed.

The back of the completed work is shown below.

In a perfectly executed piece of, boutis, the back should be stitched as well as the front. It should be completely reversible. Hmm.....!  Let's just say that this one will make a nice pin cushion, with only the top visible.

Cording is the last step in the procedure and is always done from the back, only when all of the stitching is completed.

The cording process has begun.

This little project is currently almost completed and just waiting for the finishing touches. Coming soon.

I will link this post up to the WIP Wednesdays on the Needle and Thread Network.


  1. Am anxious to see them finished! Such tiny stitches.

    1. Thanks Karen. I'm hoping to finish the little pincushion soon.

  2. I'm trying to imagine the time and artistry that would have to go into making a quilt entirely quolted with those beautiful, tiny stitches. Amazing!

    I'm looking forward to seeing the finished piece!

    1. Some of the boutis quilts that I saw in France were so perfectly stitched, that I had to examine them very closely before I believed that it could have been done by hand. Many very talented, (and patient) stitchers in France!

  3. I see you are using yellow cording! Would white show through the front?

    This is such a pretty pattern, and perfect for a pin cushion. Can't wait to see it finished!

    1. I'm not sure if white cording would make a big difference, but because this yellow cotton yarn was something that I had in my stash from a long time ago, I thought I would give it a try. I'm glad that I did for two reasons: first, yellow on yellow gives it a richer colour. And second, I am looking for alternatives to some of the French products, which are not consistently available on-line. This particular yarn was a very good alternative.

      I'm also hoping to see it finished soon!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Blocking and Squaring Boutis

The door of her cage has been opened. She is free to fly off and find her destiny.

After many months of hand stitching and then many more months of cording, my little "calibri" is ready to set off on her own. As this was my first attempt at designing so large a boutis piece, it has been a bit of a learning curve. All of the tight swirls, curls and circles are a great deal more difficult and time consuming to cord then are the longer more gentle channels. Maintaining an even tension is absolutely necessary throughout the process, so patience comes in very handy when doing the cording.

Once all of the stitching and cording is complete, the boutis must be washed and squared up. After it is soaked overnight in a basin of water with a mild detergent, it gets rinsed gently in several clear washes, then rolled in a towel to remove the excess water. 

The final step is the blocking process. There are a number of ways to block a boutis piece, but I have found that the easiest metho…

Amazing Applique by Yoko Saito

The quilt exposition in Nantes "Pour L'amour du Fil" was filled with a number of highlights. Certainly one of the more memorable experiences was seeing the works of Yoko Saito in person.
"Elegant" is the word that best describes Yoko Saito's quilts. Although her palette is neutral, the lights and darks play very well together to create a perfect balance to the quilt. To say that the applique is amazing is an understatement. The perfectly formed 1/4" circles and the tiny leaves and stems are inspirational. And of course, the hand quilting is perfect. For the final touch, she uses embroidery as adornment in much the same way that the perfect pair of earrings complete the look of the little black dress. The opportunity to see her quilts in person has been truly inspirational.

The photos in order:
- Yoko Saito in her booth on the floor of the show
- "Pointsettia" - by Yoko Saito
- "Spring of Sweden" close -up - by Yoko Saito

Alsace Quilts

A quilt show is a great place to be inspired and to celebrate our craft with other artisans. Spread throughout the town of Ste. Marie-Aux-Mines, as well as 2 other nearby towns, this show did not disappoint in either way. There were many fantastic quilts to marvel at, and even more fantastic people to meet and share ideas with.

When at these shows, time is always at a premium, so I prioritized the exhibits that I hoped to see and did my best to get there. Here are a few of the highlights.

The first exhibit we saw were the Canadian quilts. Just as with the Amish quilts, a church acted as the gallery. Churches make great venues for displaying quilts.

Libby Lehman is very well known throughout the quilt world for her free motion machine quilting and threadwork. As she was the featured artist at this year's show, there was a large retrospective display of her quilts. I am more familiar with her current work, so it was quite a surprise to see her more traditional earlier work. It was a…