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Break for Boutis

Blocking Boutis:

Between all of the machine sewing and quilting that have kept me gainfully occupied over the last few months, I have taken a little time to work on my boutis.

You may remember the little saffron coloured boutis rose window below from my post on October 15, 2014 . Once stitched and corded, it was soaked in a basin of warm water with a little gentle soap (such as Orvis), and then straightened and squared up with thumb tacks on a heavy sheet of styrofoam. It was originally destined to become a pin cushion, however, at 5" x 5", I find it too large to be practical for that use. Currently, it's ultimate destiny is undetermined.

I used only 2 basic stitches on this piece: the running stitch and the back stitch. For more info on the stitches and their variations, click on the above link.

Done a number of years ago, the little cicada used in both of the pieces below was my first attempt at boutis design. Most of the stitching and cording had been completed at that time, and now required only a little more cording to finish. It's very simple design allowed for a little fun in the "glam-it-up" department, so I added some more embroidery (French knots) as well as some beading.

Washed and drying on the "blocking board".

All of the channels, as well as the filler stitch in the wings, were stitched with the running stitch. The legs were embroidered using a stem stitch. And little crystal beads were added as a final embellishment.

Stitched the same as the previous cicada, this one has French Knots added as a filler in the wings.

They measure approximately 5" x 6" and will mounted into card stock and make for a special little birthday card (or something!).


  1. The cicadas look great, and I am wondering if I have seen them before, or if you have another design with cicadas?

    I still love that background fill on the rose window, and the whole design is really nice. 5" x 5" is not huge, but I agree, I prefer small pincushions too. What about a fabric covered box?

    1. You are right about seeing the cicadas before. Way back in 2011, I came up with the cicada design to teach to the interested parties at a family gathering. I had never quite finished them, so when I found them recently. I decided that it would be a fairly quick finish. It was. Now they just need to be mounted. Stay tuned, but don't hold your breath!

      A box is a good idea for the rose window boutis. Thanks for that. Whatever it will end up being, it's got to be easy and quick to finish up!

  2. Love your blog...and i am in love with your needlecase.

  3. The rose window is quite lovely! And your cicadas are really sweet, too. I love the idea of mixing your work into cards - whoever ends up receiving them will no doubt be delighted!

    1. Thanks Michelle. Glad you stopped by. Been missing you on your blog!


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