Skip to main content

Rose Window Boutis

Design and Assembly

When working with  a smaller project, like the rose window boutis below, there is the ever present question of how to finish it. Regardless of whether I am quilting, embroidering or stitching boutis, I like the piece to serve a purpose; be useful in some way. Averyclaire, quilter and embroiderer extraordinaire, is a Whizzz at creative, beautifully constructed finishes and never seems to run out of ideas. In fact, she runs a little finishing business, where she will finish other people's embroidered work, all with meticulous care and craftsmanship.  But for me, it's always a bit of a quandary.


So, how to finish this little 5" x 5" boutis square. Since the inspiration for the initial boutis design was a rose window,  I thought, why not make it into a wall hanging of a larger rose window, with machine quilting framing the boutis.


One of the things that I love most about Europe is it's multitude of historical buildings, of which most are still very much in use today. Cathedrals, in particular, provide a huge source of design inspiration for me. From floor to ceiling, inside to out,  they hold a treasure trove of motifs and patterns. So consequently, a large portion of my photographs are of churches and cathedrals. Rose windows, in particular, fascinate me and seem to have become a recurring theme when I'm designing my boutis. One of the reasons is that the patterns in these windows easily lend themselves to boutis design.

Below is a photo of a rose window taken in Paris a number of years ago. It was seeing this particular window for the first time that I had the idea it could easily be translated into a pattern of channels required for stitching boutis. Ironically, this building is not even a cathedral, but rather it is Paris City Hall in the "premier arrondissement". Never mind that, the rose window is still beautiful.


That rose window became the springboard for the original 5" x 5" boutis piece, as well as the quilting design that will frame the boutis.

My initial design process.
Included are 2 photos of actual cathedrals.

Below is the final quilting design, (a loose interpretation of the original). The blank square in the center of the circle is where the boutis will be reverse appliqued into place.

The inner circles were drawn prematurely and should not be there.

Below, the quilting pattern has been traced onto some white batiste, and the boutis square has been reverse appliqued into the center.


The back of the boutis is trimmed to 1/4 inch. It will be sandwiched between the layers of batting and backing.


Next, the entire circular window is reverse appliqued into a gray fabric, which will form the stone tower for my rose window.


Both the front and back of the boutis should be visible in the finished product. Therefore, batting and backing are aligned with the front and a 5 " square is cut out of both materials where the back of the boutis will remain visible. The backing fabric encloses the batting and is appliqued to the back side of the boutis.


When all 3 layers have been attached to the boutis, the rest of the quilt is sandwiched, pinned and ready for machine quilting. More on that next time...



Comments

  1. Whoa! This is ambitious and it's going to be gorgeous! You are doing some really creative work combining boutis with FMQ. How big will the finished piece be?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your vote of confidence. Once I decided how to finish the piece, it was actually easier to design then some because the pics provided the pattern. The finished piece, point to base, is 31" x 16"; wall hanging size.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Szczęśliwe grettings pikowania do Ciebie. Dzięki za zatrzymanie się.

      Delete
  3. Wow....this is amazing !!!!
    I love it.
    Greetings from Germany, Grit

    ReplyDelete
  4. So beautiful!! I love how you come up with a design from the rose window. If I do that my brain hurts. At a smocking guild meeting this week, one of the members said she has three different boutis books, and not one of them has any directions for finishing. It's like the quilt instructions that give all the directions for piecing, then leaves it with "quilt as desired", which frustrates me no end. I can't wait to see your machine quilting, I'm so bad at it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cynthia. I know what you mean by the "quilt as desired" instructions. (It's like the "bake until done" recipes!).

      I can "qvetsch" something awful about how to finish a project, so in the end, I usually go for a technique that I enjoy and hopefully, the resulting item will be something useful as well.

      I'm sure that your machine quilting is better then my hand smocking:)

      Delete

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

Amish Hand Quilting in France with Esther Miller

Esther Miller, was born into an Amish family in the U.S., and now lives in Germany where she has for many years taught the techniques and methods of Amish hand quilting to anyone interested in learning these skills. As a child, she would closely watch as the women of her community worked together on a quilt, and eventually she was rewarded with a needle of her own and encouraged to join the group. Through the years, she has mastered these skills and techniques and now generously shares them with anyone who has a genuine desire to learn.



Last week, at the "European Meeting of Patchwork" in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines, in Alsace France, www.patchwork-europe.com, I had the privilege of taking a 2 day workshop with Esther. The Amish quilting method requires a free-standing simple wooden frame upon which the 3 layers of the quilt have been stretched. To accomodate the 18 women in the class, Esther set up 3 quilt frames, with 6 students at each frame. Because the quilt is on a large, unm…