" Piqûre de Marseilles" or "Boutis" is a traditional French hand stitched and corded needlework technique, which uses embroidery stitches to create intricate channels that will later be stuffed with yarn, thereby creating a raised design with three layers. It's origins, and it's name, can be traced to the port of Marseilles in southern France to the 15th century. Traditional boutis was a technique invented to embellish otherwise plain white cotton with intricately patterned channels that would later be stuffed with a plump white yarn to give it relief. The resulting corded whitework created an elegant, embossed textile that was much sought after. Not only was it aesthetically appealing, but it also provided warmth and absorbency, so could be used for bed coverings, toilette linens (like towels), clothing items, home decor, etc. The first two photos below are from the collection of Mme. Monique Alphand, a well known French expert and collector of antique t
December 21st became a real celebration for us when our granddaughter was born on it. Each year on her birthday, the winter solstice, I make her a special star that she can hang on the Christmas tree. Boutis, applique, beading and other bling were used in making these stars. (Every party needs some bling!) Because the project is small, it's a fun way to experiment and play with different techniques and ideas. Here's a small selection of some of the stars that I have made.