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Welcome to the World of Boutis

....where we celebrate all things stitching. Seamsfrench has moved to a new website where the focus is on boutis. However, all other techniques have not been left behind. Framing boutis with other needlework, has opened the door to many possibilities for me. Please come see me at  It would be my pleasure to welcome you there.    Most needleworkers understand the language of quilting and embroidery, but until recently, the word "boutis" was a treasure that remained mostly hidden within the borders of France. Thanks to the efforts of France Boutis and other like minded associations, boutis is slowly being recognized and admired around the world. Although our focus will be on Traditional French Boutis, from time to time we will celebrate other forms of needlework as well. No matter which part of the world we are from, or where our various experiences and interests have taken us, the language of "Stitches" does not need words, it is common to all of us
Recent posts

Salon du Boutis 2022: Contemporary Design

 As long as adherence to the traditional rules of design and technique are carefully observed, contemporary design is welcomed and creativity is encouraged at the Salon.  All of the work in the exhibition have kept these parameters as their primary focus, while allowing individual experiences and contemporary influences into the design choices. Contemporary design can be used very successfully to highlight the beauty of boutis.   To adorn the wedding room in the Mayoral office, the Mayor of Caissargues asked France Boutis to create a collective work that represents Provencal traditions and symbols of marriage. Designed by Hubert Valeri and realized by the members of France Boutis, this tablecloth now covers the table where couples sign the register.   The addition of colour, either with thread, fabric or cording, was seen in much of the work displayed.       Belatrix, the name of this little futuristic design, made quite an impression.  Whether a white on white traditional bed cover,

Salon Nationale du Boutis 2022

Caissargues, France is a satellite community on the outskirts of Nimes in southern France. It is also the home of France Boutis, an association of passionate artisans dedicated to reviving the time honoured needlework tradition of boutis. Boutis is a traditional needlework technique specific to the Provencal region of France. It's origins can be traced to the port city of Marseilles in the 16th century. Here it became a highly popular form of embellishing plain, white cotton fabric and was a much sought-after textile throughout the 18th century. Over later centuries, its popularity declined, but the 21st century has seen a renewed interest in the craft thanks in large part to the active promotion of France Boutis. As suggested by the title of their recently published book, "Apprendre Boutis et Transmettre", (Learn Boutis and Share), France Boutis has worked tirelessy over the last decade to promote and revive this cherished craft, both in France and beyond. Since it's

Boutis: Traditional French Needlework

" 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

A Celebration of Solstice Stars

 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.

Boutis: Hummingbird Gold

With the stitching and cording finished on "Cathedral Boutis Blues" , I have started my next boutis design. Whenever I design a project for myself, I like to make it relevant to my world and my experiences, just like every generation of quilters and designers has always done. Birds have always fascinated me and one of the delights of our balcony garden is the constant flurry of hummingbirds around the 3 feeders my husband faithfully tends. I am thrilled for the opportunity to observe and photograph these delicate creatures at such close range. They have inspired many of my patterns. There is resolve and focused determination in their ability to hover at the feeder with a steady, stable grace. Perhaps that's the reason I admire them and am drawn to them.     In a boutis project, narrow channels form the outline of the design. These channels are stitched first, and then individually corded with a cotton yarn, thereby adding relief that highlights the design.    The colour

Cathedral Window Boutis Blues

Stitched in white, restitched in shades of smoky blues and then finally corded, my boutis interpretation of the Notre Dame Rose window (Rose Sud) was finished over the summer. "Stitching the Boutis Blues" , which was posted on October 10/2019, describes the inspiration and the evolution of this piece. The original intent of the project had been to make a traditional white on white boutis piece. The addition of the cut out "rosettes", a technique that I had been wanting to try for a while, were added to lend a sense of luminosity to the window. With the rosettes done, the stitching was complete and the piece was ready to be corded. But then, on April 15, 2019, when much of  the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris was destroyed in a devastating fire, a pristine, light interpretation of the rose window no longer seemed appropriate. I felt that the piece needed to be darkened, dirtied somehow, to convey this recent destruction. To achieve this darkened smokiness, I started ov