Skip to main content

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 over stitching one row of arches with a simple stem stitch in a  smoky blue silk thread.  When the one row of arches didn't achieve the effect that I was going for, I added some blue background stitches to areas of the window that would not be corded, (almost like a stipple stitch is used when free motion quilting). (See above). Once that first row of arches was restitched, it became clear that the whole piece needed to follow suit.

This was a gradual process and over the next few months, the stitching was completed, (for the second time), and the rose window was ready to be corded. But it wasn't until the Covid lock down in spring that I picked it up again and finished the piece with the cording.

Traditionally, boutis is corded with a white cotton yarn, but in order to deepen the smoky hues, I chose a steel blue cotton yarn to cord through the pre-stitched channels.

Now the smoky boutis Rose Window is complete. The last step will be to incorporate the rose window into a quilted framework, similar to the way I finished my  Boutis Hummingbird quilt.




  1. I don’t think I have ever seen this post! I am so sorry! Your methods and story are fascinating. You are truly creative and a master at this delicate work! Love the blue! 💕

  2. Your Cathedral window is an extraordinary piece of BEAUTIFUL WORK .... Mrs Magic fingers .... bravooooooooooooo...😍🌻🐝🐝🌻😍😍🌻🐝🌻😍


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Whole Cloth Quilt Silk: Finished

"Dancing Shamrocks" , as I have named her, is finally finished and on the bed. My hope had been to finish the quilt for our 40th wedding Anniversary, which was March 17th. 2019! It was in May of 2018 that I was ready to start the machine quilting. By November of that year, the top of the quilt was finished with only the border left to quilt. A 2019 finish seemed quite possible. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances put the project on hold from Dec.2018 until October 2019. However, from then until it's finish in April of this year, my sewing machine and I have been best of buds. Even so, we didn't quite make it for March 17th of this year, our 41st, but came close. The last stitch closing the binding went in on April 24, 2020. When squaring up so large quilt (94" x 100"), a clean floor is my only option and the parquet flooring gives me great reference points for getting it square. Unfortunately, when I laid it out, setting up for advantag

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 "colibri" 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.  If some of the pencil lines have not disappeared after the inital soaking, it can be soaked again, as often as is necessary

Whole Cloth Silk Quilt: Quilting Progress

Stitch by Stitch and Line by Line When I started the first rough sketches for a quilt for our bed back in 2013, I had no idea it would take this long to finally get the quilt to the quilting stage. As the ideas came and went, and we came and went to and from France every six months, the designs got altered, rejected, put on hold and restarted many times. Staying at home for the last few years, progress was actually possible. Thanks to Autocad and my husband's input, the design finally came together early this year.  Whew! The quilt is now well on it's way, with a hoped for finish before 2019. (Fingers crossed!) Most of the outline got quilted before the chalk lines disappeared. All major design lines are outlined with 1/2" channels. Using a quilting ruler (in this case Kelly Cline's straight edge ruler ) is very helpful for accuracy. I love these rulers and am getting pretty comfortable with the ones used for stitching straight lines. On my next p