French Boutis Needlework

It has been quite a month…broken…dead computer and my DH and I were traveling for several weeks.  I am very much behind on my finishing, but the class I was preparing for took precedence.  I did get some finishes completed, but I will save them for the next post. New Etsy site is now running.

For fifteen years now I have been an avid fan and student of French Boutis Needlework.  My dear French friend, Nicole, sent me a piece as a gift when my granddaughter, Sophia, was born.  I was enthralled by the exquisite detail of this needlework.  Via the internet and some lovely books she sent me, Nicole, patiently taught me how to do this. And over the years my dear friend, Maggy, has sent me LOTS of wonderful books and magazines regarding French Boutis. I have perused all of them over and over and learned and dreamed.

Boutis Heart

Boutis Heart

I set aside the Boutis for a while in favor of other stitching and quilting, but my interest was revived when I met my friend, Elizabeth.  Elizabeth is a talented “boutiseusse” and a designer extraordinaire.  She asked me to pilot her pattern and this was the result.

Boutis Needlecase 1

Boutis Needlecase 2

Boutis Needlecase 3

Together we taught a class using her “Cicada Needle Book” pattern for the Great Lakes Region of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America this past weekend on Saturday. We spent MANY hours over the summer preparing kits and researching other necessities for the class.  We had 25 women students who very much enjoyed this new, but exquisite technique.

Boutis Cicada Class 1

Besides the necessities in each kit, we included a lovely handmade lavender sachet and a piece of “Merci” chocolate. We even had a drawing for a beautiful boutis project bag, three of Elizabeth’s new “Rose Window” kits were given away, as well as three of my new “Boutis Ornament” kits. Everyone enjoyed the day.

Boutis Cicada Class Kit 2

Karen (Averyclaire) and Elizabeth (Seams French)

Karen (Averyclaire) and Elizabeth (Seams French)

Boutis Cicada Class 4

Elizabeth is currently in the process of creating a new website and Etsy shop that will not be ready until mid to the end of October. Her current blog is Seams French. She also designed a “Rose Window” box which I finished for her. It can be finished as a small round box or table mat or wall hanging or any other creative ideas you might have! If anyone is interested in Elizabeth’s patterns you can leave her a message on her present blog site and I am sure she will let you know when the items are ready for sale.

Boutis Rose Window Box

This summer I stitched a boutis piece from Hubert Valeri at Boutisarchi.  His website has many modern patterns and is a feast of eye candy for the interested boutis seeker. The piece is done on two pieces of white batiste (no batting), stitched with a variegated green quilting thread in a “point d’arriere” (back stitch).  All boutis is translucent when held up to the light and is completely reversible.

Boutis Celtic Arbor 1

Boutis Celtic Arbor 2

Over the summer I designed three French Boutis Christmas Ornaments which will be for sale on my new ETSY site. There is an Etsy link on the side of my blog now.  I have included in each kit enough materials for three ornaments which includes everything necessary to make them.  These ornaments are a simple, easy, small project with which to learn the basics of French Boutis.  I think you will be as enthused about this lovely needle work technique as I am.

Boutis Ornaments 1

Boutis Ornie Kit 1

Boutis Kit Contents 1

Here are some Boutis blog sites to visit:

“Seams French”: (Elizabeth Janzen): http://www.seamsfrench.blogspot
“Boutis Provence”:(Madame Francine Born): http://www.boutis-provence.com
“France Boutis”: http://www.franceboutis.canalblog.com (The local boutis association in Nimes in the South of France)
“Boutis Archi”: (M Hubert Valeri): http://www.boutisarchi.com (contemporary)
“CRE-DO”: (Dominique Fave): http://www.dominiquefave.com (contemporary)
La Maison du Boutis (Madame Francine Nicole): http://www.la-maison-du-boutis.fr (traditional)

Hopefully my new little substitute computer will hold out until my new/old one is repaired!  It sure is hard to get used to somethings all over again and again!

Amities, Averyclaire

Boutis

I have loved this beautiful type of hand quilting for a long time. This is my first project.

Boutis is a french type of quilting.   Two layers of thin batiste fabric are layered together and the design is quilted with a small quilting (or running) stitch.   A #22 or #24 tapestry needle is threaded with a quilting thread.  This loop then carries a cotton yarn.   The cotton yarn is drawn through all of the channels and the design areas “stuffing” them.   The boutis is transparent when held up to the light. Beautiful quilts and clothing were made long ago by talented french women using this technique.

A couple of my friends living in France (Maggy and Nicole) sent me several books and patterns.   Nicole sent me a lovely boutis piece she made as a gift.   She also wrote to me and explained the process.   I didn’t read the instructions properly and didn’t know about the needle looped with thread. Unfortunately I threaded a needle which was TOO long directly with the yarn.    This made my holes much too large and some are still visible.    And I really didn’t know what to do when I finished.   Luckily I found a lovely blog and Elizabeth was kind enough to help me out and answer my many questions regarding boutis.

I also made the mistake of beginning to pull the yarn through on the right side of the project rather than on the wrong side…hence you can see the holes I left by using a skewer to assist in the “stuffing”… my needle was actually all I needed.   Hopefully next time my piece will look a LOT better.  Trial and Error!!!

Sending you BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Amities, Averyclaire

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