Break for Boutis

You may recall my post on July 31, 2014, (which I just republished because I somehow returned it to draft mode?!?), in which I showed a few of the boutis projects that I am currently working on. In that post I show one rose window, completed in white batiste, which will become a wall hanging, (stay tuned!), and another rose window that I had just started in the saffron batitse.

Progress in July.

This saffron boutis rose window will become a pin cushion and be partnered with the "cigale" needle fold shown in the post from August 12th.

In this little project, the two basic stitches that I have used  are the back-stitch and the running stitch, as well as variations to the pattern of each stitch. The back-stitch completes the tiny round petals in the center of the design. It is also used in the background, where a variation of the design creates the "point de vauvert" stitch. Everything else is stitched in just a plain running stitch.

In the photo directly below, using a variation to the pattern, the running stitch acts as a filler stitch inside each of the petals. Called "point rapproche", (which means to bring closer together/to create a connection), it is used the way we use a stipple stitch in free motion quilting. I have seen this stitch filling in the entire background of a lap quilt. Now that's a lot of tiny, little stitches!!!

"Point rapproche", filling the inside of the petals with tiny, closely spaced running stitches.

"Point de vauvert", shown in the background pattern below, is a series of short lines, each line made with 3-5 back stitches, and each row off-set from the previous row. When filled with the cording, it makes for an interesting background to frame the central design.

Here the stitching is completed.

The back of the completed work is shown below.

In a perfectly executed piece of, boutis, the back should be stitched as well as the front. It should be completely reversible. Hmm.....!  Let's just say that this one will make a nice pin cushion, with only the top visible.

Cording is the last step in the procedure and is always done from the back, only when all of the stitching is completed.

The cording process has begun.

This little project is currently almost completed and just waiting for the finishing touches. Coming soon.

I will link this post up to the WIP Wednesdays on the Needle and Thread Network.


  1. Am anxious to see them finished! Such tiny stitches.

    1. Thanks Karen. I'm hoping to finish the little pincushion soon.

  2. I'm trying to imagine the time and artistry that would have to go into making a quilt entirely quolted with those beautiful, tiny stitches. Amazing!

    I'm looking forward to seeing the finished piece!

    1. Some of the boutis quilts that I saw in France were so perfectly stitched, that I had to examine them very closely before I believed that it could have been done by hand. Many very talented, (and patient) stitchers in France!

  3. I see you are using yellow cording! Would white show through the front?

    This is such a pretty pattern, and perfect for a pin cushion. Can't wait to see it finished!

    1. I'm not sure if white cording would make a big difference, but because this yellow cotton yarn was something that I had in my stash from a long time ago, I thought I would give it a try. I'm glad that I did for two reasons: first, yellow on yellow gives it a richer colour. And second, I am looking for alternatives to some of the French products, which are not consistently available on-line. This particular yarn was a very good alternative.

      I'm also hoping to see it finished soon!


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