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Showing posts from 2016

Scrap Buster IV: Redwork Strip Trees

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My 4th and last scrap quilt of the year uses up most of the reds and neutrals in the scrap stash, much of which had already been precut into strips.


Early in the year, soon after I started this adventure of improv quilting with scraps and stash reduction, I realized how seriously out of my comfort zone the exercise was taking me. To the rescue came several books. Among them is Alexandra Ledgerwood's book, "Improvising Tradition" which focuses on using precut strips.  By clarifying her process of "pairing improvised elements and techniques with traditional designs and methods", she has calmed some of the fear and chaos that improv quilting brings to my mind.


Because so much of my scrap stash is precut strips, I found the book particularly appealing. Her pattern "Paper and Plums" with the 12 1/2 inch equilateral triangles was perfect for all of the red and neutral strips in the stash.


The strips are sewn into 12 1/2 inch widths and then cut at precise…

Boutis Christmas Ornaments

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Celebrating the 1st Advent with Boutis

Just in time for the season, I finished these three elegant little boutis ornaments designed by my friend Karen at Averyclaire NeedleArts and available as a kit in her ETSY shop. Using only a running stitch, these ornaments come together quickly and easily following Karen's clearly written instructions.


Included in the kit are all materials required to finish the project, including three different colours of yarn. From time to time, a hint of colour may be added to boutis by cording the channels with a coloured yarn instead of the traditional white.  I chose to do the first ornament below, "Noel", using only red yarn for the cording.


The snowflake is done in the traditional white on white.


The colours of yarn included in the kit are white, red and green. The last ornament has been corded with all three colours.

There are a number of ways to finish the edges of a boutis piece. The most common, and the method I used on the first two…

Boutis Solstice Stars

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A Pocketful of Starlight

When the lovely Lady H (grand daughter extraordinaire) made her debut into the world on the winter solstice of 2014,  the quilt to mark her arrival was filled with a galaxy of stars to wish upon.


To make sure she never runs out of stars upon which to wish, on each winter solstice another star will be added to the collection. The label on the back of the quilt was made into a little pocket; a place she can safely keep these wishes and promises.


Year 1 (below) was celebrated with beading and hand embroidery.


Year 2 is coming up very quickly, and boutis will mark this years celebration. Some beading and embroidery will very likely will likely find it's way into the design as well.


Below is a variation of the same star set into a circular border of "point de vauvert", (the same pattern surrounding the perimeter of  the saffron rose window shade). A little too large for the "pocket", this white on white boutis ornament could swing in a win…

Saffron Boutis Window Shade

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This saffron window shade is the second version of my Parisian rose window boutis. As in the first wall hanging, this one is also framed with free motion quilting.


When I originally designed the pattern, I made two versions of it. One on a white batiste, which became a wall hanging, and the second on this ochre coloured batiste.

Using the same technique of reverse applique for finishing, I framed it with a 1/2 inch brown border before being setting into the background.

Because this piece will be illuminated from behind, to do it justice I felt it should have another section of boutis, where light from the window could work it's magic. I made a smaller version of the same pattern, using only the center  rosette. This was also framed with the brown border.

This done, I felt it needed even more definition so I added another saffron border before placing it into the lighter yellow background fabric which would be finished with machine quilting.

With the top completed, the batting was…

Start Me up and Let me Sew

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Scrap III: Flower Garden

Having taken Scrap II, "Winging It", as far as I could with that particular set of scraps, it was time to decide on the next stash buster quilt.

Knowing that I would have very limited time for actual sewing throughout the spring and summer, I looked for something quick and easy to stitch together. Although technically Flower Garden is in the category of "unfinished project" as opposed to being from the official scrap stash,  it still helps achieve my goal of stash reduction.


Back in the winter of 2005, as we were already preparing for our move to France, I decided to participate in one last class with my small quilting group. The pattern for this quilt top is a simple 4 patch block separated by sashing and set on point.

At the time, the 35 - 40 calicoes and small floral prints that I chose for this quilt were all cut into 4" squares. There were hundreds of 4" squares. The 1" beige sashing had also been cut to the different le…

The Embroidery of Boutis meets the Great Lakes Region EGA

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"The Embroidery of Boutis" is a direct translation of the term, "la Broderie de Boutis". As a quilter, I have thought more in quilt related terms when it comes to boutis, however, as it's name suggests, the French consider boutis more in terms of embroidery. So how very appropriate that a group of embroiderers would be interested in learning more about this French technique.

For about the last 6 months, my attention has been focused on writing a basic instruction manual for boutis and creating kits for a few of my designs.  After I had finished my first cicada needlebook, I wrote some basic instructions for it and asked my friend Karen, (averyclaire.org), to "test drive" the pattern and instructions. Karen and I had met on-line a number of years prior to this through our mutual interest in boutis. Not only has she done a beautiful job in recreating the pattern herself, her feedback on the instructions has been extremely helpful for the rewrite and it…

Boutis Update

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Cathedral Window, Silk Jewels and Brush with a Balistic Strawberry

Over the last several weeks, a great deal of my stitching time has been devoted to boutis; there is the on-going stitching on some of the larger projects, other projects where the stitching has been completed, as well as some new designs and patterns in the works. Below are a few of these projects.

Holding a boutis piece up against the light makes the stitching a lot easier to see. Below is the progress so far on my cathedral window.


The next photo shows a close-up of the stitching. Aside from the small circles, which will become rosettes, most of the piece is being stitched using a tiny backstitch. The backstitch slows down the process, but it enhances the channels and gives the pattern more definition once corded.


A very recent project is a series of silk keepsake box covers. I love the look of silk with boutis, with it's rich and vibrant colours that add a touch of drama to the relief in the finished corded pie…