Monday, May 30, 2016

Boutis Update

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.

Cathedral window boutis, held up against the light.

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.

Close up of back-stitch used on Cathedral Window.

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 piece. My small collection of silks had been tempting me for a while, so I decided it was time to give them some attention. 

The collection of dupioni silks that I will use for the jewel box covers.

This pattern has been adapted from a previous pattern to accommodate a round top.


The diameter of the pattern is 4 1/2 inches, a little larger than the box to accommodate the shrinkage that occurs because of the close stitching and the cording.

The box is just a paper mache box bought at a local craft store.

Below, the project is stitched and ready to be corded. Using mostly the running stitch, it stitched up quite quickly.


The stitching is more visible on the back. The two rows of broken lines near the perimeter form a pattern called "point de Vauvert". Each little section of the line is comprised of 3 evenly spaced backstitches, where the thread travels between the layers to get from one line to the next.


Working with white fabric is always a bit nerve-racking. Aside from the normal handling that leaves it's mark, fingers do get pricked, coffee can splash, pens can leak, etc. It's always a relief when a project is completed without disaster, as was the case with the butterfly pouch below. Enter a "show and tell" around our dinner table a few weeks ago, where strawberry parfaits had just been served. BIG MISTAKE! In my enthusiasm to regale my friends with boutis lore, (on their request, may I add) my over excited, uncontrolled hands sent my strawberry coated spoon sailing through the air, landing directly on the lower right hand corner of the stitched butterfly pouch below. It seems my hands were not the only things uncontrolled at that point. My poor little 4 legged friend Winston had to have his ears covered. Apparently my choice of words, prompted by the near disaster, were not appropriate for such delicate ears. My most sincere apologies Winston.

The strawberry fell just to the right of the stitched butterfly.

The story does have happy ending however. Immediate rinsing and soaking the stain overnight in a bath of warm water and Orvus soap completely removed it. Whew! Disaster averted, lesson learned and best of all, still friends with Winston.