22 October, 2008

a lesson in boutis

Yesterday I had a wonderful day of learning and meeting new quilters at my favorite quilt shop,
 't Quiltgebeuren in the picturesque Brielle.  It's been a while since I've taken a class, and for this one I've waited more than 2 years to be able to learn under a student of Francine Born, a master of boutis.  Carla Erwich was our instructor, a lovely lady and a wonderful teacher.  Willy Alers, the shops' owner, was, as she always is, a wonderful hostess.  She made sure that everyone was comfortable, had everything they needed, and gosh - great lunches!  

Our small class of eight learned how to do boutis,  a 17th C technique from the French Provence.  It basically entails the assembly of two fine pieces of fabric ( cotton bastiste in our case) that are stitched together using a very fine quilting stitches, following a particular motif. Parts of the design are filled using thread (cotton, wool or a blend) to create a high relief.

The design is first drawn onto one layer.  Then the second layer is added underneath and the two are basted together.  The design is stitched through both layers using very fine stitches, and then filled with cotton or blended yarn.  The result is a high relief.  It's a bit of a fiddle at first, as the batiste is not very soft, and the design we had, quite intricate and small.  No fear, Carla our teacher was there to help us every step of the way, with patience and guidance.

Tracing the design onto the bastiste

Stitching over the design - very fine stitches are needed to prevent the filling from peeping out from between the stitching

A moment of silence and concentration....

Filling in the design - how fun it is to see it come alive!

Oh THAT's how you do it!

One of the examples that Carla brought along to show - beautiful!

I really enjoyed this class. Learning something completely new and different always energizes me.  Already, the creative wheels are turning and who knows how this experience will translate through my fingers onto a piece of fabric in perhaps a new way?  I guess you and me both will have to stay tuned to find out!


Cis said...

Hello Heidi, I love the photo's you've made. I cannot see myself because I'm hiding myself :-))
It was a lovely day wasn't it?? We've learned a lot, for sure but now we have to do it on our own. I would like to see the results of your hard labour. It was so nice to meet you and your friend. You're both wonderful people. I'll keep an eye on your blog.

Heidi said...

Hi Sis! thank you so much for stopping by! I really had fun during the lesson and it was a pleasure to meet all of you. I hope our paths will cross soon so we can share our quilting together.

tania said...

wow! looks very skilled- beautiful result!

Kim said...

I like this technique. Thanks for sharing this. Beautiful!

marni said...

this strongly resembles a technique I know called Trapunto where a thin piece of batiste is put over a darker under layer, the design is stitched and then areas are filled with cotton or quilt batting, highly raised areas appear white, while less padded areas show as shadowed in the background color. I have a portrait of Phil with our old devon rex Pellinore curled up on his chest done in this technique which you might remember hung up in our bedroom on deilerweg


Carol R said...

Absolutely gorgeous - can't wait to see your finished heart.

lin said...


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lin said...



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