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!

20 October, 2008

a place for snippets

It's been a while, and it's been very quiet on my blog, but behind the scenes I've been sewing like a demon!  That, and well, helping to build a chapel and plan the music for a virtual wedding in Second Life for a good friend.
In between the larger quilting projects that I've been working on, some time was put aside to make some quick things, as you do, to maintain the feeling of accomplishment.

Here's a quick shot of a snippets dispenser made last week. My quilting buddy An and I get together on Wednesdays and once in a while, when the mood strikes us, we try out a new pattern. After making a paper version to check if we understood the directions, we each made one in practically no time at all! Now mine is hanging off the back of the couch, right in the spot where I love to curl up and sew.

Here's the Texas Star UFO that's next on the list: I finally found the right backing fabric for the sober, simple look that I want.  The "shot cotton" from Kaffe Fassett is a very nice compliment to the central star and points of this block.  As soon as the log cabin is done, this will be next in line - it will be hand quilted.  A nice cozy thing to do on winter evenings!

As for other news, I'm really excited about finally (after a 2 year wait!) taking a course to learn Boutis.  Perhaps one day I'll realize my dream of having that white on white quilt adorning the bed, a beautiful family heirloom.  I'll promise to do my best and take pictures to post to share with you!

...and thanks Heidi for the poke to post!  I was surprised myself that time had gone by so quickly, but I'm back, and will be with more regularity.  It's very nice to know I was missed...lol!
It's just that sometimes I get caught up in my projects, with total focus, and forget about the blog...it's that groove thing again!

have a happy Monday all!

01 October, 2008

half way there!

It's the half-way point for this quilt top.  18 blocks made, 18 to go.  Thought it time to have a look and see what it would look like...
It's darker than I thought it would be now that I've thrown some blocks on the floor  -  so I made make some lighter blocks to add in the mix.

Oh, and don't pay any mind to my blue sock and black sock.  The tootsies are warm, and on this stormy and wet day - that's all that counts!


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