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The Art of Boutis

by Kumiko Nakayama-Geraerts
Retail: $22.95   24% off
$17.55 AVAILABLE 8/8/14


Boutis is a classic style of embroidery practiced in Southern France, and it's been popular since the 17th Century. This book showcases projects from baby clothes, placemats, covers, handbags, pillows, and more. Create sophisticated, traditional, and very beautiful handmade gifts perfect for baby showers, weddings, housewarmings, and events. Accessorize just about anything with this beautiful technique! Full-sized patterns and clear instructions are presented throughout this book.

Techniques: boutis, embroidery, general sewing

20 projects - 128 color pgs. Item No. 45970


  • Staff Review 
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I have long admired boutis quilts from the Provence region of France. The intricate quilting, popular in Southern France since the 17th century, is often done with white thread on white fabric. Provençal prints and toiles were also used. Historically, popular items done in boutis were wedding skirts, later cut up into clothes and gifts for the woman’s babies, and bedding. The embroidered stitching and raised effect of the designs is so lovely. I never considered trying this type of needlework until I read The Art of Boutis: 20 French Quilting Projects by Kumiko Nakayama-Geraerts.

The author makes this technique accessible with clear instructions and illustrations and manageable small projects. Two layers of fabric are basted together and placed in an embroidery hoop. A design is embroidered with common stitches such as the running stitch, backstitch, and stem stitch. Then filler, such as cotton yarn or cotton roving, is inserted between the layers with hand sewing needles. This differs from trapunto in that there are no holes on the back where stuffing is inserted; this makes the work reversible! Since the top layer is a sheer fabric like batiste, subtle color may be added by incorporating color into the yarn or bottom layer of fabric. Ideally, when a boutis is held up to the light, it appears almost transparent except in the opaque, filled areas. I am excited to start with adapting the business card holder to a hand sewing needle holder. Next, I want to make the charming heart-shaped pillow that could later be used as ring pillow for a wedding. The book has so many ideas for clothing, bags, and home decor; I am sure anyone wanting to try this artistic needlework would find something to inspire them!

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