Thanks for visiting ! Please leave me comments, I love to read what you might think about the boutis (which is also known as "Broderie de Marseille"), please share with me what you have seen, what you love, how-tos, good museums to visit, pattern origins, and so on ..... you get the idea !
Every year, my favorite quilt shop, Country Quilts n Bears in Clearwater, FL, offers a Christmas mystery. I have gone to all of them except one, I think, and this year I was not able to go. However, I did have a kit reserved and so therefore was able to sew it for myself. I love this scrappy quilt, it was a lot of fun to sew (and I am not a good piecer !) and I am planning on making a couple more of these. I am keeping the old fashioned look and not adding a border to this one. It's about 50 x 70 inches.
I have had a Singer Featherweight for several years, but just on Sunday afternoon when I got out this kit, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get out the machine and really play with it. I enjoyed it so much that my big machine is staying in the closet for a while ! For simple piecing it is great, and I feel I can piece better because the machine is lower and I can see what I am doing.
I have written about this Christmas mystery before. It has always been a lot of fun, someone different designs the quilt each time, sometimes there is a color choice and sometimes not, there are always many participants, and it is a fun way to collect up some Christmas quilts. I still have a few of them "maturing" unfinished, but several are among my very favorite quilts. Can't wait to see what they think of for next year !
I was asked recently what the meaning is of "boutis". As with many such things, the true origin of the word is lost in the mists of time, but there are some theories regarding its origin.
I would recommend that you read any publications you might have on the subject, such as Francine Nicolle's first book, and decide for yourself which derivation you prefer. There really doesn't seem to be a right or wrong answer. The following is a brief summary of some opinions.
The origin of the word "Boutis" is a subject of some controversy. According to Frederic Mistral's Provencal work "Lou tresor dou Felibrige", boutis is derived from the Italian "imbottito" meaning stuffed, filled, and comes from the time when Marseille was a free port recruiting embroiderers from Sicily.
Others prefer the old name for the wooden needle used to complete this delicate work.
Yet another opinion is that the word derives from the old provencal "boutiholo" meaning bubble, or vesicle (a reference to the raised, stuffed motifs).
It is a fact that the ladies of Marseille and surroundings used their imaginations and busy fingers to create wonderful works of relief out of necessity. The beautiful cottons imported from the East, with their colorfastness and fascinating designs and reasonable price, became very popular quickly, leading the king to decree that they may not be freely sold. He did however, allow the sale of plain white cotton goods to continue unrestricted.
If you know of other sources for an interpretation of the word boutis, please write with your comments.
I have been meaning to post pictures from this show, but work and other things have got in the way, and I am amazed that the show was already two weeks ago and I have not written about it. The Feather Princesses is a wonderful applique guild from Tampa, I am a sadly absent member most of the time since they meet during the week. However, I was able to go to the show one evening, and although every single quilt was truly beautiful, here are a few of my personal favorites.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and enjoyed the company of friends and family.
Next post I will be writing about the origins of the word "boutis" since I had a question about that recently.
I was very lucky on my travels to come across a very old, very damaged little petasson. It was love at first sight of course and I wanted to purchase it. The stallholder, however, said that it was not for sale, she keeps it only to explain to tourists what a real boutis is. So we continued to talk for a while about all things boutis, it was a pleasant conversation. Imagine my surprise when she said that after all, she would be willing to sell it to me since I have some knowledge of the boutis and it would be in safe hands. According to the seller, this petasson is from the Nimes area. I have not dared to wash it yet, but I have traced the pattern and I am going to stitch it again myself, so that the original can be preserved but we can enjoy the pattern and work it represents. I did have to re-interpret the center somewhat, it is very damaged and there were a couple of areas where I could not see exactly what the design was. I hope I have stayed true to the spirit though.
There is a major exhibition starting this month at the International Quilt Study Center on Marseille whitework/corded quilting - well, what we call boutis. It is curated by Kathryn Berenson, and she has written a new book to accompany this exhibit. I received mine last week (ordered through Amazon) and for those as passionate about the history of boutis as I am, it is a treasure.
The study center allows one to sign up to receive a link to a quilt of the month, and you've guessed it, this month it is a petasson with a link to three more.
Here are a few more glimpses of our time in Provence. There is even a picture of myself, Lou, and Isabelle from our day in Marseille to visit the Chateau Gombert.
It is a real pleasure for me to spend the days quietly, with a free choice of what to do, and looking at old buildings. Where we live in Florida, there is nothing really old, so I appreciate the sense of permanence there always is in old buildings.
We also really enjoy the fall days, again something we rarely see here. With the weather becoming colder towards the end of our trip, there was a definite change in the leaf colors and the view over vineyards, turning from golden to red.
On Friday October 8th, Lou and I went to the exhibition at the Foyer Communal in Calvisson, which is on the subject of boutis every two years. Alternate years there is a different topic.
We wanted to listen to the lectures, which were given by Francine Nicolle, Mme Alphand on the subject of Jupons Jardiniers, and M. Combe on the subject of his armoires-creches. The pictures here of the jupons jardiniers were taken with the express permission of the owner - an announcement was made during the conference that an exceptional permission was given by Mme Alphand to photograph the exhibited two jupons.
There were a number of boutis exhibited, traditional designs and mostly reproductions of antiques shown in Mme Nicolle's books. There was no permission given for photos. The Tristan quilt was exhibited in the middle of the room, showing a true-to-original reroduction in linen and ecru thread.
We met up with Nini http://ninipetitsboutis.blogspot.com for lunch at the Crepe Savante, and spent a pleasant afternoon together talking about (what else !) boutis and stitching ..... reading books about (you guessed it !) boutis and discussing the regional differences in presentation and stitching. Nini commented that the stitching, stuffing and overall appearance of boutis in this area is finer than that further south, where it is sturdier and stitches are bigger. She made me a lovely gift of a little "cigale" and a beautiful lavender sachet which you can see on the top photo. I bought a couple of patterns and a lovely book on local costume.
We spent some time in the Maison du Boutis as well, which I actually enjoyed more than the expo. The pieces are simply exquisite, and it is a real pleasure to look at them and marvel at the detail, workmanship, and the fact that they have survived so much in such wonderful condition. There were many people there that day, and it was such a pleasure to listen to everyone's comments and see what they enjoyed about each piece.
Lou and I went to Arles on the first Wednesday for the brocante market. It was a bright and sunny day, ideal for wandering along looking for treasures. We both bought a "pique fleurs" to hold our embroidery scissors, such a great new use for the old-fashioned vases which were never very kind to flowers anyway ! Lou spotted hers first (she has a very sharp eye LOL) and so she got a very nice one with a base of pewter and elegant little feet. I bought a very nice monogrammed linen sheet, a long rectangular table runner ideal for my long table, and of course the pique-fleurs. We spent some time looking at old embroidery newspapers, there were even some with our birth years ...... no, I will not tell how old we are !
Afterwards we had a great lunch at an unusual restaurant serving tajine and couscous ..... and then we went in search of (what else !) a little quilt shop. Such a pleasure to visit this tiny shop in a very quiet and unexpected corner and chat with the owner, Cornelia Pradel. She has been featured in a number of French quilting magazines.
The next post will be about the expo in Calvisson .......
Lou received an invitation from Claire for us to go to the vide grenier at the Monastere de la Visitation in Sorgues on the first day of our arrival in Provence. We really didn't know what to expect, it was the last day of the sale and we could not go until the end of the day. And we would not have found it without the GPS to guide us. But what a surprise ! I really bought very little since I was so overwhelmed, but here are my treasures, just as Lou has already shown you hers.
I felt a little sad, the monastery was closing since there were just two nuns remaining, so the contents of the house were being sold. When we saw the piles of suitcases and glasses, I had to think of the young women arriving to begin their new lives there, and who would not need those suitcases in future. I am especially fond of the napkins I bought, they are all monogrammed, and marked in red thread with an R and the cross for the monastery. Some of the laundry marks are stitched very proficiently, and others are clearly the work of new stitchers.
It was an amazing, and touching afternoon, and one that I will remember for a long time.
In a previous post I showed some photos of my recently completed vanne - and I am delighted to say that it won 2nd place in Other Techniques at Jacksonville, as well as the Judge's Recognition ribbon. I am very grateful, especially as I hope that others who saw the piece will be interested in learning how to stitch boutis, and discover more about this delightful art of the needle.
I have just spent two wonderful weeks in Provence, getting back on Sunday night just before all the major problems started with fuel, etc. Lou at http://www.boutis-et-cie.blogspot.com has already written about some of our adventures on her blog, and in the coming days I will be adding some posts of my own about that. It was simply wonderful to walk around, choose restaurants for lunch, not have to check the time frequently, and just enjoy life. So here are a couple of photos to whet your appetite, there is more to come !
For the last two and a half years or so, I have been working on a boutis from Francine Nicolle's book Symboles dans la broderie au boutis.
It is a beautiful adaptation of an antique, and really the only way to own a piece like this, is to make your own ! I learned a lot along the way, and some of the stitching is not how I would like it to be, as well as the stuffing, but the next one I make will benefit from the learning curve.
TODAY it is finally finished !
I did not count the hours, but there must have been many, many hundreds. In the last few months, having set myself the goal of finishing before this year's trip to France, I worked on it in earnest every day. In every spare minute.
My husband, patient man though he is, and used to threads around the house, asked me quietly recently if I thought we could start going out at the weekends again soon. Well, I suppose we can until I start the next project ......
Waehrend der letzten 2 1/2 Jahre habe ich fleissig an einem Boutismuster aus dem Buch von Francine Nicolle, Symboles dans la broderie au boutis gearbeitet. Es ist einem alten Muster nachgemacht, und wenn frau so etwas will, muss frau eigentlich ihr eigenes machen. Ich habe dabei recht viel gelernt, die Stickqualitaet ist auch nicht ganz was ich mir wuenschen wuerde, aber das kommt wohl dem naechsten Boutis zugute.
HEUTE ist es fertiggeworden !
Die Stunden, die ich dabei verbrachte, habe ich nicht gezaehlt, aber es muessen einige Hunderte gewesen sein. In den letzten Monaten, habe ich es mir zum Ziel gemacht, das Boutis vor unserem diesjaehrigen Urlaub fertigzustellen, und habe wirklich jede freie Minute damit verbracht.
Mein geduldiger, an Faedchen gewohnte GG, fragte letztens leise, ob wir vielleicht irgendwann mal wieder am Wochenende fortgehen koennten ....na ja, vielleicht bis ich was Neues wieder anfange ...
ENFIN, mon boutis du livre de Francine Nicolle Symboles dans la broderie au boutis. Je suis si contente qu'il soit enfin termine, apres plus de 2 1/2 ans de travail/plaisir. Je me souhaiterais d'avoir une plus belle qualite, mais je dois dire, pendant ce travail j'ai beaucoup appris, et tout sera mieux pour le prochain ouvrage. Et comme toujours, un grand merci a Lou ma premiere professeur http://www.blogger.com/www.boutisetcie.blogspot.com ainsi que toutes les dames qui continuent en respect de la tradition.
This is a blog where I want to share about one of my passions - the Boutis - which is an old and beautiful Provencal art of the needle. I also love applique quilts, and make them often - usually big ones that take a long time ! Otherwise I love travelling, especially to our 100 year old cottage on the Southern Wine Route in Germany. PLEASE do not use my photos or content of this blog without permission.