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.
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.