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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 !

Monday, September 9, 2013

Petassouns, old and new

Recently I was able to acquire two old petassons/petassouns, infant lap pieces, pieces piquees, or whatever name is most familiar to you.  They arrived today, and I am looking at them and thinking over what they can tell me.   Although these are not the work of professionals making very grand pieces in an atelier, they are the kind of work I like best - those made at home for family, showing different levels of needlework skill.
 One is very damaged, the fabric has completely worn through in the center, rather like another one I bought before. However, the stitching is very fine and it is obviously the work of an experienced needlewoman.  It has other condition problems, there are rust marks, a pen mark on the back which I hope will wash out, and holes in the edging - one corner of which has been patched with another piece of old embroidered edge.  It is very old, it has survived the ups and downs of more than a century, and has undoubtedly passed through many pairs of hands.
On the left corner you can see the repair with another piece of embroidery.

Here you can clearly see the many worn areas.  The fabric has simply worn away with wear, but the piece itself is firm, well stitched and stuffed.
I will be reproducing this one, I think I will not change anything about it, its design is simple and elegant.  Size: 17.75 x 20 inches, without the trim.

The second piece is different.  It is stitched well, but the channels are wider, the design is not as balanced and I think it is a later piece.  It too has a border of trimmed batiste, and I cannot decide whether or not it was added later.  It is the same color, so perhaps it was made this way, certainly there is no tape or other finished method before the lace.  The stuffing is firm, the stitching is fine, and I will also reproduce this one, although I may modify the design a little.

Size 19 x 20 inches, without the trim.

In the last photo you can see the difference in quality of work, the piece on the right is much finer.
And last but not least, I have made a little progress on my small petasson from Boutis Traditionnel.  The stitching is complete, and I have started the stuffing.  I used the Frixion pen to mark, and when I have finished stitching, I run the hairdryer over it to remove the marks.  I find I am happier working on the stuffing with the marks gone, I can see the stitches better.  Now I want it to be finished so I can wash it !

Recemment,j'ai trouve deux vieux petassons qui viennent d'arriver chez moi.  Tous les deux sont abimes, mais pour moi dans ce cas ca sont des pieces pour apprendre et reproduire, et franchement j'aime les pieces faites a la maison par les familles.    Le premier est tres fin, le travail super bien fait mais le tissu du centre  est dechire au fil du temps.  Le deuxieme est peut-etre plus recent que l'autre, le piquage tres bien fait mais le bourrage plus epais, et je ne suis pas sure si la broderie autour etait fait au meme temps que le boutis, malgre le fait qu'il n'y a rien d'autre pour la finition, pas de tresse, etc.  Si quelqu'un a un autre avis ou bien quelques informations, n'hesitez pas a m'ecrire, je suis toujours tres heureuse d'apprendre, merci.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Profile of a boutisseuse - Marie Silvestre

It is always fascinating to me to observe how others approach designing their own boutis.  Marie has just completed a beautiful, original boutis which will be displayed at at upcoming show.  I have had the pleasure of seeing her work before, at the first salon of France Boutis in May 2012.  Go over to her blog and take a look at her latest works, then go back and browse older posts with some of her other projects.  Don't forget to leave her comments, she loves to hear what people think of her boutis.

Marie gave me permission to describe how she designed this boutis so you have some idea of the time and dedication involved.  In October, there will be a boutis festival in the village of Calvisson, Gard, as there is every 2 years (see the link to the right, La Maison du Boutis).  The challenge presented by the founder  Mme  Francine Nicolle, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the boutis association,  was to design and execute a boutis on the theme of "In the Gardens of the King".

Marie started work back in March.  She knew what she wanted to draw, and avoided any problems of perspective by making her work an aerial view.  After a number of hours spent on drawing the designs, she transferred them to a large sheet of paper.  She says this was not easy, but she is patient.  To give you an idea, she spent 60 hours on the design.  Tracing onto fabric took another 8 hours.  She started stitching on April 10 and finished on August 24, taking a total of 551 hours to complete the entire piece.   "My Royal Garden" measures 74 x 63 cm.    Fabulous, isn't it ?