This morning Sue Abbot led our workshop entitled Pulled Work. The aim was to start to produce a miniature landscape. She explained she loved the effect of this type of embroidery and after completing her City and Guilds she has continued to develop a less traditional style, one of which was the miniature landscape. As usual Sue had exquisite examples to show us alongside some examples of traditional pulled work.
Eager to start we blocked out a basic design on a 10 cm cardboard circle. Next this was pinned onto the scrim and two rows of running stitch were worked around the edge to outline the circular shape. The basic shapes were also outlined in the same way. The window was then buttonholed around the edge with the loop towards the middle of the square.
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Sue demonstrated four sided stitch and we began to fill in one of the blocked areas. We worked from right to left and turned the work upside down to stitch the next row. Pulling the thread made a lattice effect. Yes we were actually doing pulled work!
As the morning continued we were shown wave stitch and then how to stitch the trees. Sue was on hand to offer support with bullion stitch, French knots and then advise about how to finish our landscape.
Hopefully these landscapes will help to fill another section of our exhibition in September at Barton Grange. So keep stitching ladies and aim to complete them. Thanks to Sue once more for a very enjoyable workshop.
After lunch Marie Lewis was introduced as the speaker. We waited in anticipation to find out about ’Boutis’. Marie explained she had spent her working life as a French teacher. Having studied quilt making previously, on her retirement she regularly visited a quilt exhibition in Alsace, near Strasbourg where she learnt how to do ‘Boutis’ work.
‘Boutis’ is a French technique and was introduced during the time of Louis XIV when he banned the import of Asian Silk fabrics which had been dyed with fast dyes. It is a technique used to decorate plain fabrics.
As all ‘Boutis’ books are written in French, Marie (being fluent in French) was able to read them and taught herself the skill of ‘Boutis’. She said the technique was easy to learn.
From this she was encouraged by Gail Marsh at Gawthorpe Hall to teach ‘Boutis’.
‘Boutis’ is made with two layers of pure cotton batiste fabric. A design is added and it is this marking out of the technique which takes a long time. Once completed running stitch is added along the design lines. A very competent stitcher can make 12 running stitches to an inch!
Once all the stitching has been completed a cotton/acrylic mix yarn is threaded between the rows of stitching with a darning needle and a lasso thread attached to the yarn. The yarn is then snipped off and using a cocktail stick the ends are pushed back between the layers of fabric.
Marie has made a double wedding ring quilt with twelve inch ‘Boutis’ squares designed specifically for her brother and sister-in-law's wedding anniversary.
Marie will be returning to teach a dayschool at our June meeting. I am certain there will be a great uptake to learn this historical technique. Thanks to Marie for a very informative talk and to answer the question, ’What on earth is ‘Boutis’?
Several notices were given including one about the small exhibition at Penwortham Library on Saturday 29th March, which the branch have been invited to attend, exhibit work and demonstrate different techniques as part of the Penwortham Live Weekend. Volunteers should contact Vivien if they are able to help in any way as it is felt it would be a good way to raise our profile.
We are also trying out a mentoring scheme and lists of accomplished stitchers and techniques members would like help with was collected.
Sylvia and Barbara continued to work hard in the shop and encouraged members to select fabrics and make project bags (A4 size) for sale at our September exhibition.
Next month’s dayschool Edge to Edge with Shelley Rhodes is full at the moment. Gina will keep members informed if spaces become vacant.
Finally, an apology to Mary Nevett, whose Wessex Stitchery sampler was wrongly attributed to Kath Morton in our January blog.