Workbasket Wednesday – Boutis Sachets

I love-love the look of white on white embroidery and quilting.  For our knitting group Christmas gift exchange I wanted to try my hand at Boutis quilting and thought lavender sachets would be the perfect small project to try. The first time seeing Boutis quilting was the Tristan and Isolde quilt. Then I saw the recreation of that quilt, displayed with back lighting and I was in love.

Image result for quilt "recreation" boutis tristan and isolde

These are the two books that I own:

One of the things that I liked about this project was that it was easy to put everything I needed to work on in one sandwich sized zip topped baggie. I started out doing teenie tiny back stitches.


Just the stitching looked so pretty to me!  Then I googled the technique and found out I was supposed to be using a running stitch.

Running stitch for most of the center design. Tiny backstitches on the tight little curving edges

Once the stitching was complete I moved onto the stuffing stage. This was accomplished with a large eyed needle with a sharp point and some white sugar’n cream cotton yarn.

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Cutting off a length of yarn double what I am comfortable working with, I would separate the four strand yarn down to two.

This way, when I threaded the double strand of yarn and folded it in half, it would again become four strands of yarn.  Very carefully, so as to stay between the two layers of batiste fabric, I fed the needle through the design elements on each sachet.


Then carefully and slowly pulled the yarn through, leaving just the tiniest amount poking out of each side.  I started by using a straight needle, but switched to a curved needle.


I was easier to get further for the many curved sections and also worked for the straight sections. Then the yarn ends needed to be worked completely into the design, between both layers of fabric. This was done with the study straight needle that had originally been used to pull the yarn through. As usually happens, by the very last one I had figured out how to leave as little yarn hanging outside the channels.


Once the channels had all been “stuffed”, the next step should have been to wash the designs in hot water. This would have two benefits: 1)shrink the fabric to close the holes that were made while stuffing and working in the ends, 2)make all the pencil marks of the designs go away.  Despite of having started this project in plenty of time, It had been shunted to the side while finishing the Christmas sweaters for the Gsons. There still would have been enough time to finish if I hadn’t needed to start, re-start, and re-start again on the sweaters.  Oh, and, at one point I had misplaced the first set (heart shaped) ones. My sewing room is a wreck during holiday season. I started making another set (rectangles).  Cutting the fabric, tracing the designs and all those little stitches.  When the first set were accidently found, and they were further along, so back to the first set I went.  I like making projects like these. I find hand sewing soothing and the results are so pretty.

It can also be a slow process.  I had planned to finish more than the six, but I ran out of time.  Here are the six that made it:

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The final outcome looks, to me, a lot like Springerle cookies. I have never made any, and only know that they are beautiful. King Arthur Flour has molds and a recipe for a shortbread to go with them. Maybe next year…

5 thoughts on “Workbasket Wednesday – Boutis Sachets

  1. I was the lucky recipient of a boutis sachet. It is absolutely beautiful and was filled with the fragrance of lavender! It doesn’t get better than that!!