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Boutis samples including the scissor keep designs

To make a Boutis scissor-keep you will need:-

7” X 3 ½ ” white cotton fabric or Batiste - Important – do not prewash.

White craft cotton (dishcloth cotton)

White cotton thread

Fine sewing needle

Short Trapunto needle or large-eyed darning or chenille needle


1.  Tape your chosen pattern to the table with masking tape.

2.   Fold the fabric in half - short end to short end and finger press the fold.

3.  Position the fabric over the pattern so that it lies centrally under one half of the fabric. Tape in place to hold.

4.  Trace the pattern with a light stroke of a propelling pencil using a ruler for the straight lines.

5.  Fold fabric back in half and tack centrally both horizontally and vertically and around the outside if necessary.

6.  Using the white cotton thread and a small running stitch sew along the drawn lines starting at the centre.  DO NOT SEW THE TWO OUTER LINES AT THIS STAGE.

7.  Thread the large needle with a length of the cotton cording pulled through the eye so that it is double. Starting with the central motif and from the back insert the needle between the layers to come out across the other side of the central motif. Pull the cord through leaving a 1/8” tail. Cut the other end to leave a tail as long as the length of the motif.

8.   With the small sharp needle gently ease the cord ends inside the fabric layers. Stroke the hole closed with the needle.

9.  Finish the rest of the motifs then do the channelling in the same way but leaving 1/8” tails each end.

10.Trim the excess fabric to a scant ¼” from the last drawn line. Turn in along the line and oversew the edges together with small stitches.

11.Stitch the remaining pencil line with a running stitch and then cord the two remaining channels.

12. Wash your completed piece of boutis in warm soapy water to close the needle holes and remove the pencil lines. You can scrub gently if necessary. Rinse thoroughly and roll in a towel to remove excess water then leave flat to dry.

13.To make a cord cut three 15” lengths of the cording and plait them together. Bind the ends with thread and sew to one corner of your scissor keep.