Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tristan Boutis Quilt

Visitors to the 2014 Houston Quilt Festival saw a remarkable French quilt, draped across a lighted platform. A group of more than forty women replicated a 14th century quilt using the technique known as boutis in France and trapunto in the U.S. They hand stitched the designs through two layers of cloth then stuffed them from the back. You may know the story of the Cornish knight Tristan from Wagner's opera or tales of King Arthur. There are similar stories from medieval Brittany. This quilt brings them to life, with figures that reminded me of the ones on the Bayeux Tapestry. The backlighting transformed the knights, kings and ships into silhouettes, making it easy to see the designs and easy to appreciate the amount of careful work that went into this masterpiece. What an ingenious way to display this quilt!