Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chapter 9: Reverse Appliqué - Traditional and Contemporary Methods

This was a fun chapter to work on, each sample offering many surprises. Beginning with the traditional method I used a very simple adaptation of a shape which has turned up in earlier samples. Hand stitching this sample took a lot longer than any of the other samples, due to the slowness of the hem stitching required to attach each layer. I matched the colour of the threads to the top fabric being sewn on.. Trying to keep the points of the star sharp was difficult!
Here's a link to an interesting site on the topic of molas:


Next I turned to the contemporary methods and these I enjoyed making a whole lot more, especially playing with the colours for each layer. Actually this part took a lot longer than I had initially expected, given that my fabrics have been previously organized into 2 main colour groups according to my chosen colour scheme. What colour is blue-violet? Take your pick!!! The same applies to yellow-orange. So many tints, tones and shades possible!

The first sample illustrating the contemporary method using free machine embroidery incorporated 5 layers of fabrics and 4 layers of free machine stitching. In this sample I began stitching on the outside of the shape (same shape used throughout chapter 8 and previously). I really like the effect of the deep rich hue of the orange against the blue-violet, and I think that the transparent upper layer ( a hnad dyed organza) looks good with the shot silk taffeta immediately beneath it.

The next sample uses the same shape as the one above, but is stitched from the inside out. Again, 5 layers of fabric were used, and once again I really like the strong contrats between the yellow and golds and the violet hue. The final sample looked a bit bare so I added a line of chain stitch stitched over the final free machine embroidered line.

The next sample experimented with faux chenille or slashed reverse applique. I love the feel of this sample. It is very tactile and reminds me of a thick hand made quilt. But it took forever to try and unravel the edges and I wonder if it mightn't have been easier if I had used a design with straight sides rather than curved. In the end it didn't matter - I worked away trying to fray the edges while watching a double episode of the new series of 'silent Witness'!! Oh yes along with a glass of red wine! :-)

The final sample for this chapter is the multi-coloured ripple effect. This is the sample of contemorary methods which I am least happy about as the cut away areas are too small to show the jewel like effects of the richly hued fabrics layered and partially layered. My favourite 'fabric' is the gold netting! Really adds to the impression of jewels!


  1. Hi Edith,
    How lovely to see you back at your embroidery. Hope you are all well now..... I've almost finished Chapter 8 too but just need to photograph. I love your idea of working with the different combinations of the three chosen shapes.
    Isnt it difficult to decide which designs to choose out of the myriad of possibilities? I think I waste too much time trying to decide!!!
    I enjoy the hand embroidery opportunites as well but need to work at matching the thread to the stitch as I've given myself several struggles with some combinations I've chosen.
    Hope you've had a happy Easter.

  2. Great to hear from you Amanda! I must try and set up my blog so it lets me know when you have left a comment! Yeah it's great to be back at the work. Somehow I always feel so much better when I get even a little bit done! Are you a member of the C+G yahoo group? It seems to be getting a little livelier of late. Looking forward to seeing your samples! Oh yes and Easter was good! Children still on holidays. :-)