Modern Sunbonnet Sue's Musings

Musings from the mind of a modern day Sue:
Mola Applique Heart Block

The eighth block in our quilt guild's Applique Club project is done. The block was completed with three colors, which added to the complexity of the project. However, it wasn't complicated to do, but required step-by-step procedures.

To begin with, the pattern was traced onto the heart fabric, rather than the background fabric. Since the fabric for the heart is darker than the ground, I needed to use a light box to see the pattern through the dark fabric. I made a make-shift light box out of a cardboard box, glass from a broken picture frame, and one of my husband's portable lights in the garage. It worked perfectly, except for getting a little too warm. 

Mola applique designs originated from the Kuna tribeswomen of Columbia and Panama. The designs are made from brightly colored fabrics stitched into geometric images. Rows of stitching create the colorful designs. Three colors is the simplest pattern, since each color must be layered in the applique. More complex designs use many different colors.

Here is the completed Mola Heart block. The fabrics for the center designs were basted between the background and the outside heart fabric. The pattern was snipped in advance, to allow cutting the fabric for the reverse applique. Any instructions I have read, suggest basting around all the pattern designs. I learned, after completing the central applique, that the basting needed to be done in sections. Because the design moves out from the center with very little space between the shapes, the fabric needed trimmed so that it didn't extend into the applique area for the second fabric. I choose to baste around each section as the previous section was completed. At one point in the design, the background fabric shows through. Then, the fabric is cut away around the heart shape and the outside of the heart is appliqued down.

I am beginning to really enjoy reverse applique. I have decided to use the technique in my National Quilting Association challenge quilt. I don't want to give away my design, but it uses the Marinar's Compass pattern that is the required inspiration for the challenge. My previous posting about making a 4-inch paper-pieced block just isn't coming together. Designing is often a trial and error process, which can leave UFO's in it's wake. Someday, I will have to make something out of all my unfinished design pieces. That would make a pretty scrappy quilt.


Published Sat, Mar 24 2012 8:34 AM by Pamela


# re: Mola Applique Heart Block@ Saturday, March 24, 2012 8:55 PM

great block i just might join the applique group

i've done some applique but this looks like a challenging one for me.


# re: Mola Applique Heart Block@ Saturday, March 24, 2012 10:25 PM

very nice


# re: Mola Applique Heart Block@ Monday, March 26, 2012 9:41 PM

very pretty and very interesting