Saturday, 7 November 2009

Chapter 9 - Reverse Applique - Traditional and Contemporary Methods


Onto a background of gold, my first layer was a violet cotton fabric, followed by a deep yellow cotton and an indigo printed layer on top.
Adding, cutting away and stitching one layer at a time, it was very time consuming but the results were extremely rewarding. I love handstitching and also recreating traditional embroideries, so a bit of research into the traditional molas of the San Blas Islands made this a very enjoyable exercise.


Its good to have 'quilty' friends. A visit to a quilt show at Malvern turned up some very attractive random dyed fat quarters in indigo and gold. I used one of these for my top layer of this design, followed by a violet organza, a yellow linen and then a blue cotton fabric printed with yellow for my base layer.
Using a gold metallic thread in my bobbin, I stitched each line from the back and cut away before stitching the next layer.
I was particularly pleased with the organza layer. The 'orange' effect that it gave took me totally by surprise, although with its transparent nature over the yellow linen, it should have been obvious!

The second machine stitch sample was worked from the centre out. I thought it would be an interesting execise to use the same fabrics as the previous sample to see how the process affects the end result.
I really like this method of applique. It is quick, simple and effective.


I tried to choose fabrics that would fray easily. For the top layer I chose a yellow / orange printed silk noil as I love its texture. Under this I put an indigo cotton, followed by an orange synthetic silky fabric. The background layer is gold, although this cannot really be seen.
All layers and rows were stitched at the same time with a double row of stitching. The top 3 layers of fabric were then slashed with a sharp pair of scissors between each double row of stitching, then the raw edges were worked with the side of a pair of scissors to fray and distress them and to form a 'pile'. This proceedure took longer than the stitching but I think the result was well worth the effort.



I chose the most intricate design from my black & white cross shapes. My main concern was fitting in enough rows of stitching to form the 'ripple' effect.
Although I followed the instructions step by step, I had no preconceived ideas of how the finished sample would look. I love the results. I think it looks spontaneous and exciting.
In retrospect. I would have liked to have put the glittery purple mesh fabric (seen in the central cross shape) across the entire bottom layer.

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