In December, I purchased the children's book Cully's Quest for my grandson. The author is Carl Birk (a former classmate) and the artwork is by Jesus Martinez and Aisha Abbassi. As I read the book, I enjoyed the pictures as much as the story. I loved the colors and the details.
The next day, I watched an Online Quilting Show that Mel Beach was the featured quilter. She shared about making Modern Molas. I really wanted to try it!
Definition from Wikipedia ---"Molas are handmade using a reverse appliqué technique. Several layers (usually two to seven) of different-coloured cloth (usually cotton) are sewn together; the design is then formed by cutting away parts of each layer. The edges of the layers are then turned under and sewn down. Often, the stitches are nearly invisible. This is achieved by using a thread the same color as the layer being sewn, sewing blind stitches, and sewing tiny stitches. The finest molas have extremely fine stitching, made using tiny needles.
This closeup of a mola by Venancio Restrepo shows the layering of the different colours of cloth, and the fine stitching involved.
The largest pattern is typically cut from the top layer, and progressively smaller patterns from each subsequent layer, thus revealing the colours beneath in successive layers. This basic scheme can be varied by cutting through multiple layers at once, hence varying the sequence of colours; some molas also incorporate patches of contrasting colours, included in the design at certain points to introduce additional variations of colour." Definition from Wikipedia
I knew I wanted to make a book bag for my grandson and I wanted to try the Modern Mola process using my quilting machine and I loved the artwork in my new book. I had to figure out how to combine the ideas. I thought the dragon might be too detailed for the modern mola technique of the reverse applique'. I decided to try it anyway! I contacted Carl to make sure it was OK to use the dragon design to make a book bag. I wasn't going to sell it. I wanted to make a gift and I told him I would share photos on my blog and of course share links to give proper credit to the artists. Carl said yes I could.
Here's a few photos of the process. This is not a tutorial, just a quick view of what I did. No words - just photos. Please keep in mind this is probably not the way Mel would teach it. It's just the way I did it. I was having fun. Plus the dragon is too detailed for this process of reverse applique', but I created it anyway.
Hours of clipping and trimming away the layers of fabric to reveal the colors.
It's ready to make into a tote bag!
Yes it had to say in the quilting --- Made with Love by Grandmama 2017
I like how it turned out and I know my grandson will love it.
Thanks Carl Birk and Mel Beach for inspiring me to create!