Friday, January 13, 2012

Special Textile Pillow

I have collected interesting textiles since I was a teenager. However, my collection has not stayed intact. I have used what I collect in my own mixed textile work, framed things and given things away to people who have a particular interest in a piece.
Molas and base fabric

I found these two wonderful molas at a flea market for $2 a piece! I made them into a pillow. The black striped fabric is a piece of nubby silk.

A mola is a form of applique needlework originated in South America. Layers of colored fabrics are basted together with a picture drawn on the top layer. Areas are cut out of the top layer, edges are folded under and stitched. Each time another layer is cut into a shape and stitched, the color fabric underneath is revealed. There is 6 layers of fabric in these molas and they are hand stitched. There is additional hand embroidery. These two little works of art did not deserve to be hidden away!
Additional hand embroidered details

2-sided fabric for pillow back
The photo on the left shows the black fabric for the back of the pillow. I could use either side to show.

Use a lint roller when stitching on black fabrics

When using black fabrics, I like to have a lint roller handy because every piece of lint and string shows up.

interfacing on back of silk

 My first step is to iron a piece of fusible interfacing to the back of my silk. This will stabilize the fabric for stitching.

Dual Duty red thread    

Next, I will position my molas on the black silk and pin, pin, pin. I chose to use two red threads to stitch . The reds are very close in color (just a little different). Follow your sewing machine book's instructions for threading a twin needle in your machine. Then, use a size 90/14 embroidery needle and thread both threads through the eye of the needle. You will have a nice full stitch. You should also lessen the top thread tension on your sewing machine to around half of your normal stitching tension. (For more information about this go to my youtube page and look at "Threads and Settings").
Stitch Saved on my Bernina       

Here is the stitch I will use to applique my molas to the silk. I have it saved in my favorites because I use it a lot.

Position work on center of foot

The next step is to stitch the molas to the silk. You can use the presser foot of your machine to guide the stitches along the edge of the mola.

Edge stitching

Here is how the stitch looks. I stitched on the inside edge of the mola. It gives the mola a finished look as well as stitching it to the silk.

Here is the pillow on the chair. In its cozy little spot.....and the grand kids love the "toy quality" of this pillow.