Modern Mola or Reverse Applique


One day class.

Molas are traditional reverse appliqued fabric panels made by Kuna Indian women, from Panama. Originally, the traditional geometric patterns were painted directly on the body, later this painting was done on fabric and as the Spanish and their missionaries influenced the culture, the designs were stitched using fabric and reverse applique techniques.

In my class we will not be body painting, nor painting on fabric, and further still- we will be modernizing yet again the reverse applique technique. I use a raw edge style with the edges covered with stitching or couching heavy threads over the raw edges. Design ideas will be provided. Once you play with the basic technique you can take it even further to use smaller design elements, added layers and embellishments.

Cost of Course
Kit Fee
Course Difficulty
Course Type
Course Time
Sunday morning, 9 am to 12 pm
Sunday afternoon, 1 pm to 4 pm
List of materials
Fabrics and other stuff:
 several sheets of plan paper
 pencil and white vinyl eraser (not a pink one)
 permanent marker (like sharpie)
 freezer paper
 Fabrics- we will be working fairly small, but please bring a good supply of ¼ to ½ meter pieces to choose from. The more fabrics you bring, the more choices you have. Ideas: bring interesting pieces that you like, colourful, those with mottled light to dark areas, bold prints? Stripes?
 Cotton sewing thread- when in doubt about the colour, bring medium gray
 Decorative threads- any or all weights- metallic, thick and/or thin. Some will be used for stitching through the needle and some can be used for couching.

 Sewing machine in good working order (must have at least zigzag capability) and the manual for the machine
 machine needles to suit your threads
 extension cord, power bar
 regular presser foot, open toe applique foot, couching foot if you have it, or walking foot and free motion quilting foot
 applique/embroidery scissors (duckbill scissors are great if you have these) or good blunt end scissors
 rotary cutter, mat and long ruler and large square ruler
 pins, pincushion, seam ripper etc
 green painters masking tape
 basting pins or fusible batting

 batting and backing for a maximum finished piece of about 18” x 20”