Friday, January 30, 2009

End of January


It's finally coming to the end of January, my least favorite month. It's been bitter cold, we've had some snow and ice, but thankfully, we did not get all the ice and huge accumulation our neighbors to the south and east got.
That was supposed to be our weather, and in fact, 5 years ago, it WAS our weather. A big storm that rained ice on us for a day and a half and then took all the power out to three-fourths of the city (I was one of them). We dodged the bullet and I am so glad. Here's to February and an early, early spring. Madeline is looking for spring -- I don't think it's out there yet, Maddie (LOL).

I've had this picture on my camera for about three weeks now -- it's my Birds of a Feather quilt block. This is my favorite block because I love the bird's nest and the eggs in it. This block looks very cool when the quilting is done on it and I can't wait to start that. I only have two more applique blocks on this quilt and I have them both prepped and just waiting for the needle. Then there's just a couple of pieced blocks and it will be ready to put together.
Since my baby couldn't find Spring, she decided to go back to bed.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Mola

Over two years ago, my brother and his wife went to Bogata, Columbia (South America) to adopt their three children from an orphanage. They had to stay in Bogata for about 6 weeks and were able to check out various marketplaces in the area. They found stalls and stalls of these Mola blocks and each day they would buy one for me (what a brother hey?). These blocks are so beautiful and the hand work on them is amazing.


Since one of my resolutions this year is to get better at finishing things, I got the Molas out yesterday and started playing with them. Some of these are true Molas. Molas are hand made using a reverse applique technique. Several layers (usually two to seven) of different-coloured cloth (usually cotton) are sewn together; the design is then formed by cutting parts of each layer away. The edges of the layers are then sewn down; the finest molas have extremely fine stitching, made using tiny needles. Some of my pieces were used in clothing and still have hems and seam binding around the edges where the Mola was removed from the article of clothing.

Here's the back of one so you can see the tiny stitches used.


Some of my pieces are just regular applique with embroidery. Whether true Mola or applique, the workmanship (or should it be "workwomanship") is outstanding. Of course, none of the blocks are the same size and I'm having trouble coming up with ways to set them. I have decided to make several smaller pieces instead of one large one.

Here's some pics and a temporary layout. However, I'm a little stumped as to how to put these together -- applique on a background, add strips, or something else? I don't want to cut the Molas or change them in any way -- I want to keep them as they are originally, as you can see the various layers at the edges of the blocks. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.



I think the one below was part of a purse or something as it is not square, but oval shaped. I love the "warriors" on it, or are they aliens with their flying saucers ?