When I was 14 I went to Mexico…actually we were on our way to Vienna but the first part of the trip took us by boat to Genoa via the Panama Canal…I remember being fascinated by a kind of reverse appliqué that the women were selling near the port in Acapulco…they placed layers of different coloured fabric on top of each other and cut through the layers to let the different colours show through depending on which layer they cut down to. The mola below matches my memories pretty well:
Anyway, here’s a tutorial for a cushion I make in my classes based on a simplified version of this idea. I’ve used two 16″ X 16″ squares of pink felt for the cushion…a 6″ X 6″ square of white felt for the reverse appliqué window…and a 3″ X 3″ square of light pink felt to make the heart…girls in my classes LOVE pinks…but use whatever colours appeal to you. Other things you’ll need: stuffing, pony beads for the fringes, and of course, needles, thread and pins.
Draw an 8” square on the pink felt. This is going to be your sewing line when you sew the cushion together. I like to use a white wax pencil (called a chinagraph over here in Australia and in the UK) but ordinary soft pencils like 2B’s work just as well as long as the colour you’ve chosen for your felt isn’t too dark. Now draw a heart inside the square and cut it out as above.
Cut a heart from the light pink felt. Pin and sew into place.
It’s a good idea to trim the excess white felt from the back of your work.
Place your work on top of the remaining 16″ square of pink felt. Pin and sew together along the line that you drew with the pencil.
Remember: don’t sew right around this line…leave a gap of about 3” to put the stuffing in before you sew the gap closed.
Cut fringes all around the cushion. Add pony beads.
And that’s it.
A Very Simple Fringed Felt Reverse Appliqué Beaded Heart Cushion: