Reverse Applique! Have You Tried It Yet? NOT "Intimidating"! Diane Makes it Simple and Fun!


Some of you may have seen this sweet Reverse Applique Pillow on Craftypod! Diane shared it when she announced the Reverse Applique Pillow Webinar she created for the Interweave family earlier this year.

I actually signed up for the live Webinar which entitled me to a permanent copy of the full webinar and the support PDF which includes the templates for those pretty little flowers! Interweave is now making Diane's Reverse Applique Webinar and PDF available as a download right here!

And I can not recommend it highly enough!

Yes - Diane IS my daughter and Mom's do have a tendency to think their children are pretty amazing! But seriously - I have no clue where Diane came by her communication and teaching skills cause they don't exist in any gene pool I am a part of!!! So when I say - Diane is an exceptionally gifted instructor, it is with the humble appreciation one feels when confronted with an individual "who's got SKILLS baby"!

Mola Pillow made by Cuna Indians

During a play date a few years ago, Diane and I began to explore the technique used by the Cuna Indians of the San Blas Islands, Panama to create Mola pillows. Careful inspection of a Mola pillow can be an intimidating experience! Millions and millions of teeny tiny stitches; layer upon layer of reverse applique: intricate patterns and designs.


During the past several years, Diane has perfected her skills and her understanding of the process of Reverse Applique and has literally taken "intimidating" out of the equation offering in it's place a pleasurable and doable experience.

She takes you step by step through the whole process while sharing surprising and helpful tips and trick along the way so that almost anyone with minimal stitching skills is prepared to successfully complete Diane's flower pillow project; or if they prefer, a unique personal design.

Reverse Applique pillow project WIP

Truthfully, I had forgotten every single thing we discovered all those years ago so I came to the Webinar with pretty much untrained fingers!! Diane leads the viewer carefully and thoroughly step by step through the whole process of making Reverse Applique so I felt quite confident that I could create a simple design for my sun painted fern fabric left over from making Christina's Chevron Pillow (Quilting Happiness). Additionally, I found many of Diane's tricks extremely helpful in taming curves and corners and runaway threads.

Also truthfully, I am not crazy about how this pillow top is turning out - so far. I wanted to keep to a geometric theme but this design seemed to work much better on paper than in reality. The white seems too white. But Diane disagrees and sees merit in it I fail to see. She is suggesting I sleep on it! SoÂ…for now, I am turning it over to Muse.  At some point, I will complete it and share.

Reverse Applique ornaments sneak peak

And I am moving on to - ORNAMENTS!!!  Reverse Applique Ornaments!  I will share the completed ornaments in mid November!  I think they are going to be soooooo cool!!!

I think your quilting turned

I think your quilting turned out nicely. How about a border in two colors like a double mat when framing art??

Kathleen, your idea really

Kathleen, your idea really appeals to me!!  Actually, being made from scraps, the pillow is a bit smaller than I need for the pillow form I am going to use and your idea would solve two problems!!!  I think the repeat of the two colors in a frame border would be perfect!!  Thank you!

I've always wanted to try

I've always wanted to try reverse applique- you make it sound like an achievable task. Can't wait to see your ornaments with this technique.

Oh Meg - it is Diane that

Oh Meg - it is Diane that makes it achievable!!!  I mean - LOOK at her stitching!  I have a long way to go to make such perfect consistent stitches but the great part is that once there are many together, perfection is not so much an issue!!!

What a good suggestion, to

What a good suggestion, to sleep on that pillow! ;-) I tried mola embroidery on a mini art quilt ones and enjoyed it. I should give it another try now that you remind me of this cool technique! :-)

Hanna, some of your original

Hanna, some of your original designs would be amazing in reveerse applique!!!  

Hi Pam, ii'm agree with Diane

Hi Pam, ii'm agree with Diane , the white isn't too brightly and pop ups too much.
The fabric is allready from the backside very pop upping itselfs, if you had used an other kind of fabric i would agreed with you.LOL
It'a an very old historical methode, i have learned it as well for being a crafting teacher.
So smart of you to use those cookie cutters shapes.
thank you for this article and the sharing.
many dutch hugs and headbumps of my furry friends;-D

Thank you Jet!  I appreciate

Thank you Jet!  I appreciate your imput here very much. I am begnning to get used to the look of the pillow but still not crazy about it!

 As I was stitching I was thinking that as old as this technique is, it is surprising that it is not used more often.  Your art school background must have been wonderous - you learned so many, many techniques and methods for artistic expression.  

I think your pillow came out

I think your pillow came out great (and you CAN sleep on it!) - ornaments will probably be fabulous & a very quick + satisfying project. I've been wanting to use reverse applique on some of my t-shirts - to jazz them up a little or conceal a stain or two. Just another project to add to my list.
Looking forward to seeing your ornaments. :)

Thank you Tammy!  I

Thank you Tammy!  I appreciate your encouragement so much!  I loved making the project - reverse applique is quietly absorbing and satisfying.  So i am grateful for your encouragement here.  Probably just my "not-quilter" genes raising their ugly head and messing with me!!!

I never thought of using Reverse Applique to repair a stain or tear!  Add some fabric underneath, cut out the offending 'whatever' and stitch away!