Mola Inspired Fabric for The Printed Fabric Bee

Mola inspired fabric by Judy Gula

Recently I posted about trying to catch up with my colleagues at The Printed Fabric Bee…and I’m still trying! This group of 12 surface design enthusiasts designates one member each month to serve as the “Queen Bee,” who gets to select a theme and colors for her fabric collection. The result is an original and eclectic collection of fabrics for the Queen, but also to one lucky blog reader, who will win a collection of 6-inch squares of the handcrafted fabrics!

This month the Queen was Julie Booth, and her theme was Molas, a textile art form that I really love. We have a few vintage molas available for purchase in the shop, and pictured at the end of this posting is a mola art quilt I made.

Julie writes, “I’m attracted to the symmetry, the contrast and bright colors and also the playfulness and mastery of the technique.” Her requirements were red, black and other bright mola colors.

I began with an orangey-coral solid fabric, and in addition to the red and black, I selected a bright blue to contrast with my base fabric. I used the TCW399 Switchback stencil from The Crafter’s Workshop for the pattern, as I thought it evoked the look and feel of molas, a layered, reverse applique technique was developed by the Kuna Indians.

Detail, mola-inspired fabric designed by Judy Gula

I usually apply fabric paint through a stencil with a sponge and a pouncing motion, but for this fabric I used a brush to create my alternating rows of color. You can see several spots where I didn’t have the crisp control I was hoping for. At first this upset me, but then I started viewing it as indicative of the handmade nature of molas. They are never perfectly straight and even; they have the quirks of the fabric and the stitching that give them their charm.

Left, a vintage Mola from Artistic Artifacts, right, fabric designed by Judy Gula

Left, a vintage Mola from Artistic Artifacts, right, fabric designed by Judy Gula

Julie is the author of Fabric Printing at Home: Quick and Easy Fabric Design Using Fresh Produce and Found Objects and an incredibly talented surface design artist. We will be welcoming her back to Artistic Artifacts with her 2-Day Fabric Printing at Home: A Kitchen Sampler workshop, taking place on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19. I can personally vouch for this amazing experience! We all learned so much and had so much fun learning Julie’s surface design techniques. Don’t miss this class!

Enter to Win!

For your chance to win the 6-inch square collection of fabrics, leave a comment on Julie’s blog posting, or do so at The Printed Fabric Bee blog. Your comment must be posted by midnight Eastern USA time on April 14th to leave your comment (I love hearing from you, but to win, your comment must be on either of those two blogs, not mine). Julie will be choosing a winner on Wednesday, April 15. As she pointed out, that will really be cheering news on Tax Day!

Fish Mola Art Quilt by Judy Gula

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