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Madeira applique by hand

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Madeira applique by hand - 2/17/2017 9:04:49 PM   
Linda S.


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Joined: 2/2/2011
Status: online
I would like to find a book or instruction somewhere on how to do
madeira applique by hand. Searching the internet has so far been
unproductive, but surely there is a book somewhere on the subject.

Over the years I've collected a few tablecloths, napkins and hankies
with madeira applique work, done by hand, and it's so different than
what I've seen from recent years.

What stands out most as being different, is that the back of the pieces
look exactly like the front. The same applique (most of mine are done
on cotton organdy) applique pieces are applied to the back, just as they
are to the front....and for the life of me, I can not figure out how they
did this! On a leaf, for example, it looks like the top applique (on the
front) was done at the same time the exact same applique was attached
to the a perfect mirror image.

The only way to know the front from the back of these pieces, is by
the hand embroidery which is done only on the front.

Has anyone even seen such applique before? Maybe I'm not even calling
it by the right name, and that's why I can't find a book or other reference
to it.

If anyone has even an idea where I might look for a book with instructions
for this, I'd be so grateful! Every once in a while, I renew my search...only
to get discouraged and give up. Thanks in advance for ideas : )

< Message edited by Linda S. -- 2/17/2017 9:07:12 PM >
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RE: Madeira applique by hand - 2/18/2017 11:05:03 AM   


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From: Northern Nevada
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Do you have any of Martha Pullen's books? A lot of them have some instructions for Madeira applique. Maybe that could be a starting point...


Mother to James (37), Sarah (35), Aaron (33), Adam (30) and David (28)

(in reply to Linda S.)
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RE: Madeira applique by hand - 2/18/2017 8:03:35 PM   


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Joined: 2/2/2011
Status: offline This tutorial covers Madeira applique by machine or by hand. I'm sure you can find instructions for the hand embroidery stitch you decide to use online, I believe it's usually a type of blanket stitch.


Happy Sewing, Carol

(in reply to vpenner)
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RE: Madeira applique by hand - 2/19/2017 7:21:07 PM   


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That is an interesting tutorial, Carol. I think Martha Pullen's method is easier, but I don't have instructions at hand right now to share. Shirley, too, has used it as I have, to finish huck-toweling kitchen towels. Our sewing was done by machine, using a template and wash-away thread.

(in reply to caaguirre)
Post #: 4
RE: Madeira applique by hand - 2/20/2017 10:44:57 AM   
Linda S.


Posts: 6113
Joined: 2/2/2011
Status: online
I've done madeira applique several ways, mostly for hems but also on collars and
other edges....but the kind I'm in search of instruction for is different from any of

I see it on some antique hankies, and also on some antique linens I have. It is
gorgeous beyond description....and the technique is something I've not seen used
for a long, long time. In fact, nowhere on the internet (that I've found so far)
talks about how to do it. Surely, this is a skill that has died out over time. What
I'm calling "Madeira applique" may even go by a different name, although the linens
I purchased using this technique were labeled as such.

And I've been thinking, since I see it mainly (possibly exclusively?) on cotton organdy,
it might be the transparency of organdy that enables the embroiderer to do this.
The back of the piece (table cloth, napkin, hankie, etc.) looks exactly like the front,
because there is an identical, mirror image applique on the back too.

My thought: If I baste the applique uncut on the front and back of the organdy,
(with organdy sandwiched between), trace the shape (like a leaf) on one side and
do basting stiches around the shape....I might then be able to cut close to the
basting stitches and turn them under then, catching both front and back in the
hand pinstitching that holds the appliques in place.

Clear as mud? LOL!!! I need to try this.

I've gotten sidetracked (what's new? lol!) perfecting my hand rolled hem on a

Thanks everyone for brain storming with me!!! It helps more than you know : )

(in reply to NormaK)
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RE: Madeira applique by hand - 2/22/2017 8:19:21 AM   

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I found this:

Maybe you could send an email to them and ask if you could buy the instructions for their “Reversible Madeira Appliqué” technique.



"We cannot do great things, we can only do little things with great love." Mother Teresa

Avatar by Mary Engelbreit

(in reply to Linda S.)
Post #: 6
RE: Madeira applique by hand - 2/22/2017 9:21:46 AM   
Linda S.


Posts: 6113
Joined: 2/2/2011
Status: online
Thank you Karen, SEW much for helping with this. That's the first time I've seen the
term "reversible madeira applique"...and that sounds right. I wish I could see a picture
of the front and back to know if it's the same.

I have to run out the door, but later will continue my search with this new information!
Thanks again!

(in reply to KarenVA)
Post #: 7
RE: Madeira applique by hand - 2/22/2017 9:23:33 AM   
Linda S.


Posts: 6113
Joined: 2/2/2011
Status: online
Karen, Did you see the link I posted to my old flicker album? It has a picture
of the kind of madeira applique I'm talking about. If you look closely or zoom in,
you can see the front applique and the back applique are sewn on at the same time,
with pinstitching by hand.

(in reply to Linda S.)
Post #: 8
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