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 : )