Tag Archives: mola

Mola Pillow For The Nursery – Yay for Owls!

Remember the Mola I bought in Panama? I made it into a pillow for the nursery. Here are some progress shots and a sorta tutorial (I’m not very good at measuring, so maybe it’s not best to follow my lead =)

I started off with a pillow insert I had at home already. The mola fit perfectly to cover one side.

I also had some fabric on hand to use for the back. I chose the dark brown. The orange was too matchy (made up that word just now) and the green was too much of a contrast.

I wanted the back to form a pocket, so I could slide the pillow insert inside. So, I guesstimated the size I’d need and cut two pieces of the brown fabric appropriately. Again, probably better to measure exactly here, so don’t follow my lead. Then, I sewed the right sides together on one side of the pillow (to be more specific, I sewed the mola, or the front, with ONE of the back fabric pieces…you can see my other piece in the background of this photo).

I wanted to have a cord to frame the edges of the pillow. So, I found an old shoelace (from the Boston Marathon…what what) and sewed it in to place. It was my make-shift filler for a cord.

Once in place, I folded the shoelace in half and sewed a line down it again. This made it thick enough to be a good filler.

Once the shoelace filler was ready, I folded the fabric back over so it was right-side out again and sewed along the edge to create the cord.

I then created a hem on the first back piece of fabric.

Now, time to add the second piece of back fabric. Same process. I sewed right sides together first. Just on one side of the pillow.

Then, I repeated the same shoelace-cord process.

After the cord was in place, I repeated the same hemming process for the second back piece. Now, here’s where measuring would’ve been good. I guesstimated the lengths of the back pieces just by laying them over the mola. They overlapped quite a bit, so I thought I’d be covered (or it would be covered…haha, love those puns). Well…I forgot the small little part about the pillow insert. Turns out they wouldn’t cover it after all.

Ho hum. Time for some stitch ripping. I hate stitch ripping. Maybe I should’ve measured.

So, once I repeated the process for the second back piece, I then started paying attention to the sides. I didn’t take any pictures of this (not sure why), but here was my basic process to sew the sides together:

1. I used the fabric from my botched attempt at the second back piece to create cords for both sides. To create the cords, I took 2-3″ wide pieced of fabric and sewed the shoelace to the fabric as shown above. I left about an inch of fabric past the cord so that I had room to sew it to the very edge of the mola.

2. I then turned the entire piece right-side in, and sewed along the edges of the pillow to gather all of the loose ends.

3. I then trimmed/tucked the corners.

And, bingo. Pillow for the nursery.

The last picture gives you a sneak-peek of the nursery. It’s pretty close, but it’s not quite done, so that’s all you get to see for now. =) I love the how the geometric pattern of the mola syncs up with all of the other bold geometric patterns we have going on in the nursery.

Well, there’s your sorta tutorial on pillow-making with cords and folds (not sure what official terms are). Hopefully I didn’t thoroughly confuse you.

UPDATE: Piping! It’s called piping! Not cord or cords or cording…

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Mola From Panama

At the market in El Valle de Anton (El Valle), Panama, I found an awesome mola for the nursery. Molas are traditional garments that are made by the indigenous women (the Kunas) of Panama and Columbia. They are hand-stiched cut-outs with many layers and vibrant colors.

We had passed many stands with molas during our first few days in Panama City. I love buying unique things from places we visit, and I was thinking a mola would be great to bring back, but I didn’t know what I’d do with one at first. The colors are so bright and vibrant, which is what makes them beautiful, but they don’t really go with our style or decor.

In El Valle, we had some time to kill, so we visited the local market and I took some time going through a stack of molas. The women who made them showed them each to me. She was very sweet and I tried my best to communicate with her through broken spanish.

I tried to tell her I was looking for an owl. I had no idea what the word for “owl” was. But, through some hand motions and hoots, I finally got it across. =) I had a few options to choose from, and ended up picking this one.

Not a great picture of the one I chose, but hopefully you get the idea. I like the abstract/geometric design and that orange is the main color. I’m going to turn it into a pillow…probably with a chevron pattern backing. It’ll go with all of the other geometric patters that we’re putting into the nursery, and it’ll be a story to tell Baby once he/she understands. We hit the third trimester mark tomorrow, and this baby has already been to two international locations (plus many others). =)

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