I like the embedded quality of reverse applique found in molas, but have no desire to finish off all those little edges, so I've been playing around with some raw edge methods.
I did this a while back following Beryl Taylor's instructions in Cloth, Paper, Scissors. You can read more about it here.
I like the results, but there were several things I didn't like about the method. 1. It wastes a lot of fabric. One tiny crescent that shows on the front requires a large square of fabric that gets cut away. 2. It produces a bulky final piece that is difficult to hand stitch on.
So I started looking for a way to get the same effect minus the bulk and waste and came up with this easy method.
1. Place fabric pieces on top of very lightweight iron-on interfacing and fuse them together with the right side of the fabric up. Try to butt the fabrics together as much as possible, avoid overlapping them, but a little overlap won't hurt.
2. Place your cover fabric (in this case the purple that shows in the final piece but doesn't show here) on top of the colored squares and flip over. (Pin the cover fabric on if you need to.)
3. With the interfacing side up, stitch your design using a straight machine stitch. You can easily see where the fabric changes, so can design accordingly.
4. Flip right side up and cut away the cover fabric between the stitching lines, making sure you don't cut through the background fabric. The piece is very light weight so you can easily add handstitching.
Seems like there are lots of possibilities with this method. I'd love to see what you do with it!