This is a piece I made some time ago. The design is based on a costume from Leeds West Indian Carnival. I'd wanted to make a mola for some time and really loved the colours of the silk dupion, which seemed like an awful good idea at the time. Turned out to be not a beginner's fabric especially for fine applique but having spent good money on the stuff I wasn't not going to use it.
I solved the fray problem by cutting only about half to one inch at a time before stitching it down, which worked quite well and has left it miraculously whisker-free.
I started with a base fabric of blck silk (kept the edges from fraying with masking tape) onto which the design was drawn. I also made templates for each of the basic fruit shapes, applying these with a very find hemstitch onto the black. Reverse appliqued the outer bits of the segments and cores, and then used the same process for the inner bits, which were cut freely without templates. This made it possible to achieve the fine black lines without too much difficulty.
The last stage was the blue and purple outlines. First I covered the back with purple fabric, tacked in place, then drew the lines freely on the front (this sort of pattern is one of my favourite doodles. Hemmed the black down onto the silk, using two needles, one for each side of the channel cut. Then covered the front with purple, tacking along the blue stripes, cut along the tacks, cut back and hemmed on top of the black.
It's not something I'd tackle again, at least not in dupion, and if I used silk again I'd use a lightweight fusible to minimise fraying. It took a long time but I loved doing it (I've always found hand applique very relaxing).
It still needs a binding - I need to make samples and audition them - and I still haven't decided whether it's a large cushion (the design was for one and tried to take into account the bending in at the corners) or a small wallhanging. Overall it's 20 inches square. Suggestions welcome!
By the way I've discovered you can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them. Just ran a quick check and luckily it doesn't look too bad close up!