Friday Flashback – Shadow Work Borders – New Freebie

Welcome back to another Friday Flashback, taking a look back at some of my favourite classic collections.

This week we are looking back at the Shadow Work Borders Collection


I have always loved the simplicity and elegance of shadow work. It is subtle, understated, and always looks sweet.  Having said this, I was never any good at the traditional style of shadow work, whereby you stitch an outline on a beautiful light cotton voile fabric, and then working from the back, criss-cross coloured thread to give a delicate coloured in shadow look.

So the next step for me was to look into how I could use my embroidery machine to create this technique.


After trying different methods of creating stitches on wash away fabric, before stitching down the top fabric (this really didn’t work), I figured that I had to find a different way, and after many different trials, I came across the technique of using a style of almost reverse applique with bright coloured fabrics then giving a shadow effect once the sheer fabric has been laid over.

Part of the fun of creating the designs was creating the perfect stitch sequence so that at every point, the “shadow” fabric is adhered to the cotton voile fabric.


One of the elements of this design collection that I don’t think I highlighted very well is that as well as the straight borders, you also get the corner designs, so you can you use these designs on borders very easily if you wish.

When it came to projects, I had a couple of different ideas for this collection. I love just how easy it is to match these designs up, and I really wanted to highlight that in any project.  My mum was at the time working on a French braid quilt, and I really loved the way these small rectangles came together to form a gorgeous strip.  I had also purchased as part of some birthday money that Edward had given me a set of fat quarters, in a country style colour way that I wouldn’t normally use.  From these two items, came the inspiration for the shadow work quilt, and the shadow work cushion.


The quilt that I made was a lap size quilt, and I finished it off with prairie points around the edge for some extra interest. When it came to the cushion, I really wanted to create a bolster cushion that would decorate my bedroom.  I was happy to go overboard with this cushion, giving it a romantic look, by using the soft style fabrics, with the shadow work in the centre, and then two braids down the side, and the prairie points on the edge.


Initially we gave one of these magnificent Shadow work designs as the free design (still available HERE). As a thank you to all of our loyal customers, for the next week we are offering a second design, the corner design that matches the first freebie from this collection, as a free download.  Simply click HERE to collect your copy.

Over the next few days, I will also be sharing with you the Shadow Work Tutorial, as well as the shadow work bolster cushion project for free on our blog. Enjoy.

Thank you for taking this trip down memory lane with me, I hope you have enjoyed looking at this collection, and that it has inspired you to stitch for a loved one.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day. Julie.

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