Shadow Quilting Designs
I invented the term “Shadow Quilting” to refer to the places where I use free motion quilting to copy the block design in the negative space of the pattern. Of course I saw a beautiful example of this somewhere on the internet last week and now I can’t find it! In my search for additional examples, I visited Judi Madsen’s blog, and she wrote a whole book on this technique. Look for Secondary Designs with Judi Madsen, due out in December 2016.
Shadow Quilting, using block designs in negative space, is gaining popularity in modern quilting circles. Negative space and alternate gridwork are core principles characterizing modern quilts as defined by the Modern Quilt Guild. I am delighted when I look closely and find replicas of patchwork illustrated solely with thread.
Shadow Quilt a Checkerboard
Checkerboards are an easy design to “shadow.” Once the grid lines are stitched, you can choose from many designs to fill alternate squares. I like the simplicity of lines or spirals.
Shadow Quilting with Shapes
In the quilt I am currently working on, there are bold triangles and diamonds in the border. I decided to use these elements to anchor the free motion designs in other areas. I first stitched the shape, then added the swirls inside and finished with the outside fill.
Another example from Judi Madsen’s gallery is the Tree of Life quilt. She created frames in the negative space, then filled them with grids and flowers. Judi is a master at using rulers with her free motion quilting, and she stitches shadow blocks in many of her quilts. As with any skill you want to improve, it takes practice, practice and more practice!
Free Motion Quilting – Piano Keys
A simple example of Shadow Quilting is a piano key border. This can be as simple as straight lines, or more intricate with arches.
What patchwork blocks are in your quilts that can be mirrored in the free motion quilting? Please send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can build a gallery of inspiration!
More you might like:
Download a practice workbook of free motion quilting designs HERE.