Module 1 Chapter 4

Silhouetted Shapes

This is also called shadow applique, something I hadn’t heard of before, and is formed by laying a dark fabric between either a cotton base and transparent or translucent top layer or between two transparent/translucent layers.

This chapter begins by designing with geometric templates. I used my cardboard templates made in a previous chapter, I drew around them onto template plastic and cut these new templates out.

I then used them to cut out shapes from black card to be used to make up different designs on A4 grid paper

A tip given is to use Blutack to hold these shapes in place which is really helpful

Shadow Applique Method

I decided to use calico for my base fabric, I’m so glad I did rather than use translucent fabric for both the base and the top. The translucent voile which I used for the top layer moved around a lot and to have it on the base as well would have made the work so much fiddlier.


Sandwiched Shapes

I chose to use a dark grey checked wool fabric, this was thick and didn’t fray and could be seen through the voile well. I pinned my black shapes to the fabric and cut them out to make up my chosen design, leaving enough room between the shapes for my stitching.  I then pinned the wool shapes to my calico base fabric. After this I tacked the wool pieces onto the base, leaving the tail of tacking thread on the back so it would be easily removes once the piece was finished.


For my top fabric I used voile that I bought a few years back to make princess dresses for my granddaughters, this is probably the worse fabric I have ever used as it slips and slides and moves around, stretching out of shape as you work with it! Anyway, I am glad I had plenty left over for this task.

I decided to use silver voile as my main top later and add a piece of purple voile in between part of the piece of work, so for part of it there are four layers of fabric not just the three required. I spent time rearranging the voiles to see which positioning I preferred.


I then pinned the layers in place and chose a colour coordinated embroidery thread to stitch around the silhouette shapes. I used a running stitch for this main piece of work.

I made the mistake of stitching too close to the first silhouette shape, this meant that the wool fabric bunched up a little under the voile. On the other two pieces, I left a small gap between the edge of shape and the stitching which gave the shape the opportunity to move a little if need be.


This suggestion was to add extra embellishment in the form of beads/buttons/decorative stitching.

I decided to add some colour coordinated and clear beads to my piece of work, together with some small metal beads. I tried to give the impression of water/ice forming on windows with the purple voile giving the impression of a shadow to one side.


I made another smaller piece of work in the same way, again using calico for the base then using brown felt with gold voile on the top. I used dark yellow and green embroidery thread for form decorative stitching around the shapes, I used blanket stitch and chain stitch.

I really enjoyed working on this chapter!



Author: Lindsey Toms

Maker and designer of handmade quilts

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