Lesson #6

Shadow Work Applique

Shadow Work Embroidery by Machine

This lesson brought to you by Lyn in Arkansas
There used to be a book available on this - Special Embroidery Touches by Machine- by Kathy Ghorhashi. (A few years ago, I took a class on the technique (with my local Bernina Dealer), and then bought the book to use as a reference guide.) The technique is similar to applique, only onto the back side of batiste or fine linen. Basically, you draw your design (with washable marker or pencil) on top of the fabric, then layer the solid color fabric underneath, and stitch the design on top for that color, next trim away the extra fabric with applique scissors. It does best if worked in a hoop, with an open-toed embroidery foot (#20), so you can see the stitches as you place them. (Also use a lightweight thread in the bobbin.)

Let's use a Rose with leaves and a bud for an example. Trace the design onto the top of the batiste, and place into a hoop. Place a piece of red or pink fabric under the batiste so that the area of the rose and bud have red or pink fabric under them. Select a narrow pin-stitch (#26 on 1130)

(width 3/4 and length 1 1/2) or some other 'blind-hem' type stitch and use a short stitch length and narrow stitch width.

With rose-colored thread, (rayon or cotton embroidery thread), stitch the design of the rose and the bud (including petals, etc). Next trim away the extra red/pink fabric from around the rose and the bud, leaving fabric under the area of the rose and the bud.

Next, place a piece of green fabric under the leaf area of the batiste. With green thread, stitch the leaves, (and stems if desired). Again trim away the green fabric close to the stitching, leaving fabric where the leaves,etc were stitched. The fabric underneath does not have to match exactly the thread used on top. It just colors the area to give the impression of shadow work embroidery threads. The area will be influenced more by the threads used for the embroidery.

Since you are working from the back of the fabric, you layer the fabrics with the closest worked first (like the flower centers), then the receding items (petals, then leaves). All edges of the applique fabric must be caught with stitches, or they will fray. A straight stitch cannot be used to secure the fabric. However, straight stitches, satin stitches, etc., can be used to embellish the areas for more of an embroidered look. Ideas for the designs can come from shadow work embroidery patterns or can be inspired by fabrics.

Have Fun!! Enjoy!!

Lyn in Searcy Arkansas

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