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Shadow Box Quilt

Date Posted:16 June 2021 

Shadow Box Quilt main image

The Shadow Box layout can be used with a variety of embroidery designs as this style displays the embroidered blocks beautifully. We created this quilt with Spirit of the Outback 1 by Outback Designs using 9 embroidery blocks.



  • 2.5 metres of neutral fabric for embroidery blocks and sashing (allowance to make a mistake!)
  • 2 x fat quarters of patterned fabric - embroidery block frame
  • 30 cm of shadow fabric (we used steel gray)
  • 1.5m backing fabric (measure the completed quilt to get accurate size)


  • Shape to Create Fusible Woven Interfacing
  • Softaway/Tearaway stabilizer
  • Mercerised Cotton Embroidery Thread - Black (MC3-001) - provides a matte embroidered finish
  • Wool 60/Poly 40 Quilt Batting
  • Rasant thread - Cream 101

Fabric Cutting Instructions

Cream background fabric

  • 1.3 metres of the neutral 100% cotton fabric is used for the embroidery blocks- finished block size is 8½” x 8 ½”. Block should be cut to fit hoop size - we cut 10” x 14”
  • Cut 18 squares 1 ½” x 1 ½ ” - shadow squares
  • Cut 12 strips 2” x 10 ½” - sashing
  • Cut 12 strips 2” x 12” - sashing
  • Cut 4 x 2” x 2” squares - sashing square

Patterned fabric to frame embroidery

  • Cut 18 strips - 1” x 8 ½”
  • Cut 18 strips - 1” x 9 ½”
  • 10” or 25 cm binding fabric - Cut 4 strips: 2“ strips x the width of the fabric (WOF)

Gray shadow fabric

  • Cut 9 strips - 1 ½" x 8 ½”
  • Cut 9 strips - 1 ½” x 9 ½”

Method: Embroidery blocks

  1. Iron Shape to Create on the back of each embroidery block, shape to create provides extra support for the embroidery stitches.
  2. Hoop with Softaway/Tearaway and embroider the 9 x Outback embroidery designs onto chosen background fabric using the mercerised cotton embroidery thread.
  3. Square up the embroidery blocks to measure 8 ½” x 8 ½” then set aside.

Method: Patchwork piecing

  1. Attach a 1” x 8 ½” patterned strip to the top and bottom of each embroidered block. Press to the dark side.
  2. Attach a 1” x 9 ½” patterned strip to the sides of each embroidered block. Press to the dark side.
  3. Sew one of the small white squares onto each end of the grey shadow strips.
  4. Stitch the short strip to the left hand side of the block, and the longer strip to the bottom of the embroidered block, with the small white square facing as shown.
  5. Add the sashing to the bottom of the embroidered block.
  6. Add the sashing to the left side of the embroidered block. This is one block completed, repeat the steps with the remaining embroidered blocks.
  7. To create a row, sew three blocks together. Make a further two rows of three blocks stitched together.
  8. Add the final set of sashing starting with a 2” x 2” square of background fabric to the top row, followed by the outer border. The 3 rows will look like this:

  9. Stitch all three rows together to create the top.
  10. Sandwich together with the batting and backing and quilt as desired.

Products we used and recommend

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