Friday, August 17, 2012

Shadow Box Tutorial

Shadow Box Quilt
Free Tutorial!

A lot of my quilting buddies wanted to know how this was made, and since it's such an easy quilt, I decided to share it as a free tutorial!

You'll need to decide what color you want to use for your shadows and border, and what color you want to use for your background. (I chose black shadows and a white background.)

From your background fabric, cut:
48 squares 1-1/2" x 1-1/2"
5 squares 2" x 2"
28 strips 2" x 9-1/2"
30 strips 2" x 11"

From your shadow fabric, cut:
24 strips 1-1/2" x 7-1/2"
24 strips 1-1/2" x 8-1/2"
(Outside border is cut 4-1/2" wide on my quilt.)

Next, cut 24 squares from all different fabrics @ 8-1/2" x 8-1/2"

Now you'll sew one of your small white squares to your 7-1/2" long shadow strip
for the bottom of each square:

Next you'll sew one of your small white squares to your 8-1/2" shadow strip
for the side of the square:

Sew the bottom strip to the scrappy square, and then the side. It will look like this:

Now you'll add your sashing parts. First, to the bottom of the square above,
you will add one of your 2" x 9-1/2" strips of background fabric.
Then to the left side of the square you will add one of your 2" x 11" strips of
background fabric. Sew 4 blocks together per row, and finish the row with a final
2" x 11" strip of background.

Make 6 rows like that, and sew them together, adding a final set of 9-1/2" background strips with 2" squares of background fabric to your top row, and then your outter border, so that it looks like this:

Your finished quilt will be about 51-1/2" x 72-1/2"

Happy Quilting!
Jean MaDan

Another great quilt by Candace Wragg, using my tutorial. Terrific job, as usual!

This one is made by Gloria Hooker. Wonderful! Love that red!!

Loretta Webre made hers in shades of blue, and  one block wider. 
Loretta said: 
I'd like to tell you a little about why I made this quilt for my Godmother.  You see, my mother died when I was 9, and I have always been very close to my Godmother, my mother's sister, as she was always there for me.  I really consider her my 2nd mother, and don't believe I would be the woman I am today, were it not for her love and guidance.  Her favorite color is blue, and she celebrated her 75th birthday on the 6th of Sept.  I wanted to make the quilt for her as soon as I found your pattern, but Hurricane Isaac intervened and really messed up my plans.  I had a house full of people, who could not get home due to flooding, no power for 6 days, and no running water.  A very stressful time, to say the least.  Making this quilt was great therapy.
I delivered it to my Aunt yesterday and she and my Uncle absolutely loved the quilt.  She asked about the pattern, and I explained how I saw it on your blog.  I named the quilt Out of the Blues. 
I think I'll make another one using LSU purple and gold, with tiger faces as the main blocks.
Thank you, again. 


  1. I can see this working brilliantly as an I Spy quilt! Thanks for sharing the tutorial :)

  2. I think you've done another tutorial that I'll have to try. I really like this, thank you.

  3. Thank-you so much for sharing this great tutorial. This quilt is going to be so much fun. I love scrap quilts but I can also see it working well for a theme quilt. I can't wait to get started!

  4. Love it! Thank you for sharing this and you do a great job explaining how.

  5. Very cool, Jean! Thank you for sharing this instruction. You are a great inspiration, dear.

  6. I've always thought this is a cool looking quilt! I also always thought it was hard to your sraight forward instructions. I've bookmarked this one for a future Project Linus quilt....I just need to start gathering the 8.5 inch squares.
    Thanks so much.

  7. thanks!!! going to go start cutting into that liberty of london for my daughter in law right now!!! WHEW!!! sooo glad to get started on this! is for her christmas gift, and since this one is an easy one, i know there will be no problem of getting it done quickly......just in time to do the brickworks for her husband, my son LOL

  8. Thanks for sharing the tutorial for this lovely quilt.

  9. whew!!!! the 24 8 1/2 inch squares of the liberty of london fabrics are CUT!!! yeah!!!!! commitment made! that is more than half the battle for me!

  10. Dear Jean,
    I cannot find a 9.5 inch shadow piece cut for the second step. Can you clarify this for me please? Did I read it wrong as I have a 9.5 background strip but only 7.5 and 8.5 shadow strips.

    I really like this pattern and hope it is my mistake.

    1. Thank you for catching that typo!! Yes, it should have read 8.5" shadow strip. When that's added to your 1.5" background square, the TOTAL length would then be 9.5". I've corrected the instructions. Thanks again!

  11. You are welcome. Thank you for a free pattern.

  12. Hi Jean - I'm just down the road a ways in Tucson! Are you staying cool? Thanks sew much for the rich supply of ideas that you are willing to share with the world! Your quilts are wonderful! Barb in Tucson (Oro Valley)

  13. Thank you for the tutorial, you make it seem very easy with great instructions. This one goes on my pin board so I'll know where it is. Thanks again, blessed be, hugs!!!

    playamom57 at yahoo dot com

  14. What a great pattern, thanks for sharing Jean!! I am definitely going to give this one a try.

  15. Thank you! I just made 2 of these but using a rectangles, love he look. Your tute is perfect for all those layercakes :o) Amie

  16. ta-da!!!!!i have this one and your bricks DONE!!!!! yeah!!!!! they are both so easy and fast and really make a huge impact with a bit of fabric. i used some bits of some liberty of london fabrics. they were showcased marvelously and i know that my son and daughter in law will love them when they get them for christmas.

    i love the shadow pattern especially. i plan on using it for a memory quilt. my friend from first grade"s mom passed away recently. i am going to be using her clothing as the focus fabrics. i need to make 7 quilts and i think this pattern showcases fabrics so well, and only takes a small bit of each one ;o) i know that my friend and her siblings and their children are going to absolutely love the modernness of this pattern. thank you for your generosity in sharing these great tutorials with us. will post a picture to you soon....

    1. I'm so glad you're enjoying my patterns Lynne! Thanks for the compliments. Can't wait to see your results.

  17. Dear Jean, I found this wonderful tutorial through another blog (I'd have to search to find which one! Sorry!) I am definitely going to make it and just bought a gorgeous batik layer cake for the squares. My question is, do you have the yardage requirements for the shadow fabric and the background fabric? Thanks for any attention you might give my question!

  18. Hello Jean, Thank-you for sharing this wonderful tutorial. I see so many possibilities with my stash! Your instructions are so easy to follow! Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you...

  19. I have a shortcut! Instead of cutting all those little 1 1/2" squares and sewing them on to the end of the 1 1/2" wide shadow strips, why not cut a 1 1/2" wide by 36" long white strip and sew it on to a piece of 8 1/2" wide x36" long shadow strip and then cut the resulting sewn fabric into the 1 1/2" strips needed? Likewise for the other 7 1/2"x36" shadow strip and 1 1/2"x36" white strip. That way you get your shadow strips and white squares all sewn together in one fell swoop and all you need to do is cut the already sewn fabrics into 1 1/2" strips. Personally, I'd find it a lot easier to handle than all those tiny squares to sew onto the narrow strips and it halves your cutting time. Just a suggestion! :)

    1. Of course a lot of us do that sort of speed piecing, but it's usually easier to teach a step-by-step method in a tutorial so that everyone understands where they're going. Then if they want to take shortcuts they don't get confused. *wink*

  20. Jean: love the tutorial, can't wait to try it. thanks for sharing

  21. I have a collection of dog prints that this would be perfect for, so I will be working on this project. The quilt will be an used to raise money for the local dog park. Perfect tutorial! Thanks so much!!