Saturday, May 17, 2014

Creating a Drop Shadow - Tutorial

We will be continuing with the blocks we created the other day.  Directions for how to create a Stack and Whack Block can be found here:

Starting with the blocks, we will square them up to 11 inches.  To do that, I place my square up ruler on my block, lining up the 5 1/2" line with the center seam going both ways, trim around those two sides and turning your block around 180 degrees, do the same for the remaining two sides.  Do this for all of your blocks.

Now we will create the strip set for our drop shadow.  For this block I have selected a black shadow and white background fabrics. You can use a multitude of colors for the shadow, yours may be dark gray or light gray, navy blue...actually any color.  Your background fabric will need to match the fabric that you will be sashing your block with in order to create the illusion.


2- Strips       11" x width of fabric   Shadow fabric
2- Strips         2" x width of fabric   Background fabric

You should have two strips like the ones in the photo above.  My strips are folded in half as you would cut them.  If you are uncomfortable working with a long strip set, you can cut the fabric strips in half on the fold and work with shorter strips.  

Next we will seam these together using a 1/4" seam as shown below.

You are now ready to start cutting your drop shadow strip set.  Lay your ruler along one edge, making sure that you have lined it up straight before you cut.  You will be cutting strips measuring 1 1/2" wide by the width of this strip set as shown below.  One of the ways you can make sure you are cutting this straight...Line up one of the lines of your ruler along the seam line between light and dark fabric.  

You will need to cut 2 strips for each block in your quilt.  My quilt will have 16 blocks.  I will need to cut 32 strips for this quilt.  

Carefully lining up the background fabric with the edge of your bock, stitch one strip to the side of your block, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, as shown above.  ALWAYS start from your background fabric with your stitching, not from the shadow end. Press your block. Trim away any excess even with your block.

Take your second strip and sew it to the bottom of your block as shown above, again STARTING from the background fabric and stitching toward the shadow fabric.  Press your block and trim off any excess at the end.

The next in this tutorial series will be sashing the blocks.  You have finished creating the shadow illusion.  You can set them out as I have on my background fabric to audition your blocks for your final layout.  

That was fun!  Look at the great effect we are getting with that drop shadow!  If you don't want to make the Stack blocks, you can substitute a feature fabric.  Let your mind go, there are lots of possibilities with this technique!  

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