Shadow work embroidery has always been a favorite of mine. I love the soft subtle hue of the color shadowing thru the fabric. As the name would suggest, the basic idea is to use sheer fabric where only the barest outline of the pattern appears on the surface and the crisscrossed threads underneath show through, thereby creating a "shadow" design. It is the opacity of the threads being worked on sheer fabric which defines this form of embroidery more than any single stitch or color combination. Shadow work is very versatile and looks both delicate and complicated, but it is really quite sturdy and easy to do. This effect can be used in a variety of ways with a wide array of designs and themes.
Several years ago I began creating shadow work in a more modern way, by using my embroidery machine. The result of my work was exactly what I was seeking to achieve - shadow work created by machine, but with the appearance that it was stitched by hand!
I still enjoy the traditional way of creating shadow work, which is by hand, but I also like the ease of using my embroidery machine to create nearly the same look at a fraction of the time it takes to work by hand!
My newest set of shadow work is "Baby Shadow Work 3" and I am still working on more designs to add to the set. Here is what is currently completed in the set:
Two friendly little birds!
You can check out all my machine shadow work designs that are available at my design site:
If you still prefer the traditional way of creating shadow work and need a tutorial, you can find that HERE!