Creating Highlights & Shadow on Appliqué Art Quilts

Create depth in your appliqué art quilts using Nanette Zeller's Prismacolor method

Take your appliqué art quilts to another dimension! Nanette S. Zeller shares her method for using Prismacolor pencils to add highlights and shadows to appliqué pieces as a way to create visual depth.

About this Quilt

Designed By : Nanette S. Zeller

“When I first started using appliqué in my art quilts, it bothered me that everything looked so two-dimensional. After taking a Prismacolor pencil drawing class by local artist Frank Pierce and watching Lola Jenkins’ “Thread Art” online class, I experimented to see how I could use similar techniques on fabric. During my exploration, I developed a process to create subtle highlights and shadows on my appliquéd fabrics.” – Nanette S. Zeller

Download Nanette’s instructions along with more art quilting techniques in the December 2017/January 2018 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine.


  • Prepared appliqué vignette quilt top
  • Prismacolor® pencils to coordinate with fabrics; plus, indigo and white
  • Automatic pencil sharpener
  • Screen printing ink extender (I used Versatex™ by Jacquard®.)
  • Small, flat paintbrush