Landscape quilts are a beautiful alternative to the more traditional scrap quilts and patchwork quilts. Any quilter who loves nature will enjoy creating a landscape quilt depicting his or her favorite scene, be it mountains, a river or quiet cabin in the woods. Landscape quilting is also a great project for creative quilters, or those who love landscape paintings, as landscape quilting allows you to reproduce a beautiful scene on a different type of medium. Landscape quilting is also beneficial in that it can supply a challenge for both beginners and advanced quilters. There is no limit to how simple or ornate your landscape quilt can be. They are not as complicated or as difficult as you might think.
Before you begin crafting your landscape quilt, and before you even think about gathering materials for landscape quilting, you need to have an idea of what it is you’re trying to depict in your landscape quilt. Think of a favorite place, or find a photo or painting of a beautiful landscape. You can even use magazines as inspiration for your landscape quilting project. I like to use National Geographic for ideas. Keep in mind that you don’t need to make an exact copy if you use a photo as inspiration for your landscape quilt-you are simply using the picture to guide you in the features that make a landscape picture different from other types of artwork.
2. Study the Picture
Whether your picture is a photograph, painting or mental image, take note of the layers, colors, textures and other features of the landscape. Have an idea of where the horizon line is, as this will greatly affect the layout of your landscape quilt. Instead of focusing on the details of the picture, group sections together into categories such as trees, lake, sky, yard, etc.
3. Choosing Fabric
The next step before beginning your landscape quilt is picking the fabric. Choose colors and styles that seem to fit well into the scheme of the picture, but don’t stick to a predetermined color scheme. You can use textured fabric to add interest to the landscape quilt. In fact, you can even use the backside of fabrics if you feel it will work with your landscape quilt. Finally, find some plain cotton batting to build your landscape quilt on.
4. Landscape Quilting
When creating a landscape quilt, it is most important that you don’t over plan. Cut big rough shapes to represent the various elements of the landscape. You should be open-minded to new ideas sparked while you work on the landscape quilt. Don’t attach the pieces until you’ve cut most of the shapes and have a good idea for how they’ll fit together into your landscape quilt. When you’re ready to attach the pieces, mark the horizon line and begin by attaching the sky and then working forward. You should quilt the background first and then add details later. Don’t be afraid to add new colors and textures to your landscape quilt for contrast and detail. You should use invisible thread to attach the pieces, because landscape quilts with colored thread look tacky and the thread can draw attention away from the landscape.
Landscape quilting is an enjoyable endeavor with only one true rule: don’t be afraid to break the rules!