6 Tips for Making Painterly Landscape Quilts

Have you ever wanted to paint a landscape with fabric, thread and fibers? There are many different ways to approach landscape quilts, from abstract designs using primarily fused fabric to mixed media quilts that bring a scene to life with paint and embellishments.

Here are some tips for bringing landscape quilts to life, from art quilt expert Marjorie Post.

‘Green Fields’ landscape quilt by Marjorie Post.

1. Choose the right photo. Most quilt artists begin a landscape quilt with a photo. When choosing a photo, look for interesting textures and elements as well as for “leading lines” that draw your eye into the picture. Avoid photos with a lot of detail and fussy items. (Note: Use your own photo or get permission from the photographer.)

2. Consider a black background. Try using a layer of black cotton fabric as the base on which to build all the colors of your landscape. Freely allowing this black to show through highlights your colors and adds more definition and depth to the design.

3. Use a design wall. You need to be able to step back and see how your fabrics look from afar. A color or pattern that looks perfect up close may not work when seen from a distance. If you have a lot of pieces fabric pieces, choose a design wall that allows you to hold each piece in place temporarily with a pin.

4. Consider a variety of fibers. Marjorie likes to use textured materials to enhance the scene, such as fuzzy yarns for dried grasses or clumps of woolly roving for bushes and trees. Shadows can be beautifully created by layering different shades of tulle.

5. Choose thread thoughtfully. Using different thread colors in the various areas makes an interesting landscape. However, beware of variegated threads, as they sometimes include colors you aren’t expecting.

6. Don’t skimp on the quilting. Each section will benefit from lots of line work and close stitching. You can use the contour of the land as a guide for your stitch direction.

For more tips, tricks, and step-by-step instructions on how to stitch stunning scenery in your quilt art, be sure to get our Landscape Quilting Collection, available for a limited time. This all-digital collection includes creative quilting advice for making landscapes from quilt artists Judith Trager, Margaret M. Roberts, Nancy Zieman, Natalie Sewell, and Marjorie Post.

P.S. What vista inspires you? A favorite vacation spot, the view our your window? Leave your comment below.

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