Landscape Quilts: Design and Technique
Detail: Hielan' Home
Long established principles of painting can be applied to quiltmaking
to produce a great variety of landscapes. Without resorting to creating
our own fabric (though this is fun!), value, color, print scale,
texture, contrast, and line quality can all be brought into play
to design a realistic quilt. Techniques such as colorwash, bargello,
foundation piecing, invisible blind-hem machine appliqué,
and curved-seam piecing are very adaptable for landscapes and other
pictorial quilts. Embellishment and surface techniques such as embroidery,
stenciling, and drawing can be used for special effects or to add
small detail. Composition, perspective, and emphasis "speak"
to the view and give heart to the quiltmaker's vision. My design
class touches on all these topics in as much detail as the length
of the workshop allows. I've developed worksheets that cover these
topics and become a permanent reference for each student. Some classes
include "visual exercises" (eyes, not hands) to sharpen
observations and improve attention to landscape details.
Machine Appliqué for Landscape Quilts
It is almost true that anything you can draw, you can appliqué.
New foundation materials and sewing notions make it possible
to do amazing things with the sewing machine. This method
is flexible, makes replacing fabrics easy, sews quickly once
the design is completed and mimics hand-appliqué in
appearance. Best of all, there's no resin or stiffness, so
hand quilting is as easy as machine quilting.
Woodland Waterfall is a pattern I developed to teach
machine appliqué. It is designed for ease of layering
and so that the season depicted can be chosen by the student.
The class includes both turned-edge machine appliqué
and soft-edge appliqué in addition to lots of verbal
information on adding detail using a variety of techniques.
Satin-stitch embroidery is demonstrated, as is my method for
accurately positioning it without marking the top.
Piecing for Landscape Quilts
Working with straight and curved seams, and a little thought,
it is possible to create pieced landscapes. Seams are used
as tools and are exploited for ease of construction in addition
to their usefulness as lines. This is a class for people who
love puzzles and like the graphic quality of piecing. The
technique is no more difficult than traditional piecing and
all it takes is a willingness to step off the "grid."
Pieceful Leaves is the pattern I developed to teach
this piecing technique in a short class. Some leaves can be
eliminated from the design, and fabric choices can be simplified
Conferences & Retreats
These classes can be and have been offered in a variety of forms
from an intensive 1-day class to a weekend workshop (2-days plus
lecture), to a 5-day residential retreat class. Students appreciate
a bit of time to "process" the volume of information contained
in the class or to put it into cloth, so shops sometimes offer this
class with a week or two break between sessions. It is also possible
to schedule a "class reunion" several weeks after the
first classes to discuss details, quilting and border design. Students
like to see each other's progress.
Both appliqué and Piecing can of course be adapted to any
pictorial image, so these workshops are useful for anyone who wants
to create a recognizable image of any type -- portrait to still
See more students' landscape quilts in the Student
Fees and Requirements
For fees and requirements, send an email,
or call me, (805) 962-8511.