Landscape quilts are not only beautiful, they are a great way to remember a special place. At first glance they can seem intimidating, for the newcomer. The key is simplicity. This article is a guide to your first landscape quilt.
Choose the size of your finished project carefully. Large quilts can be intimidating. I recommend sizes: 3×5, 5×7,and 8×10. These are common sizes for photos. Since you will be making a pattern from the photo, it will make it easier to have the photo and finished project the same size.
Choose a photo with simple shapes. One that is not too busy or full of fine details. The simpler the photo the better. Make a copy of the photo and enlarge it to the desired size. Using a black marker draw, on the photo, the basic features you would like to include in the quilt. Make sure you have something in the foreground, middle, and background. If the photo has a horizon, be sure to include that. Do not include clouds, small bushes, or animals. You need a basic outline of the photo. Too much detail will frustrate you. Extra details can be added later with embroidery or ink.
Place a sheet of paper over the photo. With a pencil trace over the marker lines. This will become your pattern. If the pattern seems too busy, erase some of the features. If it seems too sparse add a few details. Cut a background piece about 2 inches larger than the desired finished size. You can trim it later. With a water soluble marker, trace the pattern onto the background fabric. This will be your placement guide. Remember if you iron these markings they will become permanent.
Now, it is time to cut out the fabric. Trace the pattern onto a piece of fusible web. Number or label the pieces. Cut around the pattern pieces, do not cut on the line. After choosing your fabric, place the pieces of fusible web on the wrong side of the fabric. Cut the pieces out on the line. Arrange the pieces on the background fabric and fuse in place. Be sure to follow the manufacture’s directions for this step.
When the top has been fused in place you can start sewing. I suggest using the free motion foot to add detail work with the thread. Add the batting and backing. Then quilt and bind as desired. When finished you will have a quilted landscape.