The first time I took a Landscape Quilting class, I was smitten with the process. Yet, there was one obstacle—the paper glue stick. I sat in the back of the classroom with Landscape Quilting master Natalie Sewell at the helm, telling each of us to glue the fussy-cut pieces to our background fabric. “No way,” thought my prideful mind, “I am Sewing With Nancy and no paper glue stick is going to touch my fabric.”

Fast-forward 16 years. Natalie is a treasured friend, she has appeared on 20 Sewing With Nancy episodes, and I, yes I, endorse using a paper glue stick as part of the design process. In fact, you might call me a glue-stick convert. My first design was held together with 200 pins—paper glue sticks are the answer.

This blog is not about glue sticks, but as the title implies, about “Mini-Art Pieces.” Many of you may be like me 16 years ago, intrigued about trying Landscape quilting, but doubtful of the process. To overcome this stumbling block, Natalie and I have developed a TV series and workshop where you create mini-landscapes to test out the process and you have a mini-art piece when you’re finished!

There are 12 lessons that we teach during the 3-part Sewing With Nancy series Landscape Quilting Workshop. The second program of the series is this week’s featured video at

Sewing With Nancy watch online at


Or,watch this episode on your local PBS station, online, or on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone. Here’s how to download the app.

Sewing With Nancy app

Recently, I needed a gift—in a hurry—and made a mini-quilt by following one of the workshop lessons. Here is the step-by-step process:


  • Background: Choose hand dyed, mottled, or batik fabric in shades of green. Subtle light to dark shadings in the background fabric add an illusion of dappled sunlight and a sense of depth to the design.
  • Blooms and Buds: Select a fabric with rose motifs.
  • Leaves: Choose several leaf prints. Using only one leaf motif tends to give only a two-dimensional design.

Note from Natalie and Nancy: Rarely do we exclusively use the leaf motifs included with the bloom design. As pictured, the leaves in the floral fabric print are too sparse or small to be used exclusively as the foliage in the design.

Cutting Techniques:

  • Cut a 6″ x 8″ rectangle from the background fabric.
  • Fussy-cut the roses. Change the sizes of the blooms by cutting down the image.

  • Fussy-cut leaves, from two to three fabrics—botanical accuracy is not important. If the leaf scale is too large, cut the sizes down.

Designing Techniques:

  • Liberally, glue the backs of blooms and leaves with a paper glue stick. Position pieces on the background fabric. Tuck some of the blossoms under the leaf foliage and overlap the fussy-cut leaf motifs.

Stitching Techniques:

  • Follow the general instructions detailed in the workbook on stippling to complete this unit.
  • Layer the mini-quilt with batting and backing fabric.

Frame your masterpiece!

  • Frame your mini-quilt with a purchased 5″ x 7″ picture frame.
  • Note:  I’ve made several mini-quilts of this same design. The framed piece is not identical to the step-by-step photos. Each mini-quilt is unique!

If you’d like more in depth information on Landscape Quilting, check out our book, The Art of Landscape Quilting. Many have told me it’s a great coffee table book as well as an instructional book. Nice thought!

The Art of Landscape Quilting Nancy Zieman Natalie Sewell

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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