How to create a landscape quilt by Nancy Zieman and Natalie SewellTwo of Nancy’s favorite hobbies were sewing and gardening. More than 20 years ago, Nancy was introduced to landscape quilting techniques by Natalie Sewell, nationally known landscape quilt artist. Natalie and Nancy became best friends and scheduled two or three quilting dates each year. During their final three-part Sewing With Nancy series, Beginning Landscape Quilting, their simplified the process so that everyone interested could enjoy the pleasure of creating outdoor scenes in fabric.

Beginning landscape Quilting Natalie Sewell and Nancy ZiemanHere’s a blog exclusive quilting tutorial on how Nancy created the scene, Wolf River Woods.

How to create a landscape quilt by Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell

  • A photo was used as the inspiration for the design. Nancy did not interpret the design literally—it was used as a guideline.

how to sew a landscape quilt by Nancy Zieman Natalie Sewell

  • The hand-dyed background fabric sets the mood for the scene—a sunny autumn day. The leaf and tree fabric choices seem to echo the colors playing across the canvas.

How to create a landscape quilt by Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell

  • It’s nice to work on a design wall—a layer of flannel and Quilted Iron Quick sewn like a large pillow (without the pillow form) and a casing added at the top, through which you insert a curtain rod. This design wall is portable, although it can be hung year ’round.
  • Three brown trees, one fat and two skinny, are the first elements in the quilt. Roughly cut out the trees and glue them to the background fabric with a paper glue stick. No worries, the glue dries fast and clear and will not gum up your sewing machine.

How to create a landscape quilt by Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell

  • Add texture to the trees by cutting strips of the remaining two bark fabrics and gluing them to the tree trunks. One of the fabrics had a splendid knothole, which Nancy cut out and glued to the fattest tree. After deciding that the light came from the left, she shaded all three trees on the right with a black Sharpie marking pen.

How to create a simple landscape quilt design by Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell

  • Next, she added dark branches to all three trees by cutting skinny strips of her darkest fabric.

How to create a simple landscape quilt design by Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell

  • Then, Nancy began the slow but satisfying process of adding leaves, carefully cut from the large leaf fabric depicted in the photo.

How to create a simple landscape quilt design by Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell

  • After adding many more leaves (mostly red but a few green), Nancy messy cut the two ground cover fabrics, using both their right and wrong sides. To enhance the fall mood, she “diced” up a few of the red and gold leaves with her favorite scissors and sprinkled them on the ground cover. Notice how few leaves it takes to convey a wooded scene in fabric compared with the thousands a photograph would depict.

How to create a simple landscape quilt design by Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell

  • The design process continues after adding borders. A few leaves and branches in the border lend drama to the design.

How to create a landscape quilt by Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell

Overview of the finishing steps

Landscape quilting bends many quilting rules. Messy cutting, fussy cutting, basting with a paper glue stick, and using the other right side of the fabric as well as the traditional right side are just a few of the ways that Natalie and Nancy show you how to be creative with fabric.

After designing, tried ’n true quilting techniques take over. The raw edges are basted down using free-motion techniques with clear thread in the needle, the quilt is squared, borders can be added, batting and backing are layered and then are stippled.

For more design ideas, watch Beginning Landscape Quilting (Part One, Part Two and Part Three) on Sewing With Nancy online.

Beginning Landscape Quilting on Sewing With Nancy

This fall at Quilt Expo, we’re please to be honoring Natalie Sewell and Nancy Zieman with a Special Landscape Quilt Legacy Exhibit. The Sewell Family from Madison, WI, and the Zieman Family from Beaver Dam, WI, have graciously provided, on loan, a large collection of Natalie’s and Nancy’s Landscape Quilts. The Natalie Sewell and Nancy Zieman Landscape Quilt Legacy Exhibit will be on display at Quilt Expo in Madison, WI, September 6–8, 2018.

Natalie Sewell and Nancy Zieman

Quilt Expo Each September in Madison Wisconsin

Their love of landscape quilting brought Nancy and Natalie together. Remember them as you give it a try. Tell us which season you would most like to capture in landscape quilt imagery? Leave your answer in the comment section below for a chance to win two tickets to Quilt Expo, and a copy of the Beginning Landscape Quilting book/DVD from Nancy’s Notions. One winner will be randomly selected.

 

The randomly selected winner of a Trace ’n Create Hobo Tote Bag Template from Clover Needlecraft, Inc., is MaryLou W.

Nancy Zieman's Hobo Tote Bag Template Collection by Clover
Her comment is: Love the green floral print- a great looking bag- I would make one for my quilting “stuff” when I go off to a friends for a quilt day or one of our scrap club classes. My Granddaughter who is a knitter would probably love one for a Christmas gift too-guess I better get busy!!!:)

 

Happy Quilting,

Team Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC.

Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC

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