Landscape Quilting 101: How to Choose Fabrics

Landscape quilts have a different sort of artistic flair than traditional quilts, so your fabric choices have to be a little different, too. To create the three-dimensional look you want, you’ll need to keep the elements of the finished quilt in mind as you search your stash and browse the selection at your favorite craft store.

Consider the Images

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What components of a landscape are included in the quilt pattern?

Will you be focusing mostly on leaves, flowers, trees, and grass, or does the image consist primarily of sky and mountains? Are there domestic touches like people, houses or animals? Each part of the finished image has its own colors and characteristics, and the fabrics you choose should reflect these qualities to give the quilt the proper depth and texture.

Consider the Effects

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Fabric choice can change the appearance of details within the landscape. Solid or nearly-solid colors create expansive skies and rolling hills, but you might want something with a bit of shimmer if you’re depicting a body of water.

It also helps to familiarize yourself ahead of time with the shapes you’ll need to cut so that you can choose a fabric that’s easy to manipulate without bunching or stretching.

Consider the Lighting

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The time of day, season and weather in your quilted landscape all affect the light level and quality. Just like in a painting, you need fabrics of the same color but different shades to mimic natural light and create the right atmosphere.

The closer an object is to the light source, the lighter the shade has to be. Flecks of colors like yellow and white add accents for just the right finishing touch.

Consider the Texture

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Stitching is responsible for much of the texture in a landscape quilt, but fabric choice also plays a role. Using patterned and printed fabrics for elements like waves, leaves, and flowers makes the landscape appear more realistic.

Batiks and blenders can replace layers of fabric when creating depth and are perfect for intricate features, especially if you don’t want to spend a ton of time using stitches to add detail.

Trying out a landscape quilt with a mix of fabrics is a fun way to vary the quilting process and bring a fresh perspective to your hobby. Find a pattern you love, ready your Dollar Quilting Club rotary cutter, and get ready to see your favorite quilting fabrics in a new way.

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