Monday, 3 January 2011

Landscape Quilted Wall Hanging

This landscape quilted wall hanging began life as a simple baby quilt with a few hills and a couple of rabbits, but as with so many things that I do it has now changed beyond recognition and become a quilted wall hanging inspired by the 'blue remembered hills' of AE Housman's poem 'A Shropshire Lad'.  He is one of Shropshire's most famous sons and is buried here in Ludlow at St Lawrence's church.

What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?
That is the Land of Lost Content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went,
And cannot come again.

So, out went the pastel colours and the bunnies and in came more dramtic colours and a church so that I could have a spire.

I've made this quilted wall hanging rather unconventionally, but it was very simple.  I began with a 24" by 18" rectangle of wadding and backing fabric with the wrong side of the backing against the wadding.  then I drew the basics of the landscape on to the wadding.  There was a reason for this:  I felt that the contours of the hills would show up better if the pieces of fabric were sewn directly onto the wadding rather than on to a foundation piece first.

The general idea (which I didn't quite achieve) is to split the panel into thirds vertically so that the hills should meet either one third or two thirds of the way across rather than in the middle.

I began at the top of the landscape quilted wall hanging and worked down.  The sky fabric went on as a rectangle and then I cut the curves to match the hills.

The charcoal fabric for the furthest away hill came next.  The  layer belowI had drawn as one section but the particular colour that I wanted was in a jelly roll (only 2.1/2" wide) so I used two colours to keep with the size that I had drawn.  This quilted wall hanging is very much a mix and match of fabrics available - quite a good chance to use up some stash, in fact.

Continue down the panel adding fabric for each section.  I was rather making it up as I went along.  the pond on the right was a late addition and I felt that the green fabric in the left hand photo had to be exchanged for a plainer green as in the right hand photo.  At this stage I was just laying the fabric down so that I could move it around if I wished.  When I felt happy with it, I removed the bottom layers carefully and glued the fabric down, starting with the sky.  Each layer overlaps the one above it so accuracy is not a problem.

To secure the layers safely and to provide some contours I wanted to sew along the joins between the fabrics.  I zig zagged using white thread underneath and invisible thread above.  It's the first time that I have used invisible thread and I hated it, even though it did the job.  I don't mean to sound corny, but I couldn't see it!  Threading the needle took ages.

Anyway, once all the background was secure, I could start playing with the detail.  For the fence posts I used brown fabric backed with interfacing (I use steam a seam) and cut strips narrowing slightly along the length.  These were about 4" long and I cut them in half and used the thicker part for a fence post near the front and the thinner part for the fence posts at the other side of the field.

For the fence rail I cut lengths of brown slightly thinner than the fence posts and ran them round behind the fence posts.  I found a cow picture on the internet and cut two of them, again using fabric backed with interfacing.

That just left the church.  I found a picture on the internet again and cut the whole church in one fabric, then added scraps of fabric for the roof and door.

To quilt this landscape wall hanging, I began by zig zagging the fence posts and rails with brown variegated thread.  I did the same round the church.  then I zigzagged across the roof of the church to give the impress of tiles.

For the cows I used a smaller zig zag stitch both in width and length (almost a satin stitch) and I used a wider satin stitch for the far side of the pond to make it look like the bank of the pond.  This was all done using my normal sewing foot.

I used free motion quilting for the sky (pretend clouds) and for wavy lines more or less following the contours of the hills.

I drew a daisy design on the two nearest fields and quilted that.

I am sure that you are far more creative and imaginitive than I am, but I hope that this has given you some ideas on how to make a simple landscape quilted wall hanging.  Make images in the foreground larger than those in the background and keep the brighter colours in the foreground.

Because I had forgotten to plan in a border - oops, I mean because the design didn't include a border - I decided to use flange quilt binding in white and black to frame the quilted wall hanging.  This was sewn on the back of the quilted wall hanging and flipped to the front to be slipstitched in place.

Thanks for visiting my blog. 
You'll find more ideas for quilting projects at Ludlow Quilt and Sew.

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