Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tutorial for an Aspen Landscape Block

I made a 12.5 inch landscape quilt block for the "Leafs Me Happy" blog hop.  I've never written a quilting tutorial, but I taught middle school for 24 years, so how different can this be from preparing a science lesson?  (I guess I will find out.)

I was inspired to make this block after taking the cog rail train up Pikes Peak last week.  The aspen leaves were a beautiful golden color.  I wanted to capture their beauty.  Here is my attempt:

First, I needed to choose fabric to use for the sky, the aspen leaves, the ground, the tree trunks, and the colorful underbrush.  Most of these fabrics I got at Ruth's Stitchery in Colorado Springs, my favorite quilt shop.  The fabric for the ground was purchased at a quilt store in Alaska this past spring.  I also needed fabric markers to recreate the aspen bark, a small piece of fusible webbing for the shrub, and some fabric glue for the leaves.

Next, I appliqued the fabric for the earth to the 12.75 inch square of blue sky fabric.  I trimmed away the extra sky fabric from the back of the block.  I looked for a batik of white with a little gray for the tree trunks, but could not find one.  Instead, I used a very light batik with a little tan mixed in.  I cut strips varied widths for the tree trunks, choosing to make 5.  Next, I shaded in the strips with gray and black fabric markers to depict the bark of the aspen trees.

After shading in the aspen bark, I placed the aspen trunks on the block along with an underground shrub, moving them around until I liked the arrangement.

The tree trunks were hand appliqued in place.  The shrub was fused into place.

Next, the aspen leaves were added.  These, I cut (free-hand) from the yellow batik.  The leaves were quite small, so I chose to use fabric glue to attach them.  Later, when I quilt the block, they will be fastened down more permanently with thread.  I trimmed the block to 12.5 inches.

I auditioned several fabrics for a border, and finally chose a navy blue batik.  The block seemed much brighter using the navy blue than other fabrics I tried.  I added the borders and a few more leaves, and, my first landscape block was completed!

I'm really enjoying the blog hops from Madame Samm's site,  It has given me an opportunity to see so many quilters' ideas and projects, and inspired me to create my own blog.  Thank you, Madame Samm for featuring the blog hops on your webpage.  I hope to participate in more hops in the future.


  1. Very cool. I know putting together one of these tutorial posts is work. I hope you keep it up.

  2. Great blog post. Josh is right, it does take work but it was really cool and informative to read. The block turned out great.

  3. Yay! A new blog to view and be inspired by! Will you be allowing followers? :)

    1. I will have to learn how to set that up! This is my first blog, ever. I may need some help!

  4. Love your block and the photo instructions are perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Just love your creative quilt landscape! Someday when I grow more in quilting, I want to make these too!

  6. Hiya Kathy! Loved your block from the blog hop, so I came over to check out your blog. Looking good, just need to put some way on to follow you. Thank you for sharing the tutorial. Blessed be, hugs!!!

    playamom57 at yahoo dot com

  7. Mom, this is gorgeous. Love the post!

  8. Kathy, I don't remember seeing this...did we put this on the other blog....I remember seeing it but not here....anyway it is lovely