The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 259 - Landscape Stitch

Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 259 - Landscape Stitch

Landscape quilts are some of my favorite quilts to make. Simple, flowing lines are easy to applique, the sky is a fun area to play with painting, and of course, the free motion quilting can add a layer of texture and dimension to the whole piece.

But what if you wanted to make a landscape without piecing or applique? Why not just stitch it with this Landscape Stitch:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
I created this particular design several months ago while working on My Cup Runneth Over. I kept seeing a landscape behind her, but it was way too late to add fabrics at that stage and have everything look cohesive.

free motion quilting | Leah DayInstead I simply quilted the landscape into the space behind her with green threads. The effect was perfect! The landscape doesn't stand out or compete with the goddess, but it still shows up and adds to the overall piece.

Now let's learn how to quilt this easily working from edge to edge over your quilting space:

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. Landscape Stitch is really not difficult. It's simple curving lines, but notice how much thread play I created over the tops of the "hills" of the landscape. I intentionally stitched over those areas multiple times so they would appear darker and stand out better.

Travel stitching and intentionally building up your thread can be tricky when you're just getting started free motion quilting. If you find your thread breaking over these areas, try switching to a thinner, stronger thread like Isacord that will allow you to stitch many layers of thread over one area without shredding.

Design Family - Edge to Edge. This design is worked from one edge of your quilting space to the other, making it a great design to place in the open areas of your quilt.

Directional Texture - 2 Directions. The more curvy your "hills" are with this design, the more movement it will create over the surface of your quilt. It's always going to have a nice horizontal or vertical texture, but play with stitching both large and small hills to see what effects it can create.

Suggestions for Use - Have you ever made a landscape quilt? You certainly don't have to be an artist to create a simple art quilt!

As with all things: it's best to start small. Take a 12" square of fabric and sandwich it to make your quilt. Quilt Landscape Stitch throughout the bottom half of the square, playing with making some hills big and some small, filling each with lines of echo quilting.

For the sky area of the landscape, try Swirling Water or Snake Paisley. Play with different colors of thread and have fun creating a miniature landscape you can easily finish in a few hours.

Back of Landscape Stitch
free motion quilting | Leah Day
Feel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and make sure to tell your friends where you learned it.

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.
Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day


  1. Hola,soy una seguidora de tu blogg,aunque nunca te haya dejado ningun mensaje.Me encantan tus trabajos,y tus acolchados son increibles,la verdad es que estoy aprendiendo mucho de tus videos.Un abrazo desde España.

  2. I do not have words ... your works fascinate me and I am grateful to you that you share, muchisimas thank you and in future I do not get lost any your work. He forgives my Englishman and kisses from Spain. (Madrid)

  3. Translation of Consuelo's post:
    Hello, I follow your blog though I never left a message. I love your work, your stitching is incredible and the truth is I am learning alot from your videos. A hug from Spain.

  4. Dear Leah, what happened with your site (maybe someone who want to do you something bad...?)because McAfee Site Advisor become red when I acces it.The motiv:"phishing or other scams".....
    You knew this?


Help us create more quilting tutorials! Check out our quilt shop at