Day 32 — Landscape Quilt Workshop with Cathy Geier

Since I posted last, I finished assembling and quilting the graduation gift quilt. That took a lot of pressure off, though it still needs binding, one of today’s tasks.

Besides that, I had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend with a surprise visit from my son, who lives on the west coast, and the daughter and her children who live near us. While traveling across country on Friday, Son made an unexpected stop near St. Louis. Since he was only a few hours away, he rented a car and drove up. ❤

Monday’s guild meeting checked one more item off my list, leaving more feeling of time and space for the next several days.

And yesterday, I took a workshop, getting back into the stream of trying new ways to tell stories with quilts. Our guild presenter and workshop leader was Cathy Geier, a landscape artist from Wisconsin. This link is for her gallery and this one is to her blog. The work on her gallery page shows a variety of styles and a range of complexity. In her blog she describes process in detail, as in this recent post on a complicated new project.

Her project for the workshop was much simpler, appropriate for beginners in this kind of quilting. We were to create the majority of a woodlands landscape in a whole three hours. She explained how to use her techniques and materials to arrange elements of tree trunks, background shrubbery, and leaves.

Cathy provided a fat quarter of background fabric, and six other fabrics for the remainder of the scene. She showed how to use plain ol’ acrylic white craft paint, the kind that comes in a small plastic bottle, to add “light” to one side of the pale tree trunks, and a silver metallic Sharpie to add shade and contour on the other side. The dark trees used that silver Sharpie to make pale streaks, and brown and black markers to make dark ones, to give bark texture. Shrubs and flowers are cut with “messy cutting,” a way to create unstructured, organic-looking shapes. She reminded us that the back of the fabric sometimes is the better side to use. After basic lessons on foreground/background placement for perspective, those pieces are glued to the background with glue sticks. She brought a big box of various markers she uses to add or subtract color, and a big bag of crayons for same. Leaves are added last, using a leaf print and fusible web.

I don’t have leaves fused in place yet, but you can see a few of them for the effect.

From her samples, it was easy to see that the finishing (borders, quilting,) make a big difference in the final look. In truth, this isn’t a three-hour project. But it is doable by beginners, and it was a fun lesson in this type of appliqué and design.


20 thoughts on “Day 32 — Landscape Quilt Workshop with Cathy Geier

  1. Kerry Leach

    Sounds like a wonderful Mother’s Day – ours is in March, would be nice to share the same day universally!
    I do like those birch trees also the little cluster of leaves. It looks like a fun exercise. 😀

      1. Kerry Leach

        All in the hands of the legal peeps now! We have done as much as we can, having organised a removal firm – we just need a date to suit everybody, which is estimated end of June but perhaps it will be more like the beginning of July! So as we are quite ahead with packing we can relax a little in between! Sewing machines are now safely stashed at my mum’s house, but the ideas are flowing – have to doodle a fair bit! LOL!
        Thanks for asking Melanie. 🙂

  2. KerryCan

    Oh, that’s so nice that you got to see your son and daughter on Mothers’ Day! The worksop sounds interesting and the birch bark rendition is very effective.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      It was such a nice day. Son lives 2000 miles from us, and we hadn’t expected to see him until the wedding in July. The bad news was the equipment failure on his plane that made them land. The good news was what became of that. 🙂

  3. snarkyquilter

    What a wonderful Mother’s Day visit. Much, much better than a card. And your guild is doing a good job of diversifying its workshops. I can see where you’d need more than 3 hours to do a landscape quilt with those methods. Besides, the fun is figuring out what fabrics to use for the effects you want. Then you get to color! It’s all good. Even if you never finish the piece, it’s one more approach to have at the ready.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Yes, it was a wonderful, crazy day, completely different from what I’d expected. I’ll probably finish the piece, because I think I’ll learn a lot from that, too. Not sure what I would do with it then. It isn’t *mine,* since it really is to mimic her own design. ??? It’s okay. I can worry about that later. I have a lot of quilts that don’t seem to be going anywhere.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      You’re welcome. The fabric without paint and marker is not great. It’s surprising to me how much you can change it with not much effort, and pretty low tech.


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