Keepsake Quilting Patterns Appalachian Sunset and Autumn Sentinel

Appalachian Sunset
Hi there and welcome to my blog. I thought I'd post some of my 'in progress' photographs to help you put together these patterns from Keepsake Quilting. (I was thrilled to make these for you out of RJR's wonderful fabric lines. Most of the fabrics are from their Batik and Handspray collections). If you have purchased one of more of the patterns you'll see the fabric requirements in the front.

 These quilts are successful because I used sooo many different fabrics and the colors blend and flow across the landscape scene. The 2 patterns in Keepsake use different techniques. One is applique, one is pieced. Both are explained in the patterns.

I'll start off with the Appalachian Sunset pattern, this is Strip Applique. (My hottest class right now, by the way! It's instant color gratification and fun - no piecing!) 

Organize your fabrics, (I didn't use all these reds so don't worry about it!) Sort them from dark to light by color. Set aside all the sky fabrics. (Not pictured)

Begin building your landscape from the bottom up using the darker value greens in the foreground and the darker browns behind the greens. Gradually use lighter and lighter brown  and green batik strips as you get to the top of the hills.

When you begin building the blue ridges, do NOT do the same thing.  Check out the photo above and the photo below: do those blue ridges look farther away?

 No, they don't. This is because the farther an object is away from you, the lighter and the grayer it becomes. Plus, we want those distant blue ridges to look a bit 'misty'. 

~How not to build blue ridges~

 The above photos were my 'rough drafts'. Once I built the sky, I realized that the blue ridges were wrong. One of the joys of this type of landscape quilt making is that until you use a hot iron and steam, all those strips can be removed and changed! The photo below is the finished quilt top.

SOOO, when you get to the part of your landscape where you start adding the blue ridge strips, use the misty lighter blue/gray valued fabrics at the bottom and gradually deepen them as you get to the top of the ridges.

Here is the finished quilt top. 

Finished quilt top
 I'm including a closeup shot of the warm sunset for you below.  

Once you love your design, you steam and press the strips with a hot iron. Then use monofilament thread and a zig zag stitch to finish off the raw edges.

Then trim off all those loose threads.

All these directions are in your pattern, too. And many more. 

Add the foreground foliage and borders. 

This is a high resolution image so you can see the quilting. Follow the directions in your pattern, add mountain bluff/hillside lines and quilt long wavy horizontals in the sky. (I love using Superior Threads - especially their Rainbow colors, I quilt using a 90/14 needle and Bottom Line in the bobbin.)

For the border I just quilted around the leaf shapes in the print and then stippled the areas in between. Bind, sign, hang and enjoy!

The next quilt I'm going to show you is a small version of my winning quilt Sunset Sentinel. This version is "Autumn Sentinel".  It is a smaller quilt because smaller quilts are easier to learn new techniques on.  Once you learn the techniques -  if you like them - you can build larger landscapes.

I do want to mention that the confetti tree can be tedious to make, however because this is a small quilt, it won't take 20 hours of sewing tiny loop da loos like my big quilt did!

So, lets start.  Follow the directions in the pattern and arrange your strips like this. (Directions include strip widths, etc.) Here is what the quilt started off looking like while it was on my design wall.

Notice I leave ends dangling. Don't cut any lengths at this point. We are just arranging and designing.

When you get to areas where 2 or more strips will be needed to complete one long row, just finger press the angles in place and pin. 

Arranged Strips

Once you like your arrangement, it is time to sew the angled strip segments together. After you stitch them, then trim off excess strip length.

This is also the last time to change anything on your design.

Transfer completed strip sets to the foundation. (We've already drawn our fold/sew lines on this foundation as per your directions.) 

Closeup of the sunset area as it is glued to the foundation

Fold and sew along your drawn lines, tear the foundation out of the seam allowances. Press seams one way or the other - press toward the darker side. 

Checking the size and placement of the freezer paper tree pattern. (The tree pattern is included.) 
 The tree looks good, follow the directions in the pattern and fuse it in place.
Tree is fused in place

Using left over burgundy foreground strips create a 'lumpy' foreground, these strip segments can be fused to the quilt top, or use a simple glue stick to attach them and glue them thoroughly.

Now for the confetti. I'm showing you 2 photos. The first has TOO MUCH confetti, and the second has not quite enough. 

Too much confetti! When I made my first batch of confetti I tried mixing in other colors.  It definitely wasn't worth it, so your pattern and kit only calls for  one red. In the end, I only used that one red batik print. 

Not quite enough confetti - sorry the picture isn't the best. (It doesn't show the bits as being red.)

Once you finish sewing the loop da loos, cutting out the messy clump patches and arranging and fusing them in place, it is time to remove the rest of the foundation.

(Details of all these directions are in the pattern.)

Tear away the remaining foundation
 Here is a closeup of the attached confetti foliage after the quilting. When you quilt, just make more loop da loos using the recommended thread. 

Confetti Closeup
 Once again, quilt long wavy horizontals in variegated thread and have fun! Here is the finished quilt. 

Autumn Sentinel 
If you would like more patterns and ideas using these techniques, check out my latest book "Lovely Landscape Quilts". There is an entire chapter with step by step photos showing you how I keep straight rows straight in both my Strip Applique and Strip Pieced landscape quilts.

You can also find a lot more of my in progress quilts and directions here on my blog.

Let me know if you need help and thanks for visiting me!


  1. Is the pattern for Autumn Sentinel still available? I've been unable to find it online.

  2. Hi there, I sold the pattern to RJR and I don't have access to it anymore. I have my word.doc write ups but no way to send you the 'tree' pattern because they created it from my sketches. I'd check with RJR - here is a link to their website.

    I hope you can find it!

  3. J'adore ce travail avec des bandes ,merci de nous en expliquer les grandes lignes

    1. Je vous remercie! Je suis content que tu aimes mon travail.