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How to Make Easy Landscape Blocks

applique baby triceratops with a volcano in the background

Want to learn how to make a quilt with an easy online workshop – totally free?

Sign up for Let’s Make a Quilt here. You’ll learn how to get started, the tools and supplies you’ll need, and how to make a quilt from start to finish using Quilt As You Go and applique with fusible adhesive.

It’s the easiest, most fun way to make an applique quilt. You can do it!

Most of my quilts zoom right in on the animals’ faces. I like to make it look like they’re looking (and smiling) at YOU. I frame them in the block so they look like little portraits.

Maurice - cat applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

But that wasn’t going to work for the dinosaur quilt pattern. For dinosaurs I really needed to show the whole body.

That works just fine with my usual solid-color blocks as backgrounds.

green spotted applique apatosaurus on a purple quilted background

But as I was drawing them, I kept envisioning them in an actual landscape. I wanted the pterodactyls to be flying in the sky, above dinosaurs stomping across the earth. And I kept envisioning volcanoes and clouds and palmy prehistoric plants – and those needed to be rooted in the ground and stretching up to the sky.

So I did a lot of thinking about how to make these landscape blocks. I wanted a young, jagged, volcanic panorama – and I wanted it to be easy.

Dinosaur Panorama - four applique dinosaurs and one volcano

I didn’t want all the blocks to be the same, and it seemed kind of silly to provide pages and pages of patterns for what are essentially squares with slashes across them. 🙂

So I came up with an easy method to make these blocks.

  • no measuring
  • no fussy templates
  • an even mix of uphill and downhill blocks
  • an even mix of earth and sky

Here’s how to do it.

See how easy that is?

My fabrics are very bright and vibrant batiks (get the green batiks here and the blue batiks here) but you could achieve the same landscape effect with a totally different feel by using a selection of pastel green and blue solids.

purple spotted T-rex on a pastel quilted background

See? Wouldn’t that make a sweet baby quilt? 🙂

Happy quilting!

Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World


  1. Simone DuBois SAYS...

    What if you have one sided fabric? How do you make those squares?

  2. Diana Barnes SAYS...

    Thank you Wendy for all your fantastic videos. I sure do appreciate all the hard work you share with us.

  3. Chris Hinds SAYS...

    Hi Wendy. I just discovered your designs- they are adorable. I plan to use colors similar to those in your sample in a nap quilt for my dino-loving grandson. I’m wondering about show through from the deep greens and blues of the background when I use lighter appliques colors such as yellow and orange for dinos. Also does the bumpy quilting show through with the fusible? Any tips? Thanks.
    Chris Hinds

    • I don’t usually have any show through unless the background fabric is a really high-contrast pattern, like a black and white print. In those situations, this tutorial will help. I almost always applique with patterned fabric and I find the quilting lines don’t really show through it. They really only show through when I used a light-colored solid fabric. Again, most of the time I don’t worry about it. I make my quilts to be used and once you join all the blocks together you don’t really notice show-through on an occasional block. But if it bothers you, you can always fuse the pieces down first and then quilt around them. I demonstrate that in a lot of my quilt tutorials – look for them here. Scroll down and look for the cluster of tutorials that all say something like QAYG Square Squiggles, QAYG Teeth, etc.