Living in the country, I am often inspired by the beautiful countryside. My landscape quilts attempt to capture the beauty of the natural world around us.

Waterloo County
by Renske Helmuth
(20” x 26")
Hand appliquéd, hand embroidered and machine quilted

Over the years, I have coordinated quilts for the Mennonite Relief Sale. The quilt "A Bird's Eye View: Interpreting the Aerial Photography of Carl Hiebert", was made in 2005 by members of the Waterloo County Quilters Guild and the Listowel Mennonite Church. 

I talked to Carl Hiebert and got his permission to use the pictures from his books. After I had the initial idea, I wanted to try it myself first, to know how difficult a project like that would be. I looked through Carl's books to find the photograph that would be the most challenging to interpret in fabric. This wall hanging is the result.

The hardest part was making the pattern. In a painting or drawing there are limitless possibilities; but when you are working with fabric, the pieces have to be big enough to appliqué! Once the master pattern was constructed, I started the hand appliqué, working from top to bottom. The final result was machine quilted.

After making this piece, I was convinced that it was possible to come up with a quilt based on Carl's photography and that's how "A Bird's Eye View" came about. At left is a detail shot from this quilt.

by Renske Helmuth
(22.5 "x 20")
Hand appliqué and machine embroidery/quilting

This quilt portrays what is happening all over the country: where there were once thriving farms, there are now weeds and abandoned buildings. The few remaining farms are getting bigger and bigger. In this prairie scene the buildings are gone, except for some grain bins: the last sign that once a family tried to make a living here.

Irish Seascape
by Renske Helmuth
Hand appliqué and a minimal amount of machine quilting

A member of my quilt guild showed me a picture of a painting that her mother got as a gift in Ireland. She wanted to make a small quilt out of it, but did not know how to go about it. I took her picture with a promise to give it a try. The hardest part was making the pattern. With a painting you have limitless possibilities with your brush strokes, but working with fabric you have to make the pieces big enough so it is workable.

Once the pattern was made and some more fabric had been bought it was time to go at it. The actual appliqué did go quickly. I would like to mount this landscape at some point, but for now I have put a border around it. It has been machine quilted, just enough to hold the layers together.

by Renske Helmuth, 2007
Machine embroidery, machine quilting, hand applique, hand embroidery

I wanted to make a quilt celebrating my birthplace, a beautiful old farm in Friesland. As a child, I'd loved exploring the barn, the orchard and the remains of an old moat. But I lacked a photograph to guide me -- until my mother discovered an old detergent advertisement featuring a black and white picture of our farm! With my brother's long-distance advice, it came together. I knew I'd succeeded when my mother proclaimed, "It looked just like that!" 

Entered in the National Juried Show, St John's, Newfoundland.

Green, green grass of home
by Renske Helmuth, 2007
Hand appliqué, machine quilting

After one of my landscape workshops, I found a picture on my desk with a note saying, "Will this work for a quilted landscape?" I put it away, but came across it again a few years later. I gave it a try, and here is the result.

Tuscany 1
by Renske Helmuth, 2009
Hand appliqué, hand quilting

After watching a television program about Tuscany, I started to doodle and came up with two landscapes. This is the first one. The fun for me was to make it as small a scale as I could!

Tuscany 2
by Renske Helmuth, 2009
Hand appliqué, hand quilting

After watching a television program about Tuscany, I started to doodle and came up with two landscapes. This is the second one. The fun for me was to make it as small a scale as I could!

Fall Colours
by Renske Helmuth, 2012
Hand appliqué, thread painting, machine quilting

While looking through my mother-in-law's things after her passing, I found a small box filled with vintage postcards. One of them was a beautiful fall landscape. This was the inspiration I needed for making this small quilt.

Let It Snow
by Renske Helmuth
(center is 7-3/4"x4-3/4")
Hand appliqué and machine embroidery

The inspiration for this landscape came from an old postcard I received years ago.

It took a while to find the right blue fabrics, but it was a fun piece to make -- even the countless French knots for snow!

Threatening skies  
by Renske Helmuth
(center is 7.5"x6")
Hand appliqué and machine embroidery.

I made this small piece for a Christmas gift. After the appliqué and embroidery I took it in and had it mounted behind glass.
Framing shows one of these small pieces of really well: the drawback is that they are hard to transport to workshops and trunk shows!

by Renske Helmuth (center is 9"x7")
Hand appliqué and machine embroidery

by Renske Helmuth, 2002
Hand appliqué

Renske Helmuth
2001 (3.5"x6.5")
Hand appliqué

I like to frame miniature landscapes and also make scenic greeting cards.

Renske Helmuth
2004 (13"x11")
Hand appliqué

Renske Helmuth
2003 (7"x5")
Hand appliqué