Week in Review 2019 – 08/02

Gwyned’s 3 P’s

As I ponder this week’s progress (perhaps I should make that 4 Ps, with progress being the fourth P) I realized I have some guiding principles (P – 5) when it comes to creating my artwork. These principles are easily distilled into P words.

Fifteen of the sixteen blocks needed to form the background of “Mother’s Little Helper” are 8/9 of the way there.

Best to address precision at the beginning of this post. Precision is a dicey subject. I thrive on precision, systems and organization. Others thrive on a looser, more flexible approach. As you can see from this week’s work, I have turned to paper piecing. I want these blocks to be exact enough so that when I seam them together, the seam lines match up and one block flows into the other.


If I had a dollar for every time someone has told me “I could never make quilts like you. I don’t have the patience.” it would pay for all my quilting supplies. OK, I exaggerate. Still patience is plentiful for me. Even paper piecing requires slowing down, double checking alignment, and verifying the piece being sewn covers the area it is supposed to.

Here is what the finished block looks like. I made a prototype (P – 6) first before starting assembly line piecing the remaining fifteen blocks.

I need to make 16 of the exact same block. Some would find this boring. So, what motivates me to persist. There is something about seeing nothing turn into something that is fascinating.

What are your P’s?

Let’s keep the P list going. What are your P’s that act as guiding principles? Perhaps a playful attitude? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

I am linking up with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays.

By Gwyned Trefethen

I am an artist who uses fabric, thread and miscellany to create designs gifted to me by my imagination.


  1. I love the lime greens you used in these blocks!

    One of my P’s is Practice. N. I have to remind myself whenever I begin learning something new that it’s going to take practice. When I was a young adult, I always used to shy away from things I couldn’t do perfectly right away.

  2. Quilting is the ONLY capacity of my life where patience exists! Yes, I’ve heard the same…about people NOT having it. I would say PRACTICE is my “P” word. Free motion quilting takes practice. I cannot load a quilt…without practice first: for muscle memory, tension balance, design ideas…and just warming up!

    1. I agree, practice is vital. I spent a year focusing on and practicing free motion quilting, until it became as natural as sewing a quarter inch seam. I still practice on a test piece whenever I embark on a new motif.

  3. My “P” word would be Payoff……that guides me through the whole process…..covering all the P’s…..such as playful, patience, precision…… my end goal is always to create a successfully designed and skillfully constructed piece. Love the direction of your new piece….colors are great!

  4. Great topic for thought, Gwyned! Now…let me see…

    RE: “Patience” — I get the same observation when a non-knitter (or non-hand-crafter) sees me knit. I’d have an even larger yarn stash if I had even a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone say, “I don’t have enough patience to knit”! Knitting, stitching, cutting fabric, etc. all develop patience in my view.

    RE: Precision: Um…Well, I’m pretty precise at cutting fabric but lately I’ve been loosening up a bit by not using a ruler for every little slice. I also admit that while in other parts of my life I am orderly, organized, a planner by nature and someone who’s not a fan of impulse or surprise…I am not a very precise quilter. I Practice my Precision by doing a great deal of Piecing but I find I have to Pay Attention to ensure my seams are 1/4″ wide — 1/4″ foot on the machine or not!

    My greatest guiding principle, I think, would be “Picturing”. I work mainly from photos, usually taken by me, of landscapes that I find I can picture expressed in textiles. My “spirit” or “statement” work is often handed to me in complete Pictures — from the Universe or God or the Muse…however you want to describe that. A total mystery to me.

    And Gwyned, give your Particular P’s…your Payoff for that Piece is sure to be Plentiful! 😉

    1. Who knew you and others would not only get back to me with your P principles, but you would have such fun peppering your prose with P’s. I’m really aPPreciating the feedback.

      In reality my precision depends on the piece. I tend to be far more intuitive, though in fabric choices, than free form with my cutting. I have the skills to fuse, but oddly I don’t find it nearly as relaxing as precision piecing. I got calm from organization and connecting lines. I am entranced by secondary patterns that form.

      Picturing is a great principle. I hadn’t thought of that one. However, like you, I do much of my design in work in my head and then possibly through research. Also, like you, the image is often gifted to me from what I think of as my muse. The trick, I believe, is to always be alert when these fleeting images appear, and hang onto them long enough to make connections and build on them. I also think of this as being insightful. It is a skill which must be honored and built through use. You and I have had the privilege to do this for decades.

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