Gwyned Trefethen’s Musings – 190329

Week in Review 2019 – 03/29

Artist’s block is not something I normally deal with. In fact, I tend towards the opposite of artist’s block, having too many projects I am eager to launch into. Usually, I need to reign myself in and focus. Whether I have an abundance of ideas or no ideas, how I approach making art is similar. I clear the decks, start researching, start experimenting, and pretty soon it looks like a hurricane has come through the studio.

Reference photo of hydrangea blossoms

I finally settled on making a 12″ x 12″ image of multiple hydrangea blossoms. My concept is to layer petals using a variety of blue and blue/pink fabrics on a deep, shadowed green background. The easy way to do this is to simply cut a large number of fusible petals, lay them on the background, and iron everything in place. This method has never called to me. Instead, I want to create more depth and dimensionality by “building” my petals.

Progression of experiments to create petals.
Left to right #1, #2, and #3

Four hours later I have made 3 petals each 1.5″ square. The first one took the longest as I tried to understand the origami diagram to do the final step of turning the corners under. What I don’t like about it is the fraying. I thought if I turned the edges under before folding the fraying would be hidden. NOT! It only got worse. See experiment #2. So, for experiment #3 I began by sewing two 3″ circles of fabric together around the perimeter, leaving an opening for turning. This worked best.

When I return to the studio next week, I will try one more thing, using two different, but compatible fabrics for a petal. My guess is I will intersperse petals created using experiment 3 and 4’s methods. I will be adding a single bead to the center of each petal when I tack them to the background.

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. You nailed it, LeeAnna. Despite new buds appearing daily, I’m struggling waiting for “outdoor” time to arrive. Zero idea as to how this will work out. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  1. Your post is such a perfect example of the ups and downs one experiences making original art quilts. There can be lots of time and anguish spent ‘experimenting’ to find the right path for the current idea, followed by glee when the right answer is found!

    1. You would think creating for 30 plus years there wouldn’t be any more struggles or experimentation. Isn’t that part of why we keep at it? The thrill of a breakthrough?

      1. Yes, the thrill of growth and breakthrough. If there were no struggle there would be nothing new. Don’t want a plateau or a rut.

  2. I played around with fabric origami a number of years ago and found it did take some experimentation to make it work. But it is fun when you get it because it create such intriguing textures and really does capture that hydrangea. And it is interesting how this creative process has its high points and low points, even after you have been on this journey for a while.

    1. I didn’t mention, but this isn’t my first time or even my fifth time playing with fabric origami. Like you, I first experimenting years ago. The hydrangea just seem to beg for it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Madalene, it is always good to hear from you.

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