Week in Review 2020 – 08/21

Let’s Focus

It isn’t easy to focus, especially when we are facing challenges on a global scale. This week I felt the frustration of having a plan, but not being able to concentrate. It happens from time to time. Now it is time to write my post and my mind remains jumpy, hopping from subject to subject. I began with a plan, but have decided on a completely different one, at least to start.

This is the original full view photo of Turbulence taken at the end of my studio work week.

I thought you might enjoy a peek behind the curtain. In other words, not the usual edited photos I share in my blog, but a before and after photo, explaining how I go from one to other. The before picture is what my director of photography (Dana Eagles aka my husband) gave me. He prefers to photograph my work horizontally for the best lighting and framing.

Same photograph, but edited by me for the blog.

In order to share the photograph with you I do several things using Photoshop Elements:

  1. I rotated the block 90 degrees to the left;
  2. I chose a section of the quilt where I could mark true horizontal; and
  3. I cropped the image as tight as I could in order to eliminate distracting edges.

Although I didn’t have to do it this time, it isn’t unusual for me to adjust the lighting to come closest to true color.

There are several advantages to sharing the first photo.

  1. It demonstrates how the back and batting extend beyond the top. This allows for a place to position my hands while quilting right up to outside edge. Also, quilts naturally “shrink” when they are quilted, so extra is always helpful.
  2. Just in case you were under the delusion that my work is perfectly square, this shows that just isn’t true.
Let’s Get to Work
I’ve started free motion quilting Turbulence

My original plan for this post was to share the free motion quilting I’ve done on Turbulence. I spent the first hour or so of the week testing and discarding multiple thread options for the upper section. The fabric is SO busy that any thread option either blended in to such a point I couldn’t see it as I stitched or it was so obvious it was distracting. I finally settled on a variegated blue/green/purple/red combo from Superior Thread’s King Tut line. I have a blue/green, leaning more to green Bottom Line thread in the bobbin.

Detail of the quilting as it looks on the back side of Turbulence.

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. Ugh — I wish I did NOT know what you were talking about with having a plan, but feeling too tightly wound or restless to implement it! Been in that funk myself lately. I always have a lull in between projects, like there is some kind of mourning or reckoning of the finished quilt before I can proceed with other projects again. I definitely feel better DURING a project than I do BETWEEN projects! Your quilting is looking good. I know I’m a day late and a dollar short with this idea, but did you consider metallic thread at all? Superior’s metallic threads play nicely in my machines, with Glide or Bottom Line in the bobbin, and they have a metallic purple and a metallic blue that would be interesting on this piece. The colors blend, but the glint of the metallic might suggest the way light hits the crests of the waves.

    1. It is helpful, I believe, to recognize the typical rollercoaster pattern of emotions we go through when creating artwork. I nearly always become, if not unglued, at least underwhelmed and/or disappointed in my work when it is getting closer to completion. Surprisingly, when I pull the completed piece out months or years later it is remarkable how much better it has gotten while being hidden away.

      Yes, I did try metallic thread. I had the perfect somewhere between royal and midnight blue spool of Sliver. Unfortunately, the spool and my George could not agree. I’m convinced it is a de-spooling problem. It’s too late for this quilt, since I’ve soldiered on. However, I have asked R & D (also my husband) to design a better de-spooling solution for my older Sulky threads. The George’s post fits the spool so snuggly it can’t spin. It may also be that the thread was so tightly wound it has developed tight sidewise C’s that could be the cause of the snag. Might need to cave and buy some Glide to experiment with. Quite tempting.

  2. Ah, the issue of thread color on a busy/multicolored top. If it blends in a lot all one’s fancy stitching can’t be seen. If it stands out all one’s stitching mistakes can be seen. I think it depends on whether you want the stitching to star or support. For your piece I think the latter.

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