Week in Review 2020 – 10/16

This is the very first block I made for Cautiously Optimistic. It has “moved” from the quilt top to the quilt back. I realized I made a mistake with the values and substituted a corrected block this week.

How do you retain hope and optimism over the long haul? I think about this question frequently, especially as the pandemic drags on and on. Whenever I embark on a new art quilt, I know step one is commitment. Fortunately, the start of a new artwork is a very heady time. I am filled with possibilities and optimism. Then it is time hang in, hold on tight, the roller coaster ride begins.

Week #2 and there are three blocks done.

When I am nose to the needle, I see every deviant stitch, mismatched seam and less than optimal fabric choice. It is easy to get caught up in self doubt and feel discouraged. I have learned to persevere. How? Simple, I remind myself that this feeling is a normal part of the process and it is only a feeling. After 30 years of making quilts and most of these years tackling intricate artworks, I have gained confidence that the current piece will get finished. I may not be in love with it at the end. However, over time I will make friends with it, see how it fits in my portfolio of work and even discover it isn’t so bad after all.

A process image of Cautiously Optimistic as it appeared on October 9, 2020.
The first row of Cautiously Optimistic is nearly complete. Just one more block to go.

It is important to quiet the negative self talk while making art. This is easier said, than done. Sometimes I need concrete evidence. One gift I get from the structure of a weekly blog post is weekly in progress images of my art work. So, that is what I have shared with you today.

Wow! I hadn’t realized until I started this caption that I made more blocks this week than any previous week.

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. Good for you, Angela. The inner critic does have a way of focusing on that one to ten percent that isn’t quite right versus taking joy in what is working. Of course, noting what could be better and problem solving is crucial, too.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and positive feelings about my quilt’s progress.

  1. How does one — how do *I* — retain hope and optimism over the long haul? Hmmm….the work of my hands in assorted ways — knitting, quilting, embroidery, gardening, spinning; faith practice; (mostly) daily journal entries; making for others. Right now I am doing a great deal of most of those things. The spinning is a bit inconsistent, and the gardening has ceased for the winter, but the rest goes on. That, and connecting online with family, friends and siblings-in-textiles!

  2. Finally I’ve learned that when I am in doubt about a piece I need to leave it alone for a while. Sometimes a solution will occur to me during a wakeful night or I’ll look at it up on the wall and say, oh, of course. The hardest thing for me to remember is that I can’t make a single piece all the possible ways it can be made at one time. Yes, maybe it could be done another way, but for now this is the way I’m going. For times of doubt I have my “some day this will be finished but at least I know what I want to do” hand work projects.

    1. Love this statement: “The hardest thing for me to remember is that I can’t make a single piece all the possible ways it can be made at one time.” Hence a series is born. Each new piece is an opportunity to try or tweak what you didn’t get to do in the last incarnation. It is a good idea to have a fall back project, such as handwork, to turn to when doubt takes over. Great suggestions. Thank you!

    1. I’m blushing, Terry, since I am admirer or your work. I do see you you are currently working on a piece with similar black and white pop and splash of muted colors. The variance in distance between the vertical lines, depending on sections, adds texture and interest.

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