Week in Review 2019 – 04/19

What was I thinking? How many times I have I asked that very same question when I am midway through my current creation? The answer is far too many times to keep track of.

I thought I would simplify my creative life this year by working on smaller pieces. I purposefully opted to commit to making a monthly 12″ x 12″ piece. It ought to be doable. Pure genius, I thought, since the size fits multiple obligations. I would get the joy of experimenting and knocking off at least 12 pieces in 2019. Maybe this will still be the case. Maybe it will not. My current piece is another moment of inspiration leading to insanity. Well, that may be overstating the issue. It is definitely proving to be very time consuming.

Every hydrangea petal begins with a pillowcase turned 2″ diameter circle. Each petal takes an average of close to 30 minutes to make. It is quite a process of marking, machine stitching, cutting, ironing, hand stitching, folding into shape, more hand stitching and eventually tacking down to the quilt itself. In other words, what looks simple is simple enough, but very time consuming when repeated several 100 times.

Good thing I don’t need to make a living with my art. If I did, I would have to cut time corners and figure out a viable alternative process to mass produce petals by hand. Instead, I can opt for peace provided by a repetitive task. It is while doing the same thing over and over and over again, that nuances are seen.

What I’m really enjoying about combining my various hand painted and dyed fabrics is how it achieves the subtle color and shading variations. This image is an early test to determine how the petals might be arranged to create hydrangea blossoms.

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. It may be time consuming, but I think the subtle coloring will be breathtakingly beautiful!!
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. These colors make me swoon. I love the way the circles look all jumbled together. Have you considered just using the circles? But now that you are this far along with the origami, you must want to continue. I’m sure the final piece will be worth all the effort.

  3. I tried to leave a comment before, Gwen, and it didn’t go thru. Any way those piled up circles in all the yummy colors made me swoon. Have you considered just using the circles as petals. But then you have so many origami pieces finished you must be committed to them. I’m sure the finished piece will be a stunner and worth all the extra work.

    1. Yes, the petals are really tiny. Makes them a bit fiddly, especially when turning the seamed circles right side out. There is a fine line between leaving an opening wide enough to make the turn and not so open that stitching the opening closed results in a flat edge. Nothing like making several hundred petals to fine tune the process. 🙂

      My goal was to have the piece look as though you are viewing it from up above. So there would be a sun-dappled mass of leaves below the blooms.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Carol.

  4. oh my word! They are lovely. I do appreciate a hydrangea… I wanted mine to go pinkish but the blue purple was strong and nothing changed it. I sure like the way you’re approaching this.

    1. Hydrangea coloring usually depends on how acid or base the soil is. East coast seaside hydrangea tend towards deep blue. In the midwest you can’t get blue unless you alter the soil regularly. We are currently struggling to revive the hydrangea planted by the previous owners. I think they get too much shade, but they just have been pruned too dramatically the year before we bought our home. This is our second season. The leaves are in bud phase.

      Thanks for the encouragement. So many petals to make…it can get a bit tedious.

  5. Perhaps there is an easier or more efficient way of making these, but the results you are getting are stunning, so it’s worth all the work you are doing. Beautiful!

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