Week in Review 2023 – 07/21


Life is full of challenges. Sometimes we choose to take on challenges. Other times they are thrust upon us. One challenge I opted to take is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. The idea is to use up your scraps by creating work featuring the color of the month. Love the theory, but I tend to struggle with the actual practice. Most of what I save as scraps are far too small and/or there is too little of it to work with. So, I often resort to culling my stash for older fabric that I have less than an eighth of yard and calling that scrap.

How Does Your Garden Grow? detail.


I am the master at adding challenges to my challenges. If something is simple or done, you can bet I will find a way to challenge myself further and extend the challenge with some complexity. So it is with How Does Your Garden? The more I worked on the top the more I realized it was missing something. My garden was too pristine. Where were the bugs? No surprise, I decided I had to add butterflies and the butterflies had to to be thread painted.

How Does Your Garden Grow? detail.

Yes, I do love to thread paint. I love the detail I can achieve doing it. However, it is very time consuming. Each of those butterflies takes approximately four hours to complete and finished they are approximately 3″ x 4″. Talk about challenging. I persevered and made six butterflies. One challenge I did enjoy was positioning them around the garden.

How Does Your Garden Grow detail.


With the butterflies in position it was time to secure them to the quilt. I typically add my thread paintings after I have quilted the background. However, the quilts are small enough to do this with my domestic sewing machine. This way I can seal the edges of the thread painting with machine satin stitch. How Does Your Garden Grow? is not small. So, I new I would have to add them to the flimsy top. This presented yet another challenge. How to hold them in place so I didn’t loose tract of my “perfect” layout? Painters tape to the rescue. I cut thin strips of painters tape by the width of the roll and anchored all six butterflies. Why painters tape? Because it doesn’t leave behind sticky residue and I can easily remove and/or reposition it. Sure beats stabbing myself with pins. 🙂

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Ta da! I have finished the How Does your Garden Grow top.

Hurrah! I have an official finish. My How Does Your Garden Grow? top is done. Now it truly feels like a fanciful garden.

I’m linking up to the following posts:

By Gwyned Trefethen

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


  1. You made me laugh that you add challenges to your challenges… is that Double CHallenge then? Love the way you added the butterflies – and wow – those are time consuming!

    1. Alycia, you could be onto something there. Remember as a child daring, then double daring someone to try something scary. Guess I fulfilled the double dare. It’s the detail that takes the time. I used at least 8 different colored spools of thread in each butterfly. There is also the set up, cut out and them attach phases. It’s worth it, though.

  2. I’ve been watching your garden grow during the challenge, love your design. The Butterflies flitting about makes your eyes move around, a great addition.

    1. I once had a fiber art teacher who had the class design and make their work until it was nearly finished. Then she gave the assignment to do something radically different. Love that thought. Just when you think you’re done, turn it on its head. Great advice. I grateful you enjoy the butterflies. I felt they would help make the garden come alive.

  3. Hi Gwyned, the addition of the butterflies really make the quilt top. That is a lot of work – I’m glad that you like thread painting that much (one would be enough for me lol). Congrats on a wonderful quilt top!

    1. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, but I didn’t like thread painting the first half dozen times I tried it. It just snuck up on me once I developed my own style of working. Thanks for the positive feedback. I’m glad you feel the butterflies were a good addition.

  4. It’s lovely! I agree with you about painter’s tape — great stuff for a multitude of uses. It certainly served you well with those butterflies — the effort to make and secure them has paid off with a beautiful top!

    1. I was wondering if anyone would pick up on my using painters tape. I keep a roll in my studio. Seems I am always finding new ways to use it. Thank you for dropping by and sharing your kind thoughts.

    1. What can I saw? I do have a few fabrics with butterflies I could have cut out, but they just wouldn’t have provided the right spark needed to elevate the quilt.

  5. Congratulations on the finish. When I saw your first butterfly I wasn’t sure how it would look with your flowers but they really add interest and make the finish perfect.

    1. Guess what? I wasn’t certain the butterflies would work either. I’m a firm believer in nothing ventured, nothing gained. If they hadn’t worked, at least I would have them ready made for a future project.

  6. I’ve enjoyed watching your garden quilt grow as the year has gone along. The butterflies were the perfect addition, bringing some motion to the quilt. I look forward to seeing how you quilt it.

    1. It probably won’t come as a surprise, but I have been pondering quilting motifs for weeks. Current thought is FMQ flowering vines. I’ve found several examples. Next I will try drawing them with pen and paper. I always use pen, forcing myself not to be able to erase. Once I can draw a smooth motif, can angle it and adapt it for those odd spaces and like the overlook, I move onto a practice piece with the machine to build up muscle memory and discover the invariable awkward moments.

  7. Wow, these butterflies are just at the right place on the quilt top, and they look gorgeous. I love how the one in the second row looks camouflaged by taking on the same color as the leaves next to it. Boy, 4 hours for one butterfly? For sure it was a challenge inside the challenge!
    Thank you for sharing your creative process, and linking up!

    1. Good eye, Frédérique. I must have positioned and repositioned those butterflies more than a dozen times until I felt I had them in logical positions and the composition felt balanced. It is always fun to see what you are up to.

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