Week in Review 2023 – 08/18

Learning Something New

It seems I am always learning something new. It goes hand in hand with problem solving. You would think after 36 years of quilting there would be nothing new to learn. The reality is there are always new tools on offer and new ways, often more efficient ways, of doing old things. Fortunately, this old dog can learn new tricks.

This is my first time using faux piping to frame a quilt.

The last time I shared How Does Your Garden Grow? it wasn’t bound. Since it is a fairly traditional quilt my plan was to simply bind the edges. Those of you who follow my posts probably caught the word “simply” and realized I would add some new Gwyned complexity. It is true. I really planned to simply bind the quilt and call it a day. However, I stumbled on a tutorial on how to make faux piping and knew it would be perfect. The faux piping is the very thin strip of red between the pink binding and the quilt. Gives the piece a nice finish, don’t you think?

New Beginning

Caught in the act. 🙂

Now that 2023 Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt is basically done it is time to begin my next small quilt. That adorable girl sporting a pink sun hat is my youngest grandchild, Ariana. She was 16 months at the time. She is 9 years old now. My plan is to thread paint her face, hand and arm. This is a giant leap. It is one thing to thread paint an owl or a cat, but a human? That feels intimidating. New can be scary, but it is exciting, too.

The original photo is printed on fabric sheets sized to go through a printer. Since the photo is larger than individual fabric sheet it is printed on 4 fabric sheets. These are seamed together.

The first thing I did was to print the image on fabric. I use inkjet fabric sheets. This is my first time attempting a thread painting that is larger than a single 8.5″ x 11″ fabric sheet. I could write a post on how to print and align multiple pages to form a single large sheet, but I won’t. Of course, you can send a photo to a company that prints images on fabric, but that is pricier and takes time. Since I am impatient and cheap, I went for the print at home method.

The iris of each eye is the size of a US penny. It measures 0.75 inches/1.9 centimeters.

Would the seams disappear when they were thread painted? I crossed my fingers and started with the eyes. The answer is YES! Oh the joy of trying something new and having it work the way you hope and imagine it will.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Note the butterflies now have antennae and the stationary ones have legs.

Before I squared up How Does Your Garden Grow? I added antennae and legs to my butterflies. The individual butterflies are thread painted off quilt and then appliquéd in place. I stitch the antennae directly on the quilt.

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. A friend showed me how to do the faux piping awhile ago. What I liked about her method is that there is no hand sewing. I’ve used it many times.
    Your granddaughter is beyond adorable. Kudos to you for trying the thread painting. So far, so good. The eyes look amazing.

    1. One of the benefits to faux piping, as you discovered, Norma, is there is no hand stitching involved. After years of taking hours to stitch 200+ inches of binding down, this was a real treat. Now that I am writing this, I can even imagine using a variation of faux piping along the edges of my 12″ x 12″ wrapped canvass quilts. The piping could edge the top and the binding be what is wrapped around the sides.

      Ariana is quite the cutie. She has always been into fashion. What you can’t see is her “stealing” my sneakers. We were vacationing as an extended family when that photo was taken. She spent her time putting on everyone else’s shoes she could get her feet into.

  2. Your scrap challenge quilt is delightful! Good luck with that ambitious thread painting endeavour; that said, I think you’ve got what it takes to make it turn out beautifully: inspiration, skill and patience. 🙂

    1. I find it difficult to resist challenges. Participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge gives me an excuse to work on less demanding quilts and use bright colors. No surprise, I already have several ideas percolating for 2024. I’m leaning towards tessellated cats.

      Thank you for the words of encouragement on my latest thread painting endeavor. I did treat myself to, gasp, more flesh tone threads. Next week I will focus on the highlights.

  3. Love the piped binding, Gwyned! And love the whole quilt, butterflies and all!!! That photo of your granddaughter is precious! Great start!!! I know you can do it!

  4. I love the look of the faux piped binding, and have tried it once. Thanks for reminding me what a great look it gives to the finish! It will be fun to see what you do with the thread painting of your granddaughter!

    1. Don’t know how I missed faux piped binding. Clearly many people know about it. Of course, now I am imagining using it in other places and possibly tweaking it a tad to use with my wrapped canvas pieces. I’ll be curious to see what you choose to finish with faux piped binding.

    1. Thank you, Sara. I’m hoping to move my granddaughter’s portrait along next week. It is quite undertaking. Not sure how long it will take, but it will be fun.

    1. Thank you for the compliments, Jenny. Thread painting, like free motion quilting, as taken time for me to develop as a go to skill. They are like most skills with a learning curve. They feel very daunting, if not downright impossible at the beginning. Later, you wonder what the big deal was. That being said, this is my first attempt at thread painting portrait. I’m feeling the learning curve once more.

  5. Hooray for the finish! I love your Garden and how the flowers pop up. Pretty piping, it finishes the quilt like a thin border of pink flowers 😉 I have seen piping (never tried myself yet) but usually it’s solid fabric, I love that you picked a printed one. Ariana was such a lovely little girl, I will follow closely how you thread paint her, and how the face shadows will emerge. I’m sure it’s going to be a beautiful portrait.
    Thank you for sharing and linking up today!

    1. You have good eyes to pick up the piping fabric being a print versus a solid. The print is actually a large Hawaiian style leaf batik, but only two colors and they are both equally distributed. I experimented with several fabrics before settling on the red and white batik.

      I try not to miss linking up with you on Saturdays. It is always to treat to see the progress you have made.

  6. So much to love in this post! Your garden quilt turned out fabulously, and the piped binding adds a subtle and classy touch. Your DGD is stunning and I can’t wait to see how her portrait looks thread painted!

  7. Congrats on a wonderful finish. It will be fun to watch how you thread paint your granddaughter! Have a great week.

  8. WOW!!!! How Does Your Garden Grow is lovely. The piping truly added that last little bit. What a beautiful picture of your granddaughter. I can see why you’d want to paint it with thread to keep forever. You are amazing!

  9. Your Garden is looking lovely & I also did not know about faux piping so have learned something new. Looking forward to seeing your thread painting progress!

    1. There are so many fabulous tools, short cuts and ways of doing things within in the quilting community, how can we possibly know them all. But it isn’t it fun to discover something that is perfect for your needs at the moment? Now, I’m off for a morning of thread painting. 🙂 Thank you for your upbeat comment.

  10. That thread painting is going to be amazing. Its such an interesting thing for me to watch!

    1. Wish I had your confidence about my work. I’m at the point where persevering or giving up are the options. Happens with the majority of work. I’ve learned to persevere, but it is tough going. This is why why your comment came at just right time.

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