Week in Review 2023 – 12/29

Resolution Time

It’s resolution time. Personally, I gave up making New Year’s resolutions many years back. Some years I have chosen a word or phrase to guide my year. Other years, like this one, I am selecting a way to navigate my life, particularly my studio life. I plan on minimizing waste. Studio supplies seem to propagate overnight. It’s time to embrace not only stash control, but trash control.

Thread Painting Sue

I am drawn to producing mixed technique work, particularly combining appliqué, piecing and thread painting. Sue is my largest work produced this way. How does my resolution jive with Sue? I plan on finishing it. This is a simple way to avoid waste. Don’t let a project turn into a UFO (unfinished object). I confess this gets easier to commit to the more years of studio practice I have.

Sue’s watch is thread painted with sliver, a tinsel like thread.

One hurdle I am working on with Sue, is dealing with the extreme highlights and shadows in the image. It takes courage to trust my gut as I fill in different areas with thread. This is when that resolution comes in handy. No UFOs. It also helps to step back from the work. Highlights and shadows naturally “resolve” themselves with distance.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

When I am not working on Sue, I am working on my 2024 Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt. I am sewing the “dark blue” blocks now. Would you believe 50 blocks include dark blue?

Only 4 of the 50 blocks have blue in both the string triangles. The remaining 46 blocks are half blue and half one of the other “rainbow” colors. I realized that string triangles may be a great scrap buster, but they also produce a lot of waste. I needed to find a better way to piece the triangles, one that doesn’t involve trimming all those small triangles extending beyond the block. Success. All my blue scraps are now HSSPT (half square string pieced triangles) and no small triangles hit the wastepaper basket. How’s that for meeting my resolution?

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. Thank you, Nancy. I’m contemplating putting together a tutorial for how to make HSSTs with minimal waste. Times like this I wish I had a video setup. I’ve come close, but that means more equipment just as we are downsizing.

  1. Happy New Year, Gwyned! May 2024 bring you continued health, joy and creativity. P.S. Both ‘Sue’ and your rainbow scrap challenge pieces look wonderful!

  2. Hi Gwyned, that’s a great goal – it’s so easy to have things end up in the trash. Your Sue project is coming along really well. All the best in 2024!

    1. Thank you, Alycia. Nothing like color to provide the energy needed to persevere. I’m contemplating adding a weekly feature to my blog sharing what I managed use, recycle or repurpose vs. waste in the prior week.

  3. You’ve given us all a good reminder to try and reduce waste from our craft. Finishing UFOs is definitely important step toward that goal! I’ve got some of that to do in the new year. Sue is looking wonderful!

    1. I realized how important it was to finish UFOs when we moved twice. First in 2010 and then again 2018. Both moves were half across the country, so excess needed to be pruned prior to the move. Each move I would find a UFO collection needing to be sorted into worth salvaging or trashing. Definitely an eye opener.

      Thank you for your kind comment.

    1. Now that I have committed to the “universe”, I’m finding myself realizing just how much I already do not to waste and to RRR. The challenge is who long can I keep waste not a focus as I navigate my days.

      Thank you for sharing your kind comment.

  4. Your thread painting is amazing….so lifelike.

    As for waste, when it comes to quilting I doubt you can ever get away from it totally. The best solution might be crumb blocks.

  5. Imagine me with a bag of popcorn watching Sue emerge in her thread and fabric glory…but in extreme slow motion 🙂 You already started 2024 RSC??? I am still considering my blocks. Wishing you loads of creativity and sewjo in the new year!

    1. You’ve got the extreme slow motion correct, Preeti. 🙂 I will be working on Sue again on Thursday. So keep that popcorn handy. I will share my progress. Discerning viewers will see her watch arm start to fill in.

      My 2023 RSC came together much more easily than I thought. This gave me 4 free months to contemplate and start my 2024 RSC. This is easier, but requires much more sewing.

      I’ve witnessed your output, Preeti. Where Sue takes place in slow motion, I don’t dare blink, since your work comes together at warp speed. I have confidence that whatever you eventually select for your 2024 RSC it will be stunning.

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