Week in Review 2023 – 11/17


Yoga is a wonderful teacher for life. I love how each class starts with something simple, such as counted breath or cat cow. Slowly, slowly the class builds, circling back to the initial exercises and adding one or two more. If things get too strenuous, no problem. It is permitted, even encouraged to take a break in a simple pose or skip the tricky sections and modify them with something familiar and easy. A class always finishes the same way, in total rest.

This photo of Sue is the inspiration for my next quilt.

Applying Yoga Logic

Time to tackle Sue. She is both my college roommate and the working name of my current quilt. If Sue were a yoga pose, she would be one of those insane pretzel shaped handstands. Yes, I do yoga. No, I don’t even attempt most of the poses I shared on the link. However, I do challenge myself with what to others may appear as impossible quilts. Just like with yoga I easy into the tough quilts.

I sometimes scan fabrics in gray scale to aid understanding their relative values.

Start Simple

A great way to start and build confidence is to select the fabric. Sue’s sweatpants have grays of many values ranging from very light to nearly black. There are several ways to compare fabric values. One of my tricks is simply to scan the fabric, using my printer’s gray scale setting, in what I believe the value order is. I’m pretty good at figuring out the value scale of my fabrics, but it is helpful to double check.

Once I nailed down the fabric I pulled out my threads. I will be appliquéing Sue’s clothing, but thread painting her body. I have 26 spools of white through block values, predominately in the tan/brown family with hints of yellow and coral.

Take A Deep Breath

It’s time to begin. I take a deep breath and start thread painting Sue’s right foot. Yes, the highlights and shadows are clear. I will share a photo when a bit more is done.

A single 2024 Rainbow Scrap Challenge block in dark blue

It takes courage to take the first stitch. Time to treat myself to an end of the week playtime in the studio. I turn to my 2024 Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt for the equivalent of a yoga class final resting pose. I feel rejuvenated by cutting strips of fabric and sewing straight seams. Now I have the strength and confidence to continue to work on Sue next week.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

My 2024 Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt will have 255 blocks. That is an average of just over 28 blocks in 9 months. Hence, I am giving myself a head a start. 🙂

The pattern takes shapes when four blocks are combined.

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. Sue is going to be a fabulous quilt, and a challenge as it’s an entire body. I’m looking forward to following the steps! Your 2024 RSC blocks are beautiful, it’s nice to have a project to rest and relax with.
    Thank you for sharing your creative process, and linking up!

    1. Yes, Sue will be a challenge for so many reasons. Size being one of them. Still, if I don’t try how will I know if it is possible?

      Your stack of sleeves is quite impressive, Frédérique.

  2. 255 blocks! Overachiever! 🙂 The quilt is going to be amazing with all those colorful blocks. Can’t wait to see!

    1. Overachieve – that’s me. Still, 2024 is my third year in a row participating in the RSC. So why do I always seem to have more scraps at the end of the year than when I start out. I’m hoping the string pieced blocks will reset the balance so that I have fewer scraps at the end of the year.

      Thank you for stopping by, Mari.

    1. I keep following different paths in my mind for how to create Sue’s sweatpants. I know they will be appliquéd in various values of gray. Need to study the image to see if it makes sense to build them off quilt. Just one more reason why I appreciate your comments. It gets me thinking. There are so many different ways to do appliqué. I hope to have more to share with you and others in my next post.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    1. I have a few things to accomplish this morning, then I’m back to studio to continue thread painting Sue. Fingers crossed enough will be completed to share on my next post. Thread painting is very slow going, but I love it. I appreciate you support. It helps keep me motivated.

      Yes, I figure 255 blocks will keep me busy next year. Anything I can do prep or even achieve in advance, will a boon for those times when I am away or otherwise engaged.

  3. I adore your artist’s eye with your quilting and various art works, Gwyned. Little Squirrel turned out so beautifully! and Imagine a solo exhibition…how special is that. Always a treat to visit and see what you are giving your attention to.

    1. I’m glad you are happy with Little Squirrel. I knew the instant I saw your photo it would be perfect for my thread painted animal series. Thank you for giving me permission to use the photo.

  4. Oh, Gwyned, it will be so interesting to see Sue become a portrait in fabric and a quilt, too. I’m sure, with your skills, that it will be beautiful.
    Why is it that we use scraps and then end up with more scraps? Are they like little mice that reproduce in the closet? I can never figure it out!
    All the best to you!

    1. You are kind, Nancy. I’m going to need to dig deep and develop some new skills in order to create Sue. But isn’t that what keeps this medium something that keeps us motivated? There is always something new. to learn.

      I agree, our fabric scraps must have secret lives. Are you familiar with Strega Nona, by Tommie DePaola? Our fabric scraps are like Strega Nona’s pasta, it never ends.

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