Week in Review 2021 – 04/16

Artists are encouraged to have an elevator speech. I find my own elevator speech changing as I change. It isn’t easy describing the work one does in a single sentence. This week I did it. “I create my art using traditional techniques in non traditional ways.” This is certainly true of my current work in progress, Sunrise Over the Atlantic.

Recap from the Beginning…

This week I am sharing a recap in pictures of where I started to where I am currently in the process.

It all began with a picture taken by my husband during one of our dawn walks…

Inspiration photo for Sunrise Over the Atlantic

There are many different approaches to recreating or interpreting this photo in fabric. I chose to use a simple traditional block.

This is the blue print I follow in order to piece the quilt. I draw a grid, representing the blocks over the image. This guides me as to which fabrics to use when.
I select fabrics I feel work well together creating a jewel tone palette.
I manage to get four blocks pieced my first week.
This is only a portion of what I accomplished the next week.

…To Now

It’s week 3 and I have 29 blocks pieced. Sunrise Over the Atlantic will be
42″ H x 60″ W when it is done. Each block is 6″ x 6″.

I never tire of watching quilts emerge, just as I can’t take too many dawn walks. Every sunrise is an inspiration.

What is your elevator speech? Can you describe your work in a single sentence?

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. I am impressed with your discipline in deciding how to piece your sunrise. I recall seeing other art quilts made with all traditional blocks and, as with yours, the values are all important. Do you ever split an individual strip to capture color changes?

        1. Excellent question, Joanna. My answer is yes, no and it depends. When I am going for a representational look, I am more likely to split a piece (strip, square, triangle, etc. by value and hue). If my goal is more abstract than representational, as it is with Sunrise Over the Atlantic, I still split my strips, but more based on the mood I am trying convey. If you look closely at the individual strips in each block you will notice many of these are strips are pieced. I do this by selecting 3 – 5 fabrics that capture “feel” (very intuitive and basically minimal deliberation) of the section I am working on. So, if the sunrise has orange, magenta and deep navies, I will select fabrics that represent that. Then I cut strips, cut those strips into random, short lengths, piecing them into a long strip and cut strips from the combo strip the length I need. I simply trust it will all work out. 99% of the time it does.

    1. I’m at the half way mark. There is more of the sunrise to come. 🙂 Never thought I would purposefully work in a series. I thought I would get bored. Then I look at how many ways you have to create circles with your daily stitching. Never, ever boring. Isn’t it wonderful to make discoveries and learn through subtle changes.

      Wish I could take credit for the blending. It is simply intuitive piecing using mostly fabrics I’ve dyed and painted myself. Lots of random selection. I enjoy watching the apparently random fabric choices respond to their neighbors.

  1. I continue to be intrigued by how each of us “sees” in different ways. I couldn’t turn that landscape into a geometric set of blocks if my life depended on it — but there you are, doing just that! Wow!

    1. My art education is informal. It began by looking through some coffee table book of masterpieces throughout art history. My mother would flip through the pages and we would discuss the “pictures” starting with the cave paintings and ending sometime before the impressionists. I know they weren’t in the book. It wasn’t until recently, thanks to SAQA I really started to study Contemporary Art and try to decode how things like cubism works. Can’t say my brain functions like a cubist. It just naturally breaks down space, not image into geometrical compartments. Then I fill those compartments with color and value. I’m not trying to recreate a scene. Simply playing with a theory that will result in a pleasing abstraction. Is that seeing things differently? I have no idea. I do appreciate that you and I have reached a point in our art where we are comfortable doing our thing.

Comments are closed.