Week in Review 2021 – 03/12

Image of a blue rowboat, alone in a harbor, with the sky above reflected in the still harbor below.
A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. My first step is choosing this photo as my reference.

A Journey

Each artwork I make is a journey. Some bring to mind the Chinese proverb, a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. This is certainly what the last 5 months felt like as I brought Out of the Ashes to fruition. My next journey won’t be so long. It does begin with a single step.

The next step is cropping the photo so that the blue dinghy becomes the focal point.

Perhaps one of the most difficult challenges for me, as I transformed from a traditional quilter, who followed other people’s patterns to designing and executing my own work, is learning to identify that first step. What if I take a misstep? Will I need to start over? One of the advantages of having creating more than 100 self-designed works is confidence it gives me to start and to let go of the outcome. Both are crucial.

Here is where EQ 8 becomes handy. I can import the 12″ x 12″ cropped image into the program and trace the primary shapes. EQ 8 gives me the option to print the templates as sized, or if I want to blow up the quilt to 40″ x 40″ it does that for me, too. The fabrics are simply reference.

Taking the First Step

This week I took the first step on the journey to making Blue Dinghy. Actually, one more advantage of living a creative life for 30 plus years, the first step had been floating in my brain for at least a month and maybe much longer. I have been collecting pictures, taken by my husband during our early morning walks, for years. One in particular has been tugging at me for some time. Selecting it as the inspiration for my SAQA Benefit Auction piece feels like the right first step.

Usually I create the top first, then once that is done build the quilt sandwich. This time I am appliquéing the top directly to the quilt sandwich.

A Journey in Process

Even a simple 12″ x 12″ quilt takes many steps. No matter how many quilts I make, every one is an opportunity to build on what I have observed from past journeys. My favorite, comfortable way of working is piece work. Blue Dinghy, I decided, needs to be appliquéd. I have, and to continue to, struggle with appliqué. Yet, I am having fun choosing various appliqué techniques from my tool box and inventing new ones. This is one of the joys of creativity and what makes those 1,000 mile journeys so compelling, there is always something new to experience.

Blue Dinghy’s background is complete.

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 very fortunate to have you by my side, not only willing to get up before the sun for our constitutional, but also take photographs whenever I request them.

  1. Okay, I was all ready to comment about your new project when I saw your husband identifying himself as “Husband #1,” as if you had a whole harem full of OTHER husbands numbered 2-25… ;-). I love that you’ve creating something based on a shared memory. The world is such a sacred place at the break of dawn!

    1. My husband is going to love your “assumption” that I have a harem of husbands. He likes giving himself numerous titles, such as Photograph, Director of Logistics, Chief Engineer… Yes, the world is sacred. We relish those pre-dawn, dawn walks when all is quiet and still.

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