Week in Review 2019 – 10/06

Do you have favorite fiber artists? If so, what is it about their work that draws you to them? I admire many fiber artists. One thing they all have in common is a strong voice and, this is the kicker, they dare to be different. So why is it, when I feel driven to swim up stream with my own work, doing precisely what I admire so much in others, I feel so uncertain? Answer, I’m human.

Reference image for Sunrise Over the Gulf River
Reference photo used to piece Sunrise Over the Gulf River

I’m a little more than 25% through piecing Sunrise Over the Gulf River. I am enjoying every single second in my studio obsessively making fabric decisions and precision piecing all those triangles. I love being in my element of piecing. Still, I judge myself harshly because I am using an underpinning of traditional blocks, a method I am confident doing, and which forces the image to be abstracted. It is my voice. Therefore, my work is unique. The very qualities I admire in others. How ironic these same qualities fuel my self doubt and insecurities.

I pieced six more blocks this week.

What do you see as your artistic strength? Do you have a favorite way of working? How do the two answers fuel each other?

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 believe my artistic strength is the ability to see how color interacts. My favorite way of piecing is to “wing it.” Sew pieces of fabric together and then trim up as need be. Very little measuring, more “eye balling.” My absolute favorite way to create is to take an image, preferably an abstract painting from the 50s or 60s and translate that into a quilt top.

    1. Tami, I am so pleased you answered my questions. We are linked by “trim it up as needed”. I always make my units slightly oversized because fabrics stretch, seams go off kilter, and seams themselves distort the finished size. I occasionally intuitively piece my backs as a way to use up trimmings and leftovers from the front.

  2. This last week Roy&I took a class on The Odyssey in Door County; I was ambivalent about it because I lack a strong background in the classics. Today, winding up the last 2 books, Homer refers to Penelope’s “strong, thick hands.” Our instructor questioned the use of those words; i injected,”Of course she had strong hands. She’s been weaving for 10 years!” Our instructor beamed & asked me to go on….”Penelope wove by day and practised ‘frog sewing’ at night.” Quoting my friend, “Rip it, rip it.” The group burst into laughter!! I succeeded in spite of my fears!

  3. You are so right! I’ve been playing around with painting on fabric, which is something I so admire — in Katie Pasquini Masopust, for example, and in my friend and colleague, Mary Wilton. While I sometimes produce something I can use, the process is extremely uncomfortable. Sigh. So though I experimented with it yesterday — yet again — for a call I want to answer, well…let’s just say I’m pondering alternative techniques that I have practiced and enjoy much more!

    I think my artistic strength is a willingness to try something new — make a sample — and if it fails, so be it! My favourite way of working is to layer fabric on a substrate — whether its a foundation fabric for a landscape collage, or painted stretched canvas. The latter is an example of something new I tried that worked, and keeps on working for me. It also makes my smaller pieces look less like hot pads! 😉

    1. Katie P-M was a HUGE influence on how I viewed fiber art in the late ’80s and early ’90s. I couldn’t get enough of how she was able to transform a 2D image to feel 3D with her isometric abstractions. The way she reinvented herself every decade or so, fascinated me from fractured landscapes to ghost layers. Yet I had zero desire to emulate her – just wanted to be with her work and study it in detail.

      I love that you see your strength as a willingness to try something new. Your work, like Katie P-M/s has evolved and changed with time. Collage is fabulous way to build up layers. I find it easier when dabbling in mixed media than with fabric. I admire your comfort level with it.

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