Week in Review 2021 – 10/01

In the Beginning…

What can I say, the cloud formation, backlit by the setting sun, is how I envisioned heaven as a child. Can’t you just see celestial beings going about their activities floating, flying, and skipping through these clouds? It is such a powerful and yet gentle image simultaneously. I won’t be adding the celestial beings to my current piece. I have begun work on it.

Overblown cumulus clouds set against a vibrant blue sky
Photo taken by my husband through from our bedroom.

When I choose a photograph to interpret I do so by overlaying it with a grid. The image below is the same photograph, but printed on letter size paper. I then add the grid lines with permanent black ink. After that I work just as I read, from upper left corner to the right, then move on to the next line/row starting at the far left. It is easy to get muddled where I am at. So, each time I finish a block, I add a check mark.

Image of clouds superimposed with a grid, the squares identified by 1 - 13 across the top and A - K along the left side.
Grid used to identify sections of the image and keep track of what has been pieced.

I have zero interest in producing a realistic image. Instead, I examine the colors in each gridded section and then make the block in similar hues, values, and proportions. Because the blocks don’t follow the lines of the image the result is unexpected. The process of selecting what to place where is intuitive. Since I don’t know what the finished piece will look like, it is a great motivator to keep working in order to discover what will emerge.

There is a first block, then row

Image of undulating scraps starting with varied medium blues and traveling left to right, until there are just a few gray and white scraps at the end.
Row #1 is pieced

If you compare the top row of the gridded image with the first row I have pieced, it is easy to see how both go from predominately mid value blue hues starting on the left to ending with just a few whites and grays on the right. I purposefully selected a block that would emulate the serpentine curves of the clouds.

Now What?

Image of the negative space leftover fabric produced after the positive space arcs are cut away
Odd shaped scraps after the arcs are cut away

One of the reasons I prefer working with squares and triangles is because the leftover scraps are few and those are easy to incorporate into other work. Not so with the scraps remaining once I have cut away the arcs for each block. What would you do with these lovely, but awkward shapes?

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. Thank you, Norma. I’ve been curious about how things are made ever since I watched our babysitter transform yarn from a very long string to a doll’s blanket.

  1. I have had this pumpkin seed leftover dilemma myself and I made a quilt appliqueing them in a meandering pattern. They are an odd shape to make use of, for sure!

    1. Ah, pumpkin seed, I was wondering what to call that shape. Excellent suggestion. Appliqué is what I thought of, too. I could certainly create a chain of sorts. I also thought about using them like petals, perhaps overlapped slightly to create flowers.

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