Monday, November 5, 2018

Becoming An Art Quilter

My name is Gwyned Trefethen.
I am the featured art quilter on
and @52quilters November 5 - 11, 2018.
Night Vision
by Gwyned Trefethen
50" H x 40" W 


I've been making quilts for 30 years as a passionate avocation. There are as many paths to becoming an art quilter as there are art quilters. Over the course of seven days I will share my path. It truly has been a journey, stopping along the way to explore this technique, that idea, or simply immerse myself in art in a variety of ways. I had and have no destination. This includes never setting out to become an art quilter. It simply happened several years into the journey. Now I think of myself as an artist whose medium is fiber and who is deeply rooted in the quilter tradition.

Influential Books and/or Quilt Artists
Each day I will share a book and/or quilt artist that captured my attention somewhere along my journey. Today it is Joen Wolfrom and her book Visual Dance. This is the first book I ever came across, which used actual quilts to explain and demonstrate the elements and principles of design. Reading this book was an ah ha moment for me. It gave me a guide on how to look at the work of others and how to problem solve when a piece of mine wasn't working out. Because I feel understanding the elements and principles of design is vital to every artist, and quilt artists are artists, my posts will include a closer look at each of the elements. Perhaps I will delve into the principles at a later date.

Bouquet of Peace
by Pablo Picasso
Elements and Principles of Design
Although I have known of the elements and principles for decades now, I never truly understood what the difference between them is. Then I discovered a great analogy on line. Artists are like chefs creating meals. The elements constitute the ingredients of a recipe, the principles are the recipe, and the artwork is the finished dish. In order to achieve a tasty dish (strong artwork) one needs to begin with the best ingredients, which are then combined through various techniques. Of course, one can make substitutions and each person performs techniques or combines techniques differently. This is why, even using the same ingredients and techniques, no dish made by two different people will taste the same. It is also why artworks made from the same paint, using the same techniques, of the same scene vary. It is the chef or artist who brings the work to life.

Lets Look At Line:
Line is sited as the first element of design. It can have many characteristics. Here are just a few: thin, thick, long, short, heavy, faint, continuous, fractured, straight, curved, outline, filler, directional, and entangled. Understanding line, how to use it effectively and how to create it using one's chosen medium requires years of study. All the works depicted in this post were selected for their use of line.

Butternut Squash: A gesture drawing
by Gwyned Trefethen
Tip of the Day:
I believe it is just as important to study art as it is to study quilting in order to grow as a quilt artist. This is why I, along with others, recommend exploring media other than quilting to grow as a quilt artist. Drawing is a great medium to learn about line.

Comments and Questions:
I value your comments and questions. You may send them to me publicly by commenting at the end of the blog. If you prefer, you may address me privately via email. I will be hosting the 52 Quilters blog and Instagram accounts from November 5 - November 11, 2018. I will answer some of your questions in the final post on November 11th.

Social Media Addresses and Affiliations:

Instagram: gwynedtrefethen

Juried Artist Member (JAM) and Board Member of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA)


  1. I like your definition of your self as an artist using fiber mediums!

  2. I haven’t any word to appreciate this post.....Really i am impressed from this post....the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us. Art prints posters