all text & images ©rayna gillman 2019
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no rules - no rulers

October 28, 2019

 Although un-stitching is not my favorite activity, it is kind of zen after you get into it -- especially if you've quilted straight lines that are not only not straight (mine never are exactly) but they are wandering so much that the stitches at the bottom of the quilt top end at a different spot than the stitches at the top, where you started.   Before you know it, you started at 12" from the top edge and ended at 8" from the bottom edge.  This will simply not do. This can be corrected with...

October 10, 2019

It has been a rather busy couple of months.  After I got back from London I was off to Oregon to teach in Medford for the regular guild and in Ashland for the modern guild.  

When I got there, I smelled what I thought was skunk.  But no-oooo. Hemp and pot fields, ripening for harvest.  

Anyway, I had a great time and my visit was a treat on several counts.  First, the local hotel had two floors and had given me a room on the second floor. Ordinarily, fine.  Except that this other...

August 29, 2019

I had a fun time at lunch today with Nancy Fratz (hi, Nancy!). She reads this blog and reached out to me, as so many of you have done. I always love to hear from you!  Turns out that Nancy lives in West Palm Beach - so we had to meet. (And here I thought it was a quilting wasteland).  She's a kindred spirit, and it's nice to have a new quilt buddy. We'll be getting together to play, which is a treat because I am always in the studio alone.  It's nice to have company every so often. Sorry we forgot...

August 28, 2019

When I had my old blog, which I started in 2005, I used to post every night before I went to bed. (btw, you can read the archives if you click on the blogger app at the top right of the header. Some of you already have read them, but if you have insomnia some night they might help. LOL.

Anyway, it is late and I am trying to get back into the old routine - for tonight, at least.

(that was a yawn).

Change of pace - I complained that the Chihuly exhibit was underwhelming in Kew Gardens, London. Maybe Ma...

August 27, 2019

Strings. Strips. Stripes.  Whatever you want to call them, they are where I started when my mother's friend taught me to make a string block on a paper square...sometime in the 1960s. A decade later that I found a quilting class and (ha - with a pattern) made what amounted to a string quilt. 

I made a lot of detours since 1974, but whenever I was stymied I came back to my friend Helene's advice "when all else fails, sew strips." Last week in the studio I started doing just that.  I cut wi...

August 19, 2019

Uh - not this, but it was lovely with coffee (a flat white) when we stopped on the way to Kew Gardens to see the Chihuly exhibit.  I must say the exhibit was underwhelming, but the gardens were lovely.  I was in London for the week to visit my dear friend Marlene and her husband David, whom I have not seen in several years.   These are  friends that might as well be family.  They don't need to entertain me; we can just be.  It was heaven.  

We did our share of eat...

August 18, 2019

August 18, 2019  UPDATE

This was sitting in my outbox - for some reason, it didn't send.  Came home to find out my email server was offline. GRRRRRRRR.....and nothing had come in or gone out while I was gone.  Furthermore,  the WIX software would not let me add anything after the last photo was added.  

These pieces are all wonderful and imaginative, and I am thrilled to see the talent in this super group of participants.  Can't wait to see the comments after I post this. You sho...

August 4, 2019

My 12 year old laptop in the studio is so slow that I can just about do email. Amazing that I am blogging at this moment - but it's a struggle to upload photos or do anything interesting.  So...bear with me.

I have 14 rolling bins of fabric in my studio, plus innumerable plastic boxes both under my tables and in the closet.  ARGH.  They put people like me on the Hoarder show!

Two of these bins have been sitting for a year and a half and I finally decided to deal with them.  I shipped them from...

August 4, 2019

Some of my happiest improv quilts have come from leftovers.  In fact, most often it is the remaining  pieces from a quilt I made (or frequently, didn't make) that are the happy  accidents.  Of course I had more blocks than I needed for this quilt on the cover of my book, and a dozen of them have been sitting around for three years. 

Several months ago I decided to try another layout for the leftovers and I sewed them together using the same gray fabric into a skinny piece....

July 29, 2019


Yes, I started this post two weeks ago, but once I left Atlanta I didn't get home until 2:30  Monday morning.

This was as far as I got. 

July 14, 2019 sometime around 10:pm

Here I am in the Delta Sky Club at the Atlanta airport.  I have not yet eaten, but I probably will because when I get home at 2:am I will not feel like cooking.  Don't ask.

Flight out of Nashville was delayed, so to make a very long story short, we were all rebooked on the 11:32 flight to West Palm Beach, which gets in at 1:3...

July 12, 2019

Ahhh...what can I say?  I landed Tuesday and can't believe it is already Friday.  I'm on vacation - hanging out with Helene and Bob Davis in their beautiful Jefferson Street Studios. I came to laugh, to find inspiration, and to sew -- and I'm doing all three things.

The day I arrived I had to go to Hancock's to buy muslin, so we went straight from the airport.  I love using muslin in my work. Although a lot of my recent work uses white, I really don't love it. I'm much happier with the so...

July 8, 2019

I hate that question, don't you?  Grrrr.....  

Those of us who make art or anything else by hand that requires  thought, care, creativity and most of all --time--knows what a silly question that is.

This series of triangles has been kicking around my studio in one form or another for a little more than a year.  I had put them together in March, 2018 and unsure of whether I liked what I had, I took them apart.  Today, in desperate need of inspiration, I put them together again.  Yes, I am i...

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a blog about improv quilts and an improv life
Rayna Gillman flunked
7th grade sewing becuse she couldn't sew a straight seam. Now it's an asset. 
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