Cut from the same cloth

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 to take a selfie. Duh. So here I am in the studio again tonight. Cooking. There's a hurricane heading straight for the Palm Beaches so I'm trying to get some things done ahead. Since my induction

bedtime blogging

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 Marlene, her friend Ruth, and I are just jaded -but the pieces in the indoor exhibits all looked too similar. The outdoor pieces were much more engaging, but there weren't enough of them in our op

back to my quilt roots -more or less

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 without a ruler and sew together and the process is relaxing. Here, I combined some of my beautiful (and not-so beautiful) African fabrics with Helene's hand-dyes and some South African hand-dyes and I sewed th

what's cooking in the studio?

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 eating out, but I won't bore you with the Instagram-worthy (or not) photos of food. The meals were all good but the pièce de résistance was our meal at the famous Ottolenghi. This table of lovely food greets you when you walk in. Every

TA DA!! Improv Challenge Exhibit!!

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 should all be very proud of yourselves -- and now you know what to do with all those random UFO blocks sitting around in your houses! big hugs to all of you! WOW!! Most of the results are in and while there are still a co

The dinosaur in the studio

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 my NJ studio and they are filled to the brims with fabrics I printed for more than a decade. At the moment I am sorting all this binned fabric into piles and plan to see how I can use it in a modern co

a (quilt) feast from leftovers

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. It stayed as it was -- an unfinished experiment. Last week a guild asked me for a class sample and I said I never have class samples because everybody works so differently and my classes are process, not project. And th

 all text & images ©rayna gillman 2019
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