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

December 27, 2017

 Happy Holidays, everybody.  I've had my head buried in bubble wrap, tape, plastic bags, and cartons for the last frantic 3 weeks - and so tired I've gone to bed at 8:pm.  Today, the 1-800-GOT-JUNK people were here and took away some large items I can't take with me.  Sigh of relief...but still a long way to go with only a couple of weeks till I have to leave an empty house. ARGH.

On the other hand, I finally felt I could take a blogging break after the junk people left -- so here I...

November 14, 2017

I had a great end to the birthday week!  Phil and I went into NY and headed to Brooklyn to see Jessica, Tommy, and Miss Emma.

Walking from the Port Authority bus terminal to the subway on Times Square is always interesting, and yesterday I was able to get a photo of these guys washing the windows: while they were still near the ground.

Nous avons passé une excellente fin à la semaine d'anniversaire! Phil et moi sommes allés à New York et puis à Brooklyn pour voir Jessica, Tommy et Miss Emma La route...

November 10, 2017

Really?  What kind of person makes two cups of espresso at this hour? (One who has more work than hours in the day).

Vraiment? Quel genre de personne fait du café à 23h? (Une qui a plus de travail que du temps).

And with the Tim Tams that my friend Annie brought me from Australia  - yum. You can never go wrong with dark chocolate!

Et avec les Tim Tams que mon amie Anne m'a apporté d'Australia - yum. On ne peut jamais faire une erreur avec du chocolat noir!

The chocolate is to celebrate that my worksh...

November 8, 2017

This year I celebrated my birthday by staying home and doing what I love: experimenting in my studio and reading.

Cette année, j'ai fêté mon anniversaire en restant à la maison et en faisant ce que j'aime: expérimenter dans mon studio et lire.

While I was writing my book I fell in love with triangles, and I had the idea to improvise a quilt with lightning bolts.  I wasn't happy and I took it apart.

That happens periodically when you don't use patterns; I'm used to it. It's ok. That's how you learn.


October 4, 2017

Probably not so wild these days - but I expect the landscape to be beautiful.  It should be even more beautiful once my class has done a bit of cosmetic surgery on their bleh blocks and tops.  Should be fun!

I have my own pile of bleh blocks, but I'm leaving those aside while I play around with some "what ifs."  In the last few days I've experimented nonstop, and here's what is on my wall tonight.  These are such fun!

 Same block, different sizes and fabrics.  I have some other ideas, but...

September 23, 2017

I can't remember whether I ever entered a quilt in this event, the brainchild of Amy Ellis, who blogs over at Amy's Creative Side. This link should get you to the page for the information, if you want to join.

This quilt is on the cover of my upcoming book, but it's only one version of this improv, no-pattern quilt.  I'm going to post it on the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

Over the past few days I asked myself "what if?" and experimented with the same way of working, same process -- but I made a change...

September 21, 2017

As I continue emptying bookcases, I'm filling bags to take to my NJ Modern Quilt Guild meeting tonight for the giveaway table.  Books I've outgrown or wonder why I ever bought in the first place, along with some design books I haven't looked at in forever and probably never will again. 

But I hesitated when I got to this book, published in 2000 by C&T.

Why?  Because this book contained my first published quilt.  This was the one I had brought for Show & Tell to my guild in 1997, where it was gr...

September 20, 2017

Just a quick post before I leave for my daughter's to usher in Rosh Hashanah, which starts tonight.  As I was getting organized a short while ago, this popped into my mailbox as a good surprise from  Wanted to share it with you and thank you for reading, for being part of my blog family, and for making this happen.

Now, I'm out the door (bringing brisket and dessert, of course) and to all of you who celebrate, I wish you L'Shana Tova.

September 14, 2017

Not edible goodies -- and nothing glamorous -- but ones I am happy to have home.  A carton of sample blocks and bits for my book was on my doorstep when I got home today.  Still in every plastic bag, sorted and numbered so they went in the right places, they don't look like much.  But they are the backbone of my book and you'll see them in November when Create Your Own Improv Quilts is slated to appear.

Now I am happy that I can take them out of their little packages and use them to inspi...

September 8, 2017

No, these two don't necessarily go together unless you are sewing together pieces of cloth you have printed. I haven't done that in a very long time, but it's on my to-do list again because I have an idea I'd like to explore.

Surface design

Clearing out piles of stuff in the basement, I came across some wadded-up fabrics from my printing days. When I washed and ironed them, a few were worth saving.  All of them were screen printed with my beloved construction fence -- something I started using in 20...

July 22, 2017


I has been one of those "I've been busy but I haven't done anything" days.  At least, it seems that way.  To make matters worse, here I am blogging in the middle of the afternoon, feet up in my messy sewing room, when I should be doing something useful. 

Here was my day (it did get more productive).

Slept late

And woke to see, with great relief, that the Viet Vets truck was in my driveway, hauling away the 12 or so bags of clothing, linens, toys, and what-all that I...

July 20, 2017

I'm excited to announce that my new book, Create Your Own Improv Quilts,  is ready for pre-order.  After two years of work and experimenting as I wrote (you'll see the good, the bad,and the ugly), the result is a fresh look at making modern quilts: my improv approach to a modern aesthetic.  You'll find the usual fun, relaxing way to work you're accustomed to if you have read Create Your Own Free-form Quilts.  And if you haven't read it, be prepared for some rule-breaking in this one, as...

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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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