Create Your Own Improv Quilts by Rayna Gillman – Win Her Book!
I’m pleased to be part of the blog hop Rayna Gillman’s new book – Create Your Own Improv Quilts, published by C&T Publishing!
I’ve been a big fan of Rayna and her work for many years, and I finally met her in person several years ago when she visited my booth at a show I was doing in West Palm Beach, FL. She is just as warm and encouraging in person as she is in her books. She was kind enough to participate in my blog hop last year for the release of Artful Improv, and I’m happy to review her newest book today.
There are probably as many ways to create improv quilts as there are improv quilters. Rayna and I share a similar approach to improv, but our quilts are very different. This is the reason I love improv so much–there are so many ways to express your own creativity that won’t be like anyone else’s. This book gives both new and more experienced quilters a lot of ideas to try in a very accessible way–from working with strips and strings to a new (to me) way to paper piece. It’s like having Rayna right there with you encouraging you all the way.
Here are five things I liked best about Rayna’s book:
- The subtitle of Rayna’s book is “Modern Quilting with no rules and no rulers.” No patterns and no rules is the way I work too. You get to make your own guidelines to make each quilt your own.
2. In the chapter “Consider the Rectangle,” Rayna gives a wonderful overview of her process of creating improv quilts starting out with simple rectangles. Her favorite question is “What If?” It’s inspiring to follow along and I’m eager to try this idea!
3. One thing that is both exhilarating and intimidating about improv is the fact that you don’t have a pattern to tell you when your quilt is finished. Rayna gives you lots of questions to ask yourself as you are creating to evaluate your design–including my favorite, “which orientation is best for this quilt?” Sometimes turning it upside down or sideways gives you a whole new perspective!
4. One of the things Rayna does best is to improvise with what’s in your studio–of course using scraps, but also remaking or repurposing blocks, or even whole quilts, that just didn’t work the way you thought they might. She gives great suggestions for using leftover units, remaking “boring” blocks, and repurposing that quilt top you just didn’t like in the chapter “Improvising with What You’ve Got.”
5. I’m a quilter who loves color and one of my favorite ideas in the book is to “use your lonely crayon”–you know that one that you always left whole in the crayon box when you were a kid because it wasn’t your favorite? For me that was brown, but I recently began using it more, especially paired with pink and turquoise.
I’m thrilled to be one of the artists Rayna asked to be in the gallery of Inspiration and Improvisation for this book. There are three of my quilts in the book, including Intuition, below. Rayna asked me to talk about my inspirations as part of the blog hop to give other quilters some new ideas.
Intuition was inspired by a scrap in my leftover basket, in true Rayna Gillman style. It was an odd piece in a color combination that I don’t normally use–a sort of olive green curve that was pieced to a medium and light green strip. You can see it in the image above at the far left side of the central improv block.
I created a large improvisational block using the brighter colors that I normally favor, and was happy that the oddball scrap fit right in. I framed the block asymmetrically with angled stripes drawing lines to the quilt edges, and floated the composition on a green background that offered lots of negative space where I added texture with stitching. The background is made up of three different shades of green to make things a little more interesting.
The blog hop has just begun and will go until December 8, 2017. You can leave a comment at each stop for a chance to win an ebook copy of Rayna’s wonderful book!
Leave a comment here for your chance to win. If you’d like, answer the question what was the “lonely crayon” in your crayon box as a child? Or, what is your favorite color combination?
Wednesday, November 22