no rules - no rulers

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...

June 21, 2019

Yep, I started as a traditional quilter.  What else was there in 1974 when I started making quilts?  I don't really have any photos of my work before 1993 because I didn't realize that I should have been documenting my work that long ago.  Anyway, I was making mostly baby quilts in those days.  They were the repositories of my experimental blocks.


June 21, 2019

I am in New Jersey for my two grandsons' h.s. graduations and have a full calendar.  Tuesday, I went into New York, planning to meet my friend Sujatha for lunch. I took the bus; she was going to take the train.  But our plans were stymied by a power outage on the whole Northeast train line.  By the time we discovered it, I was on the bus. So I called my daughter Jessica, who works for Peleton and just happened to have a break. She met me for a delicious lunch where we both ate waaaay too much....

June 16, 2019

About 22 years ago, give-or-take, I took a sweatshirt, cut off the cuffs and the neck ribbing, opened up the sleeve seams, and  zig-zagged  the edges of a bunch of fabrics onto the surface. This workhorse sweatshirt jacket is still my go-to when I need a light jacket. (ha - not too often in Florida).  

Here is Minnie, modeling it.  Not exactly fashion-forward, but it works for me.

You can probably see that it needs a little TLC.  Some of the fabrics have fallen off and others are comi...

June 11, 2019


Back in the studio on a 90+ degree Sunday, determined to get something done today.  I have finally finished the piece I was working on and today's chore is to put a facing on it.  I  posted this on Instagram in January while I was working on it and at that point I asked what people saw and what story it told them when they looked at it.   I might ask you the same question.

When I started this piece I was simply working with leftover rectangles from my book, cutting them up...

June 9, 2019

I slept till 10 this morning - a totally rare occurrence which screwed up my whole schedule. Had breakfast at 11, lunch at 2, and dinner at 5. Now it is tomorrow and I'm sort of wide awake, blogging. (but not for long).

While I was scrolling through my photos earlier, I came across this string quilt which I probably made 15 years ago or more.  I suspect I gave it to someone as a baby quilt because I don't have it anywhere.  I love it because it's wonky and scrappy and I made absolutely no effort to...

May 27, 2019

The random number generator did its work and here are the lucky random people who will have the creative challenge of transforming two blocks into something different and special! Improv and certainly more modern than these lovely traditional blocks.

Don't forget to take before and after pictures so everybody can see what magic you have performed!

If your name is on the list, email me with your full name, email and home address and when I get back from teaching in Grand Junction, CO sometime next we...

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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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