Friday, May 13, 2016

Strips and Squares with Rayna Gillman

One of the workshops Sue took at Celebration was on improvisational piecing with Rayna Gillman.  We learned her methods for creating strips and squares to create building blocks for a quilt based on her book, Create Your Own Free Form Quilts.
Strips of varying widths are cut free form (without a ruler) and stitched together. Then sometimes cut crosswise and inserted between other strips.  Or built out as a square in a square.  Solids and prints are needed.  Curvy and uneven are more interesting than straight.  Following your instincts is more important than planning. Repetition is important to unify the whole.
Above are examples of units made by Rayna - strips and squares - that can be the foundation of a quilt.
Below are some of Sue's building blocks.
 Here, everyone is hard at work playing with their fabrics.
Once you've got enough pieces, you can start working with them on your design wall to find a pleasing arrangement, and figure out what else you need to fill in.
Here are Sue's pieces stitched together.
Below are some of the other class participants with their creations.
 Sue says it was a fun, low-stress class and process and looks forward to more improvisational piecing.


  1. It is nice to see some cheerful colors and patterns in Rayna Gillman's work (book cover). Nice job Susan. I think improvisational piecing is outside my comfort zone but I do like the end product.

  2. Thanks for posting this! It was a fun class - and quite a stretch for some people. But they all did amazingly well. I posted Susan's and some of the other pieces from this class on my blog. Go take a look!