Ranya Gillman was a wonderful teacher to work with at Quilt Wyoming. I was already an admirer or her quilts and books, but hadn’t yet really explored the idea of sewing in an improvisational method. It makes sense though; I play jazz improvisation; why not try that in my quilting? Rayna set us completely at ease from the very start. Well, I guess I should say, “She tried to set everyone at ease,” because some of the ladies were freaking out about having to sew without a pattern! But they soon fell in step and made some beautiful creations.
The best way she inspired us was by sharing some of her own quilts with us, up close and personal. They are absolutely beautiful! They resulted from Rayna experimenting with the blocks and asking herself, “What if…I did this or that?” She let the fabric and the blocks, as viewed on a design wall, determine the next direction to go. Aren’t they beautiful?
Here is Rayna with the quilt that is on the cover of her book, Create Your Own Improv Quilts. I absolutely love it! Next week I’ll explain more about the improv method she taught us, and show what I came up with.