Create Your Own Improv Quilts by Rayna Gillman: A Review

Create Your Own Improv Quilts by Rayna Gillman is the perfect book for those of you looking to break out of the traditional piecing method and explore the possibilities that improvisational piecing brings. I had the immense please of meeting and hearing Rayna speak at the 2017 Fall Quilt Market. Rayna presented as part of the Schoolhouse Session that I was in. (You can see it by clicking here.) Rayna spoke with passion and enthusiasm about the processes she covers in this book and it was addictive. Happiness just beamed from her face as she talked about the things she loves most in life; creating.

I confess I’m not a big improvisational piecer. I do it with fussy cutting (which I cover in my own book, Fussy Cutters Club) but I rarely do it outside of this containment. I picked up Rayna’s book with a little bit of trepidation and by the time I was at page 20 I was itching to pick up my rotary cutter and hit my stash of solids and have some fun. I really love the look and feel of improvisational quilts. There’s something about them that feels so sophisticated. I spent a lot of time wandering around art galleries as a kid and these quilts automatically transport me to those spaces in my mind. I guess this is why I’ve always been so hesitant to make a totally solid improvisational quilt – I keep telling myself I’m not an artist. Rayna’s book helped me reposition my focus and made me believe that I could just have fun and make a quilt that would be reflective of who I am.

I love that Rayna teaches you a technique and then shows you multiple ways to use that singular technique to make so many different quilts. I often found myself looking at a technique and thinking to myself, “I don’t think this would work for me.” and then flicking the page to find a quilt made with that technique that really excited me. There’ll be something for everyone in this book.

As someone who’s getting an ever growing collection of orphan blocks I love that Rayna covers how to repurpose these blocks to make something unique and beautiful. This whole book is built around using fabric, one ruler and one rotary cutter. It’s so simple and so addictive. A great inspirational and practical book for those that are looking to have fun with fabrics.

Win a Create Your Own Improv Quilts eBook

Because I love you all and I think that no quilter should be without a copy of Create Your Own Improv Quilts by Rayna Gillman I’m giving you a chance to win an ebook copy. Simply leave a comment on this post telling me what you love or fear about improvisational piecing and you could win a copy (a bonus way to enter can also be found on my Instagram account by clicking here – look for the book cover). Competition is open internationally. Competition closes 11:59pm 2 December. Winner announced in the 4 December edition of Gnome Gnews (click here to subscribe).

Where to Buy Your Own Copy of Create Your Own Improv Quilts eBook

You can purchase your very own copy at the following places by clicking on their links: Amazon | C&T Publishing


Blog Hop Dates & Links

Juliet has put together a fabulous list of bloggers and influencers to review her book and make projects from it. You can pop around the internet and find out more about her book and see some amazing projects via the links below.

Disclosure: F&W provided an electronic copy (eBook) of Animal Quilts to Juliet also provided me with a signed hard copy. All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by the businesses involved. For further information about my disclosure policy please click here. This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a very small commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link, in fact in some cases I can offer you a better price via an affiliate link. I will not recommend something that I do not use myself. These commissions help me keep being able to provide you with great content for free. Thank you, in advance for your support!

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  1. Karen December 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    I like Improv quilting because it enables you to come up with a different result to anyone else!

  2. Kathleen Scott December 1, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Improv is like playing… you make your own rules and if it does work you cut it up and start over!

  3. Julie in WA November 30, 2017 at 7:09 am

    I’ve scratched the surface of improv quilting, inspired by Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s work. I can do blocks, but then how to put them together is my challenge, as I try to fit them into traditional quilt ideas. I’d like to move beyond and make a truly modern piece of art!

  4. Jean November 30, 2017 at 12:24 am

    When my ideas get ahead of my skills I’m afraid I’ll screw it up

  5. Georgia November 29, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    I’m a planner. Working without a plan is difficult for me.

  6. Gene Black November 29, 2017 at 12:26 am

    I love freeform – improv piecing because there are no expectations only lovely surprises and opportunities to keep playing with the fabrics.

  7. Ellen Plattner November 24, 2017 at 6:00 am

    I love improv because it is so fun to let the project lead me to a surprise ending!

  8. Michele Ward November 24, 2017 at 4:03 am

    I have been trying to use up all my scraps and piecing leftover strips into blocks. I would love to learn more about improvising!

  9. sue November 24, 2017 at 12:05 am

    my concern is that the pieces won’t fit togetheer smoothly

  10. De baker November 23, 2017 at 10:02 am

    I would like to learn new quilting ideas… try something new

  11. Gill November 23, 2017 at 7:21 am

    I love the freedom of improv

  12. KrisR November 23, 2017 at 7:06 am

    I love improv because I don’t need to be precise. And, it’s an adventure to see what happens. (BTW, LOVE Rayna – have for years. Would be great to get her to Australia!)

  13. Jayne P November 23, 2017 at 7:05 am

    I’ve never tried Improv Quilting but this book could really encourage me to give it a go

  14. Sherry VF November 23, 2017 at 5:57 am

    I really like to play around with improv piecing but when it comes to getting all the pieces to fit together nicely, I get frustrated. I know that I can cut them all down to uniform sizes but such a waste of my creative work! As you can see, I could really use this book;-) sjvonfumetti at yahoo dot com

  15. Michelle Weatherson November 23, 2017 at 3:34 am

    Learning to love improv here…I usually like to have a plan. Letting go of the plan and just cutting and sewing is both scary and freeing at the same time.

  16. Chris Johnson November 23, 2017 at 2:57 am

    I love improv because it is so tedious to cut the same pattern over and over. And the results are usually so much more dynamic.

  17. Monica R November 22, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Curves are my fear.

  18. Glenda Hollander November 22, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    I’m interested in it because your mistakes are not mistakes with improv.

  19. sue7oaks November 22, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    I’ve done only the tiniest bit of sewing with this technique. Basically it turned out much smaller than it was supposed to be 🙂

  20. Kathy E. November 22, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Improv is a favorite technique for me! I love the idea of having no rules and just following some guidelines to produce something so unique and creative! I’m used improv on several projects and am always interested in more ideas to use it!

  21. Susan Grancio November 22, 2017 at 10:58 am

    I’m having a lot of fun delving into the improv world – no fear, this is just fabric and the results can be amazing!

  22. Terry Peart November 22, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Improv quilting is a little scary to me because I’ve always been someone who follows the rules and tries to get the points perfect. But I feel it’s time to loosen up!

  23. Nicole G November 22, 2017 at 9:44 am

    I love improv quilting because you never know what’s going to happen. But I am very interested in this book!

  24. Denise November 22, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I love improv improv! I have struggled with so many scant quarter inch blocks that never come out perfect..i have been focused on so many perfect traditional block and always have been dissapointed..imorov has set me free

  25. Jessica November 22, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I always have a blast once I get started improvising, but it’s hard for me to get past wanting to begin with the end in sight.

  26. Naomi Clarke November 22, 2017 at 9:22 am

    My biggest fear of improv piecing is the unknown! I’ve never done it and don’t know where to start in the slightest!!


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