no rules - no rulers

May 26, 2019

I started my first blog on Blogger in January 2005.  On May 30, 2017, when I redesigned my website and switched providers, I connected my new blog to my website. This is what you are reading now. There's a lot of content at my old blog and I wasn't able to migrate it, but my original blog is still available to read at

If you have insomnia one night or are sitting around one day with nothing to do, or you need a mindless break, you might want...

May 23, 2019

I mostly don't bother looking on the "I don't want it, you can have it" table at the guild meeting because I don't need one more block, book, or spool.  But last weekend I spotted a pile of unused traditional blocks on the giveaway table.  Hmmm...this is a Modern Guild so I can understand it.

Did I want them? No. But I couldn't leave them there because I knew that somebody would want them.  But since I do not know a single somebody who needs 17 traditional blocks, I had an idea. Spread the wea...

May 9, 2019

My mother used to say that if money were no object she would hire a cook.  A COOK?  I could never understand that. I loved to cook - and I still do.  But I understand it now. She was a pretty good cook but worked part time, and later in life, full time.  I'm tired when I come home from work and since I live alone (most of the time), if I want to eat, I have to cook. 

I have many wonderful ethnic cookbooks (Indian, Israeli, Greek, Lebanese) but most frequently, the NY Times Cooki...

May 6, 2019

Busy weekend teaching at the South Florida MQG -- two very different days.  Saturday was Rectangle Day -- working with darks, mediums, and lights, we made rectangles that looked like this and worked with them to make a small piece that worked as a composition.  The class was full and everybody's color choices were different. nobody's work looked the same as anyone else's.  

This is really a two-day class, but since we only had one day, I don't have finished pieces to show you.  Never...

May 3, 2019

I'm teaching this weekend at the South Florida MQG (hooray, I don't have to get on a plane!) and went to the studio to get my stuff together for the classes.  BUT  I got sidetracked (big surprise). Since it was only Thursday I knew I could get ready on Friday --

so I sat down with my new paints and fooled around, without caring what it looked like when I finished because I was experimenting.  

I have about a million small gallery-wrapped canvases (canvi??) I bought to wrap small quilts aro...

April 30, 2019

After a few years of putting up with rotting vegetables, strawberries that go bad in one day, and the self that falls off the door every five minutes --I am ditching the piece of crap refrigerator I bought 4 years ago.  Until now, the freezer has been ok -- but that ended tonight when I had to drink my ice cream.  Sadly, there is a lot to throw out: Publix has a periodic buy one-get one free Haagen Dazs once a month (roughly) so I buy two and get four.  ARGH.  The freezer must know that I ordered...

April 29, 2019

On her last vacation day here the 9 year old whirling dervish wanted to go to my studio. When she was six she asked for a sewing machine for her birthday, so I sent her a nifty little Brother that had all the features of a big machine plus an easy speed control and hand control in case she couldn't reach the pedal.  I liked it so much that I bought one to leave in Florida - just as an extra.

Since she lived in Brooklyn and I was in Florida, I never had the chance to sit down with her at the machine...

April 28, 2019

After more than a month of nonstop houseguests, I am catching up with my life.  The day after the memorial gathering for my cousin Mimi seven of my best college friends arrived for a reunion we had planned two years ago.  It was a wonderful five days of laughter, political discussions, eating, drinking, and trips to the beach and the wonderful Norton Museum, which recently opened after a two-year expansion designed by Norman Foster Partners.  Gotta love the charming Oldenberg typewriter eraser scu...

April 1, 2019

As always, my students inspire me -- and the photo that arrived from Doris Goins this past week is no exception.  This little gem, now finished, was from the class at the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show where I handed out the ugly fabric challenge.  Such an unusual and striking color combination -- which proves that almost anything works together and you don't have to obsess over color choices!

This one was also improvised with one line of stitching through the paper. No-pattern paper piecing, whi...

March 21, 2019

So sorry this is long in being posted.  I had started to write on March 10 as I waited for my flight.  But later that day,  when I got home from teaching at the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show, my cousin Mimi had passed the point of hope and I spent every minute with her until she died in her sleep this past Sunday night.

Here is what I started to write:

In the Indy airport bound for home after five days in Bloomington — with snow! Despite the fact that this is not my favorite weathe...

February 22, 2019

Have just returned from teaching in Sarasota. The drive across Florida from east to west one route 75 wins the Most Boring and Scary award, but the drive back on route 70 was actually lovely. Now I know which route to take if I go back to the West Coast of Florida!

Worth the drive; the class was fun and challenging and while I was so busy teaching that I forgot to take many photos, here are a few.

One of the class members had brought some yardage she didn't like and couldn't use, so she wanted to sh...

February 10, 2019

Have been caregiving for my cousin, while we went to doctors to find out why she felt so terrible.  Now we know.

She’s coming home from the hospital tomorrow and help will arrive to step in for me, or at least be a large supplement in the next chapter of her care.

I haven’t deserted you these last months; I simply have not been in my studio (or anywhere else) - and have had neither time nor energy to write this post until now.

I know some of you were worried - but I’m ok and will be leaving on Friday...

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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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