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Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts: A Stress-Free Journey to Original Design
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Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts: A Stress-Free Journey to Original Design

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  125 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Enjoy the freedom of free-form! In this follow up to 'Create Your Own Handprinted Cloth', Rayna shares her approach to designing quilts. Learn how to trust your instincts so you can work more intuitively, and develop a new appreciation for the therapy of sewing without a plan.
Paperback, 95 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by C&T Publishing
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***Second read, 2018***

I first read this book just over five years ago and it was "too arty" for me. Amazing what a difference a few years can make. In 2014, I began drawing and painting and now consider myself an artist. Circling back to this book now, it is perfect for the kind of quilting I want to be doing! Five stars all the way.

If you enjoy color and quilting, and want to learn how to design a quilt as you go, this is a terrific resource. She provides many examples, both from her own work
Merrie Jo
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was anxiously awaiting the release of Rayna’s new book and wasn’t disappointed. Like her previous book, Create Your Own Hand-Printed Cloth, this is a process book. It doesn’t contain patterns, template or “projects”. What it does contain is inspiration and permission to play and create without fear of the quilt police – no ” seam allowances required, no matching of seams. The book contains clear, detailed photographs and Rayna’s writing style is easy to read and understand. Her emphasis is on ...more
May 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I don't often read all the way through crafting-type books, I usually just look at a few of the ideas and skip through. But I read this one front to back. I've done a freeform quilt before but wasn't sure how I felt about it. It was fun and easy but I felt like I was breaking some sort of taboo. But this books validates my desire to work without patterns and it takes the pressure off of cutting and sewing in perfect straight lines. It's also really great for green quilters (like myself) that do ...more
Joann Amidon
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to a friend's recommendation, I learned about this book and have followed the instructions and made several pieces. It is an excellent book with very good instructions. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a new approach to art quilting.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really interesting resource with ideas that I want to try.
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's easy to say "just sew some strips together" when it comes to free-form or scrap quilting. And indeed in this book, Rayna Gillman makes this as one of the first suggestions as a therapeutic way to "not think and just sew". And for some quilters, this would be too little guidance in stepping out of the more rigid way traditional piecing is usually done. This book goes the extra mile to help the reader think outside the box when it come to putting together a quilt top.

Gillman uses her own quil
Jan 26, 2012 rated it liked it
One of the things that keeps me from making more quilts is the cutting out of pieces...I HATE that! And since I'm not very good, I get discouraged when my quilt doesn't look like it's "supposed" to. This book moves away from formal piecing towards using strips - cut, torn, whatever - without using a template or pattern, and then putting them together in different ways. Granted, some of the color and print combinations are, in my opinion, butt-ugly, but the point is to make something that has mea ...more
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I want to pull out my orphan blocks, cut into them, and reassemble them using Rayna's design techniques.
Nov 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: art
I'm updating my review of this book. Rayna's quilting work is beautiful and her approach to quilting is fun and refreshing. A few core ideas are repeated in various ways, and I would like to see a wider variety of ideas for free-form quilting. I think the photography could have been better {brighter, showing more detail in the textures} but all in all the book has good ideas for playing with your fabrics in new ways. I believe my only qualm is that this short book is overpriced at about $27 USD.
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, quilting
The very early parts of this reminded me very much of a class I took from Nancy Crow years ago, and I was feeling sort of "been there, done that", but the more I read, the more excited I got; this approach seemed more fun and more do-able for me, and the section about transforming leftover/ugly traditional blocks was really eye opening for me. I'm really looking forward being able to play with some of these ideas soon.
Apr 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is technique based with a huge emphasis on no patterns, no precision cutting or sewing and freedom to design on your own. Love that there isn't a pattern or any perfectionism to be found. It's about a method for creating quilt tops and options within the method. Recommended for those with some knowledge/experience with quilting as this book only covers methods for the quilt top, not for making the quilt sandwich, quilt stitching or binding.
Jul 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: quilts
I like the techniques but was not crazy about most of the results. However, her method of cutting into pieced blocks and adding random width strips turned a set of very dull blocks into some crazy ones, so for that I should give her at least another half star.
Jocelynne Broderick
Wow this book is so far out of my realm of understanding or probability of ever making anything remotely close, even if I decided to do a "modern" quilt it would look nothing like these. I think the projects here are art quilts, so the title mislead me.

Beware any future readers!
Dec 10, 2013 rated it liked it
There is a lot of focus on unlearning habits made from making traditional quilts. Useless to me because my background is primarily in hand embroidery and garment making. I think her emphasis on sewing strips has stayed with me however.
Christina Cox
Feb 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Finally a book that validates my style of quilting!!
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Good book but but just wasn't what I was looking for.
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