Monday, August 26, 2019


In May I finally had the pleasure of taking two classes from Cindy Grisdela, a fabulous quilt artist. I took a class on improv piecing and then another on free-motion quilting. I have been following her since seeing her work at the American Craft Council show in Atlanta. Follow the link to see her gorgeous work.

Her pieces are strictly art with no need to be something useful. Like all successful artists, she has developed a signature look too. She does commissioned work and sells at some of the ACC shows, though she hasn't been to Atlanta lately.

20x30 mostly linen

Since the classes in May, I've completed two pieces. This most recent one is composed entirely of remnants from clothing projects, so mostly non-quilting cotton, linen, and cotton-linen blends. It also includes one thrifted linen shirt that I dyed and over-dyed until it was unwearable.

In each case, I decided to hand-quilt them. I do love having a hand-stitching project at the ready. It is so calming to me. So in each case, I thoroughly enjoyed the process.

But I must say that, by the time I finish, I find the results to be ho-hum. Maybe I need to put them away and look with fresh eyes later. My continuing top passion is clothing construction where understated color schemes are my favorite. This influence may be limiting my color choices in quilting arts - maybe I don't make the bold color choices I would love in the end.

I particularly like the edge finishing techniques that Cindy describes in her book, Artful Inprov. For this piece I used her framing method. I like how these techniques create a frameless border that makes it less quilt-y and more artful

I haven't pursued free-motion quilting but I still intend to do so. I've taken several classes in free-motion quilting, enough to know that the key to it is practice, practice, practice.

So I'll make another Grisdela-inspired piece, for sure. Maybe the next one will be machine quilted. And bold.


  1. When we invest a lot of time and creative energy in any piece we are often more drawn at the end of it to the could do better bits. Distance often fixes that dissatisfaction. I especially loved the linen quilt and think it embodies the modern quilting aesthetic - simple shapes and quilting with an underlying compkexity. Striking.

  2. Oh, I luv your quilt making as art. And it is striking in all sorts of ways. I like the freedom of it, not making it functional, not following quilting rules or patterns, using what you have, doing meditative hand sewing. I'll have to check out the books you've mentioned. I'm not there (yet?) in terms of quilting, but it is hovering above me at times. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Oh, i love your work, it is so inspiring, and love your color combinations. Greetings from Guanajuato, México.