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Cindy Grisdela

Fiber Artist

I'm an artist, teacher, and author of Artful Improv and Adventures in Improv Quilts. I travel all over the country teaching and lecturing about creating quilts improvisationally without a pattern. Visit my website for information about learning opportunities with me! 


My primary medium is decorative fiber, which I think of as contemporary quilts for the wall. I create abstract designs in fabric with a focus on color and line. My work is designed without a preconceived pattern, a little like jazz music, where each decision about color and shape influences the next. 


I often start with a color idea or shape. Working intuitively, I cut shapes from solid cotton fabric and arrange them on the design wall until the composition is pleasing to the eye. Then I sew the shapes together and “sandwiches” the top with batting and backing. Finally, I stitch motifs with a sewing machine to create texture. Although I use a sewing machine for this step, the process is entirely freehand--there's no marking or computer program ahead of time. I drive the machine and create each stitch one at a time, taking full advantage of the unique opportunity I have as a fiber artist to add texture and dimension to my work.


I began my artistic journey as a traditional quilter, but gradually moved away from patterns to develop my own contemporary style as an artist. I have a BFA in Art History and an MBA in Finance, and I live and work in Reston, VA. 


Visit my studio at the Artists' Atelier in the Village Center at Great Falls--open Wednesdays 12-4 and Saturdays 10-2. My work is represented at the online gallery Artful Home as well. 


Fireflies 23" x 53"

TwistandShout1200-CindyGrisdela copy.jpg

Twist and Shout 46" x 46"

Flora 16" x 20"

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