June 10, 2023

Program and Workshops

Cindy Grisdela

The Artist:

Cindy Grisdela, from Reston, VA, is an award-winning fiber artist with over 30 years’ experience creating eye-catching quilts. She specializes in Improv piecing and design and using color fearlessly in your quilts.

Cindy has been teaching and lecturing in person since 2014 and online since April 2020. Her classes use Improv techniques to engage student creativity and encourage making original quilts without patterns or templates. There’s no way to make a mistake!

She comes from a long line of women who have expressed themselves using a needle and thread, although curiously there weren’t any quilters in her family. Creating with various forms of fabric and thread has been a part of her life since childhood, and she is self-taught as a fiber artist, with lots of experimentation along the way.

Cindy is the author of Artful Improv and a new book, Adventures in Improv Quilts. She appeared on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims in 2021 with segments on Improv blocks and curves.

For more information, please visit Cindy’s website and blog at www.cindygrisdela.com or follow her on Instagram @cindygrisdelaquilts

Guild Meeting/Program: Anatomy of an Improv Quilt

Have you ever wondered how to create an Improv Quilt without a pattern? Where do you start? How do you know when it’s finished? Author and award winning artist Cindy Grisdela will share her tips and tricks in this entertaining lecture about the process for working improvisationally from start to finish.

Date/Time: June 10, 2023 10:30 AM (following Guild meeting)

Location: St. James Episcopal Church, 11815 Seven Locks Rd, Potomac, MD 20854

Mini Workshop: Improv Play with Lines and Shapes

Learn versatile improv techniques to create improv circles, angled stripes, and inset strips. In addition, we’ll talk about choosing color effectively and using simple design principles to create dynamic compositions. Students may choose to create a quilt like the one shown, or they may combine the elements into their own design.

Basic sewing skills and a machine in good working order are necessary. This workshop is best for intermediate to advanced quilters ready to take the next step to creating original designs.

Date/Time: June 10, 2023 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Location: St. James Episcopal Church, 11815 Seven Locks Rd, Potomac, MD 20854

Mini Workshop Fee: Members: $35.00 Non-Members: $50.00

Student Supply List:
Choose a color recipe—for example, warm colors like red, orange, and yellow, or cool colors like blue, green, and purple. Or you can choose an “anything goes” color recipe and use all the colors! Include different values of your colors—lights, mediums, and darks—as well as several contrasting colors to add interest. My quilt has a base of cool greens and blues, plus pops of orange and hot pink. Fabrics can be solids, batiks, small scale prints, or a combination. Bring 8-12 fat quarters in a variety of values, plus one 1⁄4 yd. for the inset strip.

  • Sewing machine in good working order with a 1⁄4” foot
  • Rotary cutter and mat – I like the 60mm rotary cutter, but bring whatever size you like best, with a new blade
  • Rulers—suggest 9” square and 6” x 12”
  • Basic quilting supplies including: straight pins, seam ripper, neutral thread, scissors and/or snips for cutting threads, measuring tape Batting or flannel to use as a “design wall”
  • Notebook and pen or pencil to take notes
  • Digital camera or phone to take photos of design options (optional)
  • *Optional but helpful—Artful Improv and Adventures in Improv Quilts by Cindy Grisdela

Click here to print supply list.

Extended Workshop: Artful Improv

Learn to create your own original quilts with no pattern using improvisational piecing techniques. Students will learn to let go of the “rules” and piece blocks in an intuitive, free-form fashion. They may wish to begin with blocks or other elements left over from previous projects. We will explore contemporary Improv log cabin style blocks, Improv Curves, and Angled Stripes, plus Insets and Curved Strips.

We will discuss color choices and using simple design principles to create an original dynamic composition. The extended class goes into the color and design ideas in more depth, as well as discussing quilting options and alternative finishing techniques.

Basic sewing skills and a machine in good working order necessary. Best for intermediate to advanced quilters ready to take the next step to creating original designs.

Date/Time: June 11-12, 2023 10:00 to 4:00 PM

Location: Costume Shop at Gunston Middle School, 2700 S Lang Street, Arlington, VA 22066

Workshop Fee: Members: $160.00 Non-Members: $220.00

Student Supply List:
Fabric: Choose a color recipe—for example, warm colors like red, orange, and yellow, or cool colors like blue, green, and purple. Or you can choose an “anything goes” color recipe and use all the colors! Include different values of your colors—lights, mediums, and darks—as well as several contrasting colors to add interest. Consider adding black and white too. Fabrics can be solids, batiks, small scale prints, or a combination.

This is a scrappy process, so you’ll need 8-12 fat quarters–18” x 22”—to explore these improv techniques—Improv Log Cabin style blocks, Improv Curves, Angled Stripes, Curved Strips, and Insets. You may also include scraps of various sizes. If you want to add negative space, bring 1⁄2 – 1 yd. of a background fabric. This can be one fabric or several fabrics that are similar but not the same—2 or 3 values of red, for example.

  • Sewing machine in good working order with a 1⁄4” foot
  • Rotary cutter and mat – I like the 60mm rotary cutter, but bring whatever size you like best, with a new blade
  • Rulers—suggest 9” square and 6” x 12”
  • Basic quilting supplies including straight pins, seam ripper, neutral thread, scissors and/or snips for cutting threads, measuring tape
  • Batting or flannel to use as a “design wall”
  • Notebook and pen or pencil to take notes
  • Digital camera or phone to take photos of design options (optional)
  • *Optional but helpful—Artful Improv and Adventures in Improv Quilts by Cindy Grisdela

Click here to print supply list