"The Road Home" unquilted top Cindy Grisdela 2011

“The Road Home” is Day 16 of my 30 art quilt tops in one month project, featuring an improvisationally pieced central block with the suggestion of a house shape in the upper left portion. The green lines offset one another coming from north, south, east and west, but all end up at home.

I’m not sure where this focus on houses and homes is coming from–maybe because both my boys are away at college now and home is a different place than it once was. And I still want it to be a place they want to come back to–if only for the occasional visit!

One of the most difficult parts of this project continues to be naming each piece right after it’s finished. Some of the names come easily–some not so much. I was worried about this one because I was almost finished with it and nothing had come to me, but as I turned the central block to see which way it fit best on the background I saw the house shape and everything fell into place. Even when I try to “plan” these improv blocks they rarely end up the way I saw them at the beginning. Each color and each shape builds on the one before it and creates a rhythm all its own. It’s an intentional process, but there’s also a dialogue that begins to take shape as the piece is created–you just know what the next color and the next shape needs to be. I think that’s why I’m still fascinated with this process.

I may quilt this one with a different motif in each quadrant, or I may stick with something very linear to echo the road in the name. I have the most recent tops hanging at the top of my design wall and I think about how they will be quilted as I’m working through the next designs. My son is home from college for spring break and my husband comes in occasionally to see how it’s going. I get a kick out of asking them which ones they like best and why–usually it’s not the same ones, nor is it the same ones I would choose. Interesting.

If you’re new to the project, I challenged myself to create one art quilt a day for the month of March. Each piece is 16″x20,” uses only solid fabrics, and is entirely pieced by machine, not fused. I’ll choose the best of them, quilt them and mount them on stretcher bars, and show them in an exhibit later this year. I’m posting nearly every day on my progress, so check back often!


  1. EleanorSamuels on March 18, 2011 at 9:09 am

    I really like this one. You named it just right. Hopefully all roads do lead home.

  2. Dorry on March 19, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Yes, this one really calls out to me Cindy. I love the dynamic feel the red gives to the piece. I’ll look forward to seeing how you might quilt this.

  3. Jill Banks on March 20, 2011 at 10:52 am

    What a great piece … and the name is perfect! It is so interesting to read about your process. Thank you.