Rhythms 2012 Cindy Grisdela

I finished Rhythms last week just in time to donate it to the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) 2012 Benefit Auction.

The auction begins for the first section on September 10, 2012 at 2 PM. Usually there are about three sections in the auction–I won’t know until later in the summer which section my quilt will be in, but there is always plenty of wonderful work to choose from!

All of the quilts in the auction are 12″ square. This is the fourth year I’ve contributed a piece to this cause. SAQA’s mission is to promote quilts as art and I have benefited tremendously from my participation in this group, so it’s important to me to give something back.

It’s always a challenge to design to a specific size or format, but I’m happy with the results of this one. The stripes started as leftovers from a pillow I created in the spring. I loved the color combination and even though the strips were narrow and irregularly cut, I couldn’t bear to throw them away. I had to add to them because they weren’t 12″ long, so I used several different lime greens on the ends and in the middles–you can never go wrong with lime green, in my opinion!

I used blue as the background because I liked the way it contrasted with the strips–it’s a cooler, more restful color to balance the brightness and energy of the lime green. At this point I almost decided to try something else for this donation, because I was concerned that the color scheme might not appeal to everyone, but the design just kept coming back in my head so I had to go with it. Embracing the irregularity of my original strips, I put them together with slightly curved lines.

This is a great example of how improvisation works–starting out with a color idea and some leftover strips, then adding something else–standing back to see how it reads as a design composition–trying another addition or subtraction again and again until you have the design that speaks to you. It’s an endless fascination for me.

Initially my inspiration for this design was the rhythms of music–even though I’m not musical at all, I’m fascinated by the way musicians can play off of one another and create rhythms were there were none before. Once I began quilting the piece, I realized it could also be the rhythms of life–I had been editing a paper for my son’s senior honors thesis in biology and the design also reminded me of cell structures–so I went with the simple Rhythms title. The stitching echoes the curvy lines of the piecing and adds some additional texture with bubbles in several places. If you right-click on the image you can see the texture better.

I’m thinking I might expand this idea into a larger project. What do you think?

For more information about the auction and to see the donated quilts, please visit www.saqa.com and click on 2012 Benefit Auction under “News and Events.”


  1. Jenny M on June 12, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Love what you have done with some leftover strips! Wonderful colours & quilting.