I am amazed, humbled, and so very grateful for the outpouring of support, positive suggestions, and sharing of my post yesterday about the theft of six of my art quilts from the show in Virginia last weekend. Click here to read the previous post.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who read, commented, liked, retweeted, and shared my story!

The more eyes that are out there looking, the greater the chance that my artwork might be found and returned to me. If you see any of these pieces online, or anywhere else, or if you hear anything about them, please email me at [email protected]. I would really appreciate it!

CGrisdela_StolenQuiltsSeveral people have asked for more details, so I’ll try to share what I know.

At left is a shot of the wall in my booth that four of the pieces were taken from. At the bottom right is Song of the Heart--gray with the bright stripe of irregular circles. Just up from that to the left is Geranium–mostly reds and oranges with one green horizontal section. Better photos of these pieces and the other two that were taken are in this post.

Then the two that I hadn’t had a chance to get photographed are Tropicana–the small piece just to the left of Geranium that has an orange central block with a blue border, and Peacock Drive–the pastel piece just to the left of the row where Tropicana is. You’ll probably have to right-click on the photo to see it larger in a new window. I had to crop this image from a larger photo I took on my phone, so the quality isn’t great.

The other two pieces were taken from the opposite wall.

As far as I know, I’m the only artist in the show who had multiple pieces taken. There may have been one other artist who lost one piece, but I don’t know that for sure. The show did have security patrolling the area during the night, but the venue was large and spread out, so it was difficult to have a presence everywhere all the time.  The show staff has been supportive, and apparently nothing like this has happened at the show recently, although a sculpture was stolen at the show some time ago, and later recovered.

I want to make it clear that I think the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is a good show. Saturday was a great day–the weather was beautiful, there were lots of people out enjoying the art, and several of my pieces were purchased and happily went home with new owners. There are always risks inherent in showing your work at outdoor fairs and festivals, and in three years of doing this, I’ve never had anything like this happen before. Maybe it was just bad luck–either my work caught the attention of the wrong person, or it was a random act.

Either way, the loss is devastating. On a personal level, my pieces take a long time to make. They are created improvisationally and are all one-of-a-kind, so even if I wanted to, I probably couldn’t make another one exactly the same. That’s the reason I don’t have signs up in my booth forbidding photographs–if I couldn’t reproduce a piece exactly (and I know how I did it and what steps to take), it stands to reason that someone else working from a photograph couldn’t either (although I still hope they wouldn’t try)!

On a business level, this is my job. I work at it full time, and I have other commitments to shows and galleries that will be more difficult to fill in the next few weeks because of the loss of so many pieces at once.

I make a huge effort to be generous when I’m out doing a show, and this one was no exception. I enjoy sharing my work and talking about my process, and I’m happy to give tips and encouragement to others thinking of pursuing a similar path. So it’s incredibly disappointing to be taken advantage of in this way, and very disheartening to think I may have had a conversation with the person who later came back and stole my work.

To end on a positive note, the support and help I’ve gotten from friends, fellow artists, and total strangers has been uplifting and given me much comfort in a difficult time. Thank you all. I’ll keep you posted if there are further developments.




  1. Pru Klein on May 20, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Cindy, I’ve posted a link on my FB page. I can only imagine how sick you must feel that the person(s) who stole your pieces may have talked to you in the booth. Hugs.

  2. liv rodgers on May 20, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Who was manning your booth while you took breaks?
    I have volunteered to ‘man’ booths while artists take pott, coffee, lunch, and whatever breaks for 6 years.
    Was your booth un-manned at any time?
    Artists are encouaed to sing up for volunteer’breaks’, I hate to think that this could have happened while one of our fellow volunteers was around and not utilized. So sorry for your loss, but I sure would like to know the details.

  3. MOM on May 20, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Beautifully done. I am praying that your work will be returned. Love you, MOM

  4. Delight on May 20, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    good luck.I have posted to Google+ and Tumblr.

  5. Donalee Kennedy on May 21, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Oh, man this is awful! I’m so sorry you have to deal with this…. I just met you at the conference and I love your work…I hope whoever stole it realizes their mistake and returns it to you.

  6. Anne on May 21, 2014 at 7:55 am

    I’d get a group of friends to help you scout out all of the web sites where items can be sold, including Craigsllist and other local sites where the fair was held, someone may try to sell your items. My heart goes out to you, I hope you can retrieve at least a few.

  7. Georgianne on May 21, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I’m sorry Cindy. It feels like a little part of you got taken away. Your grace under the pressure of this is a great example to me. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers so that no matter how this all ends, you will be supported and nourished.

  8. Arlene Sachitsno on May 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    I will share..have you posted on the lost quilt come home website? Lost quilt.com? I think they have a FB page, too. Good Luck!

  9. Accidentally Angle on May 22, 2014 at 12:06 am

    I just saw your story on Facebook and am sharing it as well. Looking forward to good news that your lovely work has been found and is back safe with you. I’m so sorry you have had to suffer through this. Your work is lovely.

  10. Bob Gilbert on May 29, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Absolutely devastating. This is about the worst thing that can happen to an artist. My heart goes out to you and I pray they catch and jail the people responsible.