Artful Improv Class Blocks - Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

Trudi’s Improv Blocks from Artful Improv Class

We had a great time in my Artful Improv class in Great Falls yesterday!

Artful Improv Class Blocks - Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

Susan’s Artful Improv Blocks June 2016

My students were energized and ready to let go of the “rules” on the way to learning how to create their own unique quilts. We began talking about color and improvisational techniques, looking at some of my quilts for inspiration–you can see some of them in the background of the photo above.

Then I demonstrated four improv elements, or building blocks, that we can use to design original quilts and the students got to work.

Artful Improv Class Block - Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

Jane’s Design from Artful Improv Class June 2016

After lunch, we talked about the principles of design that are necessary elements to creating art quilts–balance, symmetry, unity, focus and repetition.

Each student was able to get a good start on her own design.

Student Work

Trudi created improv blocks and angled stripe units. Susan worked on several improv blocks, improv circles and angled stripes, plus some units of her own creation. Jane was able to get a small piece completed using the inset strip technique, and Jessica also got a small piece finished with her own inset strips. I wasn’t able to get a photo of Jessica’s block because she had to leave a few minutes early to go pick her husband up at the airport.

It’s always a joy for me to be able to share my approach to making original art quilts with others–I learn a lot from my students even as I hope they are learning from me. I firmly believe that everyone has the ability to be creative; it just takes a willingness to explore a new way of doing things and allow yourself to play!

I’m very proud of my newest students!

My new book–Artful Improv: Explore Color Recipes, Building Blocks & Freemotion Stitching–is due out from C&T Publishing in early November. Click on the link of the cover in the right sidebar to go to and get a sneak peak!

Mark your calendars for my next show–Ann Arbor Street Art Fair – The Original on July 21-24 in Ann Arbor, MI. I’ll be in Booth 140 on Washington St. and I’d love to see you if you’re in the area.