Artful Improv - Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

Artful Improv is Here! Cindy Grisdela 2016

I’m so excited to announce that I just received the advance copy of my new book–Artful Improv: Explore Color Recipes, Building Blocks & Free Motion Stitching–from the publisher, C&T Publishing!

It’s such an amazing feeling to be finally holding the book that I’ve been working on for over 18 months. My heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful people at C&T who have worked on the book with me every step of the way–they all helped make it better!

Here’s the description:

Permission to play? Granted.

Learn to use simple design principles to create unique improvisational quilts. Without using patterns, learn 5 easy piecing techniques to add to your improvisational toolbox—angled stripes, circles, blocks, curved strips, and inset strips—and watch the art unfold before your eyes.  Focus on color combos and negative space to discover your personal style, and then add dazzling texture with free-motion stitching. With finished art quilts as unique as you are, you’ll want to hang one in every room!

• Embrace your creative spirit! Practice improv quilting using 5 easy blocks, circles, and strip sets
• Design with negative space, color recipes, and even irregular edges
• Finish quilts with free-motion texture and sleeve-free wall hanging techniques

Artful Improv Back Cover - Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

Artful Improv Back Cover – Cindy Grisdela

It’s not a pattern book really, but more of an inspirational guide to start creating your own original art quilts using my favorite improv techniques. I hope you’ll feel reading it like we’re sitting down for a cup of coffee and chatting about making wonderful quilts without rules and without a pattern.

I hadn’t seen the back cover yet, but it’s wonderful, I think. The blue quilt on the left, Blue Totem, shows a great improv block and has lots of dense stitching that really shows up well. Overall, I’m really happy with it.

And the first review is out! From Down Under Textiles, Issue 25:

“Graphic designs and lines: Cindy tends to work with bright fabrics and loves graphic designs and lines in her quilts. This allows for the improv aspect of her quilts to shine. Improv is not new, but for some it can difficult to know where to start. Cindy unlocks helpful design principles that allow the reader some direction as they work, and she also provides information about the mechanics of putting the pieces together so that you get the look you want. By mastering her techniques, you will become more confident in sewing without patterns. Quilting adds another layer of interest and texture, and this aspect is also covered in the book. Even experienced art quilters can use the ideas to experiment with colour and design.”

How cool is that?!

I haven’t received my shipment of books yet–the official release date is October 17, 2016, but when I do, I’ll be happy to autograph one for you. I have it available for pre-order in my shop here and I expect to have copies available at the Great Falls Studios 2016 Studio Tour October 14-16. I’ll be at my studio at the Artists’ Atelier at 756 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA on the Village Green.



  1. Rachel Biel on October 4, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Congratulations, Cindy! It’s all so exciting! I’m sure your book will inspire many to go down the creative path. And, nice to have your work documented in this way. Wishing you a huge success with it!

    • Cindy on October 4, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks so much Rachel!

  2. Susanne Jones on October 4, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    I can’t wait to read it! Congratulations. I want an autographed copy for sure.

    • Cindy on October 5, 2016 at 9:30 am

      Thanks so much, Susanne!

  3. Paola on October 5, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Cindy, can you ship to Italy a copy?…I would be honored to receive a copy!
    Please can you send me details of the shipping costs?
    thank you????

    • Cindy on October 5, 2016 at 5:29 pm


      I can ship a book to Italy using First Class International via the US Postal Service. I’m not sure how long it would take to get there, but the cost would be about $12.60, depending on the exact address.

      Please let me know if that works for you.

      Thank you!


      • Paola on October 5, 2016 at 7:05 pm

        Yes !!!
        I am very happy, I’ll wait what is necessary, I order in the coming days, thanks Cyndy????