Well–I had a plan for blog posts over the last couple of weeks. It didn’t happen. I got some kind of flu that lingered for nearly 10 days over the holidays, so it was all I could do to do the family things I needed to do. Fortunately I’m feeling a lot better now.

So let’s wrap up December. Not all of this post is quilt related, but it’s all creative!

The One of A Kind show in Chicago was the first weekend of December. I’ve enjoyed this show for the last three years–it’s very festive and fun–but exhausting, since it takes place over four long days.

I had a good time–it’s a large show with over 600 artists and I got to check in with several artist friends I hadn’t seem since earlier in the year. One of the highlights was meeting several Instagram and SAQA friends in person–thanks to everyone who stopped by!

Journey Home - Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

Journey Home Grouping at One of a Kind Chicago 2016 – Cindy Grisdela

I brought my Artful Improv books and sold quite a few of them, plus the three small art quilts above Journey Home in the picture above. I really liked the way this grouping looked on the wall–and so did the purchaser of Cranberry Swirls, Breath of Spring, and Autumn Maze! I’m happy that they are going to be hanging together in their new home.

Candace Compton Pappas Art

The art of Candace Pappas–my booth neighbor at One of a Kind Chicago 2016 – Cindy Grisdela

Another highlight was getting to spend time with my booth neighbor – Candace Compton Pappas. Her work really speaks to me and she’s a very genuine person too!

Getting home from Chicago was complicated, to say the least. It snowed on the last day of the show and my flight home was cancelled. I was able to get another flight, but it was at O’Hare on another carrier, and it was cancelled too. Finally managed to get on a flight to DC at 1:30 in the morning and got home at 5 AM. My bags with all of my work went to a different DC airport due to the earlier cancellation, so there was some worry about getting it back, but it ended up all working out, thankfully!

Grisdela Family Annual Photo Book

Grisdela Family Annual Photo Book

I plunged into holiday preparations for my family next. Every year I put together a family photo album that hits the highlights of the year. Every year I promise myself that I’ll put the photos in order as I go along–and every year I don’t do it. So there’s a mad dash to get the photos together and get them in the book at the beginning of December. I use Shutterfly.com for this project and if you’re organized, it’s very easy to do! My family says it’s always their favorite present. It’s a great way to keep and share the photos from the year. Of course, since my boys are grown and don’t live with us anymore, getting photos from and of them is a little bit challenging–fortunately they don’t mind me grabbing images from their Facebook pages.

Artful Improv Class Capital Quilts - Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

Artful Improv Class at Capital Quilts December 2016

I did a lecture and book signing and taught my Artful Improv – Permission to Play class at Capital Quilts in Gaithersburg, MD in mid December. It’s a lovely shop full of all kinds of fabric and ideas. We had a great time talking about color and design, learning simple improv techniques and experimenting with my “no rules, no pattern” process for creating original art quilts. I’m teaching the class again there on January 27, 2017 if you’re in the area. Click on the link above.

Dads Tshirt Quilt - Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

Dad’s Tshirt Quilt made by my sister.

One of the best and most surprising gifts of the season was a quilt my sweet sister Margaret made for me out of my dad’s Tshirts. Dad passed away over 11 years ago, and I still miss him every single day. When Mom downsized a couple of years ago, my sister took all Dad’s Tshirts and made quilts from them for our four siblings and Mom. “If you gave Dad a Tshirt, you got it back in your quilt,” she told me. Such a labor of love! So I got back the Marine Corps Marathon shirt from the year I ran the marathon with Dad and my husband, Tshirts from the 1992 Atlanta Olympics that we went to, one from the US Open, one from Rocky Mountain National Park–the one in the middle that says “Best Grandpa Hands Down that has handprints and signatures from my sons Phil and Matt when they were young–you get the idea. It was emotional in a good way!


2010 Red Totem - Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

2010 Red Totem – Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

Another nice surprise I got was a copy of the new book Art Quilts International: Abstract & Geometric, by Martha Sielman, that has my “Red Totem” quilt in it! This is a beautiful book and I’m so pleased to be included in it. I plan to do a more in depth post on it next week.

It’s been a busy month for me! If you’ve read all the way to the end–thank you. On the last day of December, I hope you will be able to enjoy time with family and friends doing the things that mean the most to you.

Tomorrow is a new day and a new year. What are your plans? I’ll share some of mine next time.

Happy New Year!


  1. Rachel Biel on December 31, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Fun update, Cindy! Glad you are feeling better. Happy 2017!

  2. Diane on January 1, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    I have only recently heard of the One of a Kind show. Maybe next year I’ll go. It looks like a fabulous show. I got your book for Christmas and can’t wait to try some of the techniques. Happy New Year!
    Diane in Madison

  3. Tobi Greenblatt on January 1, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    I am looking forward to your class at Capital Quilts at the end of January. Your quilts are so inspiring!