I’m on my way home from a fun event in Lake Havasu, Arizona called Quilting by the Lake. 

I taught two classes–one day of Contemporary Curves and two days of Playing with Crayons, and I shared one of my favorite lectures, Playing with Colors, at their evening event on Thursday.

My students were enthusiastic and talented. Most of them were more comfortable with traditional quilting techniques, so taking my improv class was a stretch for some. I was really proud of them for stepping out of the box and trying something new!

The Contemporary Curves class is meant to be a table runner to introduce students to cutting improv curves without a ruler. A couple of days before I left to come to Arizona, I had a brainstorm that I could include another curve technique in the class, so students could combine the two in their quilts.

Student quilt from QAL 2019 - Cindy Grisdela

Julie’s Contemporary Curves Quilt in process QAL2019 – Cindy Grisdela

Several students, including Amy and Julie, were so excited about the possibilities that they made larger tops that might be wall hangings or baby quilts out of their blocks.

Student quilt from QAL 2019 - Cindy Grisdela

Julie’s Contemporary Curves Quilt QAL 2019 – Cindy Grisdela

It’s always a lot of fun to see how students use my techniques to create their own work. Students who had never cut and pieced curves freehand before were experts by the end of the day!

The two day Playing with Crayons class gives students the option to make a color wheel wall hanging in two sizes–36″ square or 56″ square. There’s a lot of sewing involved to make the wonky log cabin blocks and most students opted for the larger size, so there weren’t too many in a state to be photographed, but Melinda laid hers out on the hotel carpet. It looks cool against the carpet pattern, doesn’t it?

Student Color Quilt QAL2019 - Cindy Grisdela

Melinda’s Playing with Crayons quilt QAL 2019 – Cindy Grisdela


There was a balloon festival going on this weekend in Lake Havasu as well, so we were treated every morning to balloons rising into the air right outside my classroom! This enormous zebra balloon barely made it over the bridge.

Zebra Balloon over the bridge - Cindy Grisdela

Zebra Balloon coming over the bridge – Cindy Grisdela

He did make it and didn’t take out any of the spectators! Some of the balloonists touched down on the canal, to everyone’s delight.

Balloon Touching the Water - Cindy Grisdela

Balloon touching the canal – Cindy Grisdela

It was really a fun experience to see the balloons up so close.

Copper Canyon Quilt Shop Arizona  - Cindy Grisdela

Copper Canyon Quilt Shop Arizona – Cindy Grisdela

I stayed with a member of the Havasu guild who owns a quilt shop in town–full of fabric and very cozy. But the really unique thing about the shop is that she shares the space with her husband, who sells outrigger boats!

Outriggers in the Quilt Shop - Cindy Grisdela

Boats in the Quilt Shop – Cindy Grisdela

Half the shop is quilts and the other half boats–so husbands have something to do while their wives shop?

I had been to Arizona before but never to this spot–thanks to the Havasu Quilters for hosting me!

Now I’m in the Vegas airport waiting to go home to DC in a snowstorm–we’ll see how that works out . . .

If you’d like me to visit your guild or group, I love to teach and I’m taking bookings for 2020. You can see my available lectures and workshops on the website here.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Patricia on February 9, 2019 at 6:16 am

    I really enjoyed your Playing With Crayons class at Quilting at the Lake. I just finished quilting the small one and I made it reversible. Thank you for coming to Lake Havasu.

    • Cindy on February 9, 2019 at 3:28 pm

      Thank you Patricia–I’m so glad you enjoyed the class and congratulations on finishing your project!