What a year! 

I’m sure most of us won’t be sorry to see the last of 2020. While the year didn’t go as any of us planned, there were certainly some bright spots for me among the gloom–the dread, disappointments, frustrations, and sadness.

In the featured photo collage are some of my favorite images from 2020. I made several new large quilts and tried some new ideas. You can read about the creation of Picasso’s Chickens  here, Blooming here, and Neapolitan  here. I ended up finishing 14 quilts of various sizes, which is fewer than normal, but still a number I’m happy with–the largest one is about 65″ square and the smallest is 18″ x 24″. Since I didn’t have shows to do, I didn’t make many small pieces. That number includes three UFO’s I finished that had been sitting on the to-do pile for more years than I’d like to admit. The Red Scarf  is one of five tops that are still in process, but it’s part of a series based on a new idea for large curves and I had fun collaborating with my son Matt on its design.

The Red Scarf quilt top-Cindy Grisdela


I had work in a number of quilt exhibits, both online and in person, including Kaleidoscope at QuiltCon in February–one of the last trips I made in person before everything closed. I was honored to have Neapolitan included as part of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) online exhibit at the prestigious Intersect Chicago: the future of SOFA in November.

Kaleidoscope at QuiltCon 2020 – Cindy Grisdela


Neapolitan – Cindy Grisdela

Also, Homage to Matisse was included in the SAQA regional exhibit Working with the Muse that was shown in person at the Strathmore Mansion in Rockville, MD last spring.

Homage to Matisse – Cindy Grisdela

When everything went virtual, Senator Maisie Hirono (D-HI) began giving her interviews in front of her collection of art quilts, including my Intuition–the green one right behind her. It’s an honor to have my work in her collection, and I’m grateful to her for showcasing art quilts to the world. I’ve gotten many new followers as a result!

Sen. Mazie Hirono speaking in front of her collection of art quilts – Cindy Grisdela

I spent most of the summer writing my new book, which is going to be called Adventures in Improv Quilts: Master Color, Design, and Construction, and is expected to be released in Fall 2021 by C&T Publishing—I’m really excited about that! Blue Tetris is one of the quilts for the new book.

Blue Tetris – Cindy Grisdela

And my son got married! I made a table runner for the socially distanced reception in a tent in the bride’s parents backyard.

I filmed three on demand classes–two are available on the Creative Spark Learning platform hosted by C&T Publishing, which is the company that publishes my books–Artful Improv: Permission to Play and Fire and Ice Bargello.

My other online class is Improv Intro: Blocks, Stripes, and Curves–available on Coursecraft.net. All three are set up so you can take them on your own schedule at any time. I use videos, text, and still photos to present the techniques and ideas–it’s almost like having me in your sewing room with you!

And I had two articles published about me this year–one in Quilting Arts magazine in the August/September 2020 issue and the other in Art Quilt Quarterly Vol 20–it was quite an honor!

Feature in Art Quilt Quarterly – Cindy Grisdela

I have quite a few virtual lectures and workshops coming up in the next few months–check out my schedule at the Events link and remember that many guilds will also visitors if there’s room, so contact either the guild or me if you’re interested.

Certainly it was a year with lots of ups and downs! I feel very fortunate to have work that I can do from home, and the ability to pivot my business to offer online lectures and workshops to take the place of cancelled in person events.

Many thanks to all of my readers, students, collectors, and everyone else who has supported me along this wild journey–I’m grateful to each and every one of you!

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, creative 2021! It will probably start out a lot like 2020, but changes are coming and that’s a hopeful thought. One thing I’ve realized this year is the importance of staying connected–with each other and with our surroundings. I’ve been forced to slow down and appreciate where I am and what I’m doing. Being in nature helps.

Rainbow on the lake – Cindy Grisdela


  1. linda Piper Board on January 8, 2021 at 2:55 am

    I just want to say how uplifting it is to read about what you are doing and the positive energies I feel when I look at your quilts. Truly amazing and an incredible inspiration. Yes, 2020 was a very strange and unusual year, but I have great hopes that there will be more bright spots in the months to come. (Fingers crossed).
    Anyway, I just want you to know that your work continues to be appreciated and inspiring, so please keep it up.
    Take care and best to you and your family in 2021.
    Linda Piper Board

    • Cindy on January 8, 2021 at 4:25 pm

      Thank you Linda–it’s great to hear from you. I appreciate your kind words about my work and I’m glad it inspires you–that makes me happy.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!

  2. Starr Yauch on January 8, 2021 at 3:22 am

    Hi Cindy,

    Just a note to let you know how much I enjoy your wonderful quilts! I have a book you wrote, also,

    and look forward to the book you are currently working on. When I saw the photo of Senator

    Mazie Hirono in front of your quilt I was delighted! I knew she had good taste to choose one of

    your quilts! Thank you for your inspiration! I’m an intermediate quilter, wishing to get more finished!

    Starr Yauch

    • Cindy on January 8, 2021 at 4:24 pm

      Thank you Starr–I appreciate your kind words and wish you all the best in 2021!

  3. Sesostris on January 8, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    j’aime beaucoup vos couleurs vives dans vos ouvrages. Cela compense la grisaille de l hiver. Bonne Annee 2021

    • Cindy on January 8, 2021 at 4:24 pm

      Merci beaucoup!