I’m working on something I rarely do–revisit an older piece and create something new.

Supernova – Cindy Grisdela

A few years ago, I made a quilt called Fireflies using a combination of bright reds, oranges, and yellows, plus dull burgundy and gold, with a black background. It sold last year, and I found that I missed it. Here’s the link to that quilt: https://cindygrisdela.com/portfolio/fireflies/

So I decided to have another try at it.

I wanted the new piece to be larger, and include a few newer ideas. I didn’t want to just remake the old one, because I’m an Improv artist and that didn’t seem quite right. There are certainly some of the same elements in the new piece, which I’m calling Supernova for now. It’s 40″ wide x 54″ high.

The things I liked about the original quilt are the color palette, the confetti pops, the skinny lines, and the dense free motion quilting I stitched in each area of the piece.

Supernova in Process – Cindy Grisdela

Here’s a shot of the quilt in process–it’s pretty messy! I had another large piece on the design wall that I didn’t want to take down, so I put a new piece of batting up over it and designed on that.

One thing that was really interesting about this process was how difficult it was. I was fixated on not repeating exactly what I had done before and that was a little stifling to my creativity. The left third of the quilt is very similar to the original. I ended up needing to walk away from it several times while it went through an “awkward teenage phase.” But ultimately I just kept making units and elements and putting them up on the wall to see how they interacted with what was there already–my usual Improv design process. And at a certain point, it got easier.

I added several more skinny yellow/gold arcs to direct the eye in the new composition, plus some “fried egg” curves in the top center and middle right of the design. There are also more opportunities to add confetti pops, since I enlarged the design.

In addition, I wanted to make all the blocks a different size, so I could add some interesting shapes to the negative space. I teach a class called Fabulous Freehand Curves about these techniques, and it’s helpful to have a quilt like this with different size blocks to demonstrate for students how to puzzle the whole together.

Supernova Stitching Detail – Cindy Grisdela


Another Supernova Stitching Detail – Cindy Grisdela

One of the fun things about this quilt is the texture. I stitched a combination of free motion quilting designs in the curves, matching the thread to the fabric (so lots of stopping and starting), and echoing lines with a walking foot in the areas with the pops. You can see many of these in the photos above.

I also tried something new to me in the photo just above–I had a large area of black curve and decided to stitch a stacked variety of motifs separated by curved lines. It doesn’t show up in the finished quilt unless you look at it closely, but it was fun to do and adds something a little unexpected.

I stitched the free motion motifs on my Bernina Q20 sit down machine, and the walking foot lines with my Bernina 570.

Overall, I’m happy with how it turned out. Do you ever revisit an older piece and try to make something new?


  1. Lynda on August 22, 2023 at 9:03 pm

    Lovely. I love your “stuff” I’ve been following you for a long time. I’m curious, are your shape pieces stitched on top of the quilt?

    • Cindy on August 24, 2023 at 10:12 am

      Lynda, all of my work is pieced. The pops of color are pieced into the top. I don’t do any stitching over them though, so they really stand out.

      Hope this answers your question!


  2. Kim Voss on August 22, 2023 at 9:50 pm

    Nice work. Thanks for sharing your process!

    • Cindy on August 24, 2023 at 10:11 am

      Thank you Kim!

  3. Susan Jennings on August 23, 2023 at 2:59 am

    Loving your Supernova quilt. It is one of the most beautiful and interesting quilts I have seen in a long time. The colours pop and the quilting is fun. Your process photos show the importance of ‘keeping the faith’ that it will all come together is a great composition.

    • Cindy on August 24, 2023 at 10:11 am

      Thank you Susan–showing process photos is always a little nervous making for me, but I think it’s important that people know that the process takes time and doesn’t always gel immediately, even for someone like me that does this all the time!


  4. Annette Cazilhac on August 23, 2023 at 3:26 am

    I like it very much ! It is wonderfull.????????????

  5. Mary Huspeni on August 23, 2023 at 11:33 am

    I love the pop of colors on the black background! Lots of great movement that keeps your eye moving around the piece.

    • Cindy on August 24, 2023 at 10:09 am

      Thank you Mary–those pops were fun to add!

  6. Patricia Dennehy on August 24, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    I just love the colour chosen for Super Nova. Wouldn’t change the name at all Cindy. ????⭐

    • Cindy on August 25, 2023 at 10:25 am

      Thank you Pat!

  7. Jennifer Bolentini on August 31, 2023 at 9:47 pm

    Really enjoy seeing your piece ‘come alive’ on the design wall. Thanks for sharing your process with us. The yellow curves were genius!

    • Cindy on September 11, 2023 at 11:31 am

      Thanks so much–those curves do a lot to draw the eye around.