Cindy Grisdela Studio - SoulelesFrom her studio looking out over a lake in Reston, VA, Cindy draws inspiration for her contemporary wall quilts from the view of nature outside her window every day. Pebbles on the path or currents in water might become part of the texture she stitches into each piece. Color combinations in bird feathers or flowering plants might slip into the palette she uses to start her next design.

Cindy's abstract art quilts are designed improvisationally without a preconceived pattern, a little bit like jazz music. Each decision about color and shape influences the next and complex blocks repeat like beats of a melody, calmed by irregular plain areas that provide a resting place for the eye.

The color is the first step. Putting colors together intuitively, she uses fabric the way a painter might use paint to create graphic compositions that engage the viewer from a distance, yet invite a closer look.

The texture is the second step. The stitching lines provide contrast and dimension to the piece, integrating the different elements into a cohesive whole. Cindy does all of her stitching on a sewing machine, but it is entirely hand driven. There’s no computer program or marking ahead of time. She stitches the motifs freehand using the needle and thread of the machine like a pencil or a brush.

Cindy comes from a long line of women who have expressed themselves using a needle and thread, although curiously there were no quilters in her family. Creating with various forms of fabric and thread has been a part of my life since she was a child, and she is self taught as a fiber artist, with lots of experimentation along the way. Her formal education includes a BA in Fine Arts from the College of William and Mary and an MBA from George Washington University.

Cindy travels extensively showing and selling her work in fine art and fine craft shows nationwide. Her work can be found in private collections all over the country.  She is a teacher and author of Artful Improv: Explore Color Recipes, Building Blocks & Free Motion Quilting, published by C&T Publishing in November 2016. Please open the "Lectures and Workshops" tab on this website for a description of available talks and classes.

Cindy has studio space at the Artists' Atelier located at 756 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Open hours are 10-2 Wednesday and 12-4 Saturday, or by appointment.

Contact Cindy at or 703-402-3116.