This Textile Artist is an Improv Quilter

Like most textile artists, Cindy Grisdela comes from a long line of women who have expressed themselves using a needle and thread. “Creating with various forms of fabric and thread has been a part of my life since I was a child,” she explains in her bio.

But curiously enough, Grisdela is the first quilter in her family. She’s also the first to treat her hobby as a full-time job, showcasing her quilts in fine art and fine craft shows nationwide.

Based in Reston, VA, Grisdela finds inspiration for her contemporary wall quilts from the view of nature outside her window. “Pebbles on the path or currents in water might become part of the texture I stitch into each piece,” she writes poetically. “Color combinations in bird feathers or flowering plants might slip into the palette I use to start my next design.”

The process itself relies on intuition, a technique she learned through trial and error and which she compares to jazz music, with both forms of art relying on improvisation. “Putting colors together intuitively, I like to use fabric the way a painter might use paint to create graphic compositions that engage the viewer from a distance, yet invite a closer look,” explains Grisdela.

The end result, though colorful and sometimes chaotic, has a rhythm of its own, reminding of the organic movement and patterns found outdoors. Take a look for yourself.