Ready to Go at Palm Beach!

February 26th, 2015
Palm Beach Fine Craft Show 2015 Cindy Grisdela

Palm Beach Fine Craft Show 2015 Cindy Grisdela

I’m in Florida for the Palm Beach Fine Craft Show–quite a culture shock to be here with palm trees and 83 degrees compared with the cold and snow in Baltimore last weekend!

This is my first time doing this show and I’m really looking forward to it. I was impressed with the work of the other artists I glimpsed during setup today–it will be fun to see all the booths set up when the show opens tomorrow. It’s always amazing to me how an empty room can be transformed in a matter of hours into a beautiful showcase of art!

We’re in the Palm Beach Convention Center at 650 Okeechobee Blvd. and the show runs Friday-Sunday. Hours are 10-6 Friday, 10-6 Saturday and 11-5 Sunday. Admission is $15, but you can download a coupon for $1 off at the link above.

There will be over 100 artists showing the very best in contemporary fine craft–ceramics, sculpture, glass, wearable art and jewelry, and decorative fiber–like my contemporary art quilts for the wall.

After my successful show in Baltimore, I had a busy couple of days Monday and Tuesday in my studio getting ready for this weekend! I do have quite a few new pieces and I’m looking forward to sharing them.

I’m in Booth 223 at the show, and I’d love to see you if you have a chance to stop by!

I will be posting regularly on Instagram during the show if you’d like to follow along here.

All Set Up at the Baltimore Craft Show!

February 20th, 2015
Booth at Baltimore Craft Show

Baltimore Craft Show 2015 Cindy Grisdela

I’m all set and ready to go at the American Craft Council show in Baltimore, MD opening today.

The Baltimore show is one of my favorites, with over 650 artists in one place showing amazing work in jewelry, clothing, furniture, ceramics, glass and much much more.

The show runs today from 10-8, Saturday from 10-6 and Sunday from 11-5 and is located conveniently at the Baltimore Convention Center at One West Pratt St.

My booth location was changed at the last minute, so I’m in Booth 406, instead of what the program says.

Be sure to visit my neighbor, Jim Webb, who makes the most beautiful ceramic lamps. I had a problem with one of my light bars yesterday during setup and he was kind enough to take it apart and fix it for me! So a really, really nice person who makes very interesting art. He’s next to me in Booth 405.

Visit the show and get out of the cold! I look forward to seeing you.

Getting Ready for the Baltimore Craft Show

February 13th, 2015
wall quilt on design wall in process

Skipping Stones in process 2015 Cindy Grisdela

I’m busy getting ready for the American Craft Council show in Baltimore, coming up in just one week!

My design wall is full of work in process, like “Skipping Stones” at left. There are several pieces in this series, but they’ve all gone to new homes, so it’s time for a new one! “Stones” will be 20″ square and mounted on a painted black canvas. It’s coming together nicely and should be ready for quilting later today.

I create the improvisational blocks first, then put them up on the design wall and audition the strips to tie them all together. I never know exactly what it’s going to look like until it’s all finished. For this piece I initially made five blocks, then decided that it only needed three, so I got to pick my favorites and the rest will be the seeds of the next project. How cool is that?

The Baltimore show is one of my favorites, and also one of the biggest shows in the country. There will be around 650 artists in a variety of media, including jewelry, wearable art, ceramics, furniture, glass, metal and mixed media, in addition to decorative fiber–that’s me! The venue is the Baltimore Convention Center at One West Pratt St. in Baltimore, MD. It’s easy to get to right off I-95. The show runs from Friday, February 20 through Sunday, February 22, 2015. Hours are 10-8 Friday, 1-6 Saturday, and 11-5 Sunday.

My booth has been changed since the brochure went to print, so I’ll be in Booth 406 this year. Hopefully there will be a sign at my old booth location directing you to the right place!

If you’d like discounted tickets for the show, click here to order tickets at 50% off using the promotion code BWI2015GUEST. This discount ends February 19.

I hope to see you there!



Packing for My Trunk Show Tonight at Annapolis Quilt Guild

February 2nd, 2015
Colorful Pile of Quilts

Packing My Quilts for a Trunk Show in Annapolis 2015

I’m packing my quilts for a trunk show tonight at the Annapolis Quilt Guild. It’s always fun to pull out all my quilts in one place!

I taught a workshop to 13 members of the guild on Saturday and we had a good time. Several of the quilters were able to go home with a finished “Autumn Stripes” table runner top. It’s a great technique to have in your repertoire because you can use it in lots of different ways–from runners to pillows to quilts.

Stripe Table Runner

Autumn Stripe Table Runner (c) Cindy Grisdela

We also talked about different ways to quilt it and finish it with a facing rather than binding.

I was thrilled that people brought all different kinds of fabrics–solids to batiks to patterned cottons–and they all turned out great!

Autumn Stripe Table Runner

Autumn Stripe Table Runner Patterns

My lecture and trunk show tonight will focus on using color effectively in your quilts.  “Playing with Colors” is one of my favorite things to do, and I have both a slide presentation and examples of real quilts that I’ve created over the years so hopefully there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

The meeting will be held at the Knights of Columbus, 2590 Solomons Island Road, Edgewater, MD 21401. It starts at 7 PM and I’ll talk from 8-9 PM.

If you’d like to see what workshops and lectures I offer, please visit the “Lectures and Workshops” tab at the top of the page.

February is shaping up to be a busy month!

I have two shows on back-to-back weekends at the end of the month, so mark your calendars if you’re going to be in Baltimore or Palm Beach. You can also get discounted tickets by clicking on the links below.

Palm Beach Fine Craft Show, February 27-March 1, 2015



Happy 5th Birthday, TAFA!

January 30th, 2015

TAFA, the Textile and Fiber Art List, has just turned five years old! I’m proud to be a sponsor of this wonderful group and one of its early members.

5-years-bannerThe group is the brainchild of Rachel Biel, an artist from Paducah, KY who envisioned TAFA as a global resource for textile art and artisans. “From the beginning, one of my goals was to narrow the divide between contemporary and traditional textiles, to see a weaver from Guatemala on the same platform as one from New York, to celebrate diversity and originality,” Rachel explained in a recent post about TAFA’s first five years. Due largely to Rachel’s tireless efforts, the group has grown from humble beginnings to currently over 500 members representing 44 countries!

Visit the TAFA website with your morning coffee and spend a few minutes immersed in creativity, from the beautiful handwoven scarves by Loom on the Lake to exquisite knitted shawls and accessories by Elena Rosenberg .

Knit Accessories

Elena Rosenberg Knit Creations

Loom on the Lake Scarf

Handwoven Scarf by Loom on the Lake











Coasters by Fuzzy Logic Felt

Coasters by Fuzzy Logic Felt

Creations by Ariane Mariane

Creations by Ariane Mariane








Fiber Sculpture by Diane Nunez

Diane Nunez Fiber Sculpture



Get inspired by the quirky creations of Ariane Mariane and the warmth of Fuzzy Logic Felt .

And of course there are plenty of amazing quilt artists in the group–from the more traditional work of Goose Track Quilts to art quilters like Diane Nunez.  I feel fortunate to own a small example of Diane’s amazing three dimensional, definitely non-traditional quilts.

Wool Embroidered Pillows

Pillows by Nestle and Soar

And Nestle and Soar does amazing things with wool and embroidery!

You can browse the list of artists, or search for a specific type of art, from home decor to wearable art to yarn or fabric supplies.

Before you know it, it might be lunchtime!

These are just a few of the talented textile artists on this incredible site. It’s definitely worth allotting some time to go over to TAFA and find your favorites!

If you’re a fiber artist and interested in joining the group, membership information is here–it’s a one-time $125 fee to join.

Many TAFA members have online shops to sell their work, and a sister site called ArtizanMade was created last year to allow visitors to find members who specifically sell their work.

Follow TAFA on Facebook for the latest news and inspirations.

Happy Birthday, TAFA! I’ve been inspired and enriched as an artist by my association with this virtual community.

Here Comes the Judge!

January 21st, 2015

A happy winner at the Great Falls School of Art Student Show

I was honored last week to be asked to judge the student art show at the Great Falls School of Art. What an awesome responsibility! Putting your work out in public to be viewed and judged is very scary, and I wanted to be as encouraging as possible to all those who entered, since I couldn’t give an award to everyone!

My studiomate Elaine Elinsky, who’s a talented contemporary landscape painter, was my co-judge. It was really helpful to have another artist to bounce ideas off of, especially since the artwork was from a variety of ages, subject matter and skill level. There were awards for adult students and for the children and teens separately.

I took art classes when I was in high school and college, and I remember my first art show very clearly. I was 14 years old and I entered a painting of a double helix in a science-themed show sponsored by the local hospital where I lived. I was astonished to win a prize–a $5 bill which I think I still have. The experience made a huge impression on me and encouraged me to continue creating art.

GFFFTA Art ShowThe studio gallery was filled with people when I arrived to take part in the awards reception last Friday night. Everyone was really excited to see their work on the walls. The awards were announced by fellow artists Jill Banks and Jennifer Duncan, both of whom are teachers at the school. After the announcements were made, I spent a few minutes explaining our reasoning behind choosing each piece for an award, and encouraging those who didn’t win anything to keep working at it, because the overall quality of the work was really very high. Any of them could have been chosen for awards–it was very difficult to make the decisions.

I thought it was important to share my perspective on the art to help with the learning process, and I was pleased by how people seemed to appreciate it. Several of the young artists came up afterward to ask me questions and seek input on their work. I was impressed both by the fact that they were brave enough to engage and that they really seemed to want honest critique. I praised one student’s still life painting that wasn’t chosen for an award, and she pressed me to tell her what she could do better so that perhaps she could be chosen next time. I’m not sure my 14-year-old self would have been able to do that!

Visit Jill’s blog here to see images of all the winning artwork.

The show is up in the gallery at 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA, until the end of the month. Open days are Wednesdays and Saturdays from 12-4 PM, and other times by appointment.


Adding Texture to A New Quilt

January 16th, 2015
Adding Texture with Stitching

Texture in Process 2015 Cindy Grisdela

I’ve been working this week on a quilt for a project that has to be kept under wraps for right now, so it’s been difficult to find something to post about. I’m at the point now where I can share some of the texture I’m creating though.

This piece is an abstracted landscape inspired by a trip to Alaska my family took last summer. The section in the picture at left is part of the foreground and I’m having a great time playing with different stitching motifs and different textures.

I’m using a combination of patterned batik fabrics and hand dyed solids, which makes the stitching decisions a little more challenging. One of the reasons I stopped using much patterned fabric in my designs is that the texture doesn’t show up as well, and you can see that in the image. It really depends on the pattern that’s already in the fabric, as well as the stitch motif I choose, however. The pebbles in the green and brown sections are both stitched on solid fabric and show up well. The abstract flowers in the green slice are easy to see, and the waves in the light brown section. But the fans in the dark brown section at the bottom where the sewing machine needle is don’t show up very well, although the combination of the texture and the crosshatch pattern in the fabric is interesting to me.

The piece will measure 44″ h x 20″ wide, so I have lots of opportunities to try new stitching motifs and combinations!

I’m challenging myself by participating in this project–trying some new things and working within size and content restrictions.  I’ve had to go into my book collection and research techniques for doing what I want to do–both new methods and some that I haven’t used in a while. Stretching my creative muscles. I don’t know if any of this will appear in my regular work any time soon, but it’s good to change things up every now and then!

Hopefully I’ll be able to post more details soon.

My show season starts in a few short weeks–mark your calendars!

February 20-22, American Craft Council – Baltimore, Baltimore, MD. Click here to get an online discount on tickets.

February 27 – March 1, Palm Beach Fine Craft Show, Palm Beach, FL

March 13-15 – American Craft Council – Atlanta, Atlanta, GA.

April 24-26 – American Fine Craft Show/Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT



My Quilts Featured Today on Folt Bolt!

January 9th, 2015
Colorful Stripe Wall Quilt - Aztec Autumn

“Aztec Autumn” 39″ x 32″ Cindy Grisdela

I’m thrilled to share that my work was featured on the colorful blog of Folt Bolt today!

I look forward to seeing her posts–the color and creativity always brightens my day–so it was a special treat to see my quilts featured this morning. Such fun to see the colorful collage she created of my work, including “Aztec Autumn” at left.

Please click on this link to see the collage.

Folt Bolt is Kriszta Kemeny, who describes herself on her blog as “a Hungarian living in Australia.” An artist herself, she features artists and artwork on her blog that she admires or finds interesting from all over the world. I’m humbled and grateful to be among those. What a great start to 2015!

You can follow Folt Bolt on Facebook and Pinterest, and add a little color to your day every day!

I’ve added some new pieces to my Etsy shop, and I’m offering a discount to readers of the Folt Bolt blog. Just visit this link to my Folt Bolt feature and read down to the end to get the coupon code. I’ll be adding new work all this month, so keep checking back!

I have a show break this month, but I’ll be starting up again in earnest in February. Here’s a list of the shows coming up soon. Mark your calendars!

February 20-22, American Craft Council – Baltimore, Baltimore, MD. Click here to get an online discount on tickets.

February 27 – March 1, Palm Beach Fine Craft Show, Palm Beach, FL

March 13-15 – American Craft Council – Atlanta, Atlanta, GA.

April 24-26 – American Fine Craft Show/Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT



“Mirage” Chosen for Art in Embassies Exhibit

December 30th, 2014
Mirage - vertical quilted striped wall hanging

Mirage 55″ x 32″ Cindy Grisdela

I’m pleased to announce that my “Mirage” wall hanging has been chosen to be part of an exhibit under the Art in Embassies program run by the US State Department!

The exhibit will be mounted in the public rooms of the residence of the US Ambassador to Timor Leste in Indonesia, and will run for approximately 2 1/2 years while that ambassador is in residence there. The focus of the exhibit is American fiber art and will include a variety of pieces by US artists. According to the exhibit curator, fiber plays an important role in the culture of Timor Leste, or East Timor, and this exhibit will provide an opportunity to share American textiles there.

I’m excited to be part of this program and to have the opportunity to share my work.

“Mirage” is part of a series I created that explores color interactions using batik fabrics. Many batiks are made in Indonesia, and the name “batik” refers to the process of dying fabric using wax as a repellent. Once the initial color is added to the fabric, the wax is dissolved and may be replaced in a different area to create another pattern or design with another color. The fabrics created in this way often have strong, vibrant colors, which I enjoy working with to create graphic abstract designs. “Mirage” was created with irregular strips of batik fabrics in warm autumn colors. I sewed the strips into sets, then cut the sets into triangles and resewed them in an offset composition. I was intrigued by the way the colors seemed to shift, appearing and reappearing depending on their relative positions–that’s how I came up with the name.

The Art in Embassies program has been in existence since 1963, and currently oversees 200 venues in 189 countries. Click on this link to read more about this exciting program. The exhibit my work is in will be installed in the spring of 2015.



Show Season is Over for 2014 – Great Weekend in Chicago!

December 10th, 2014
purple quilt with green stripes

“Central Park” 20″ x 16″ Cindy Grisdela

purple quilt with bright stripe

“Townhouses” 20″ x 16″ Cindy Grisdela

Hard to believe that my show season is over for 2014! I did twelve shows this year–more than I’ve ever done in the past–and it was a great year to meet new people and share my work with new audiences.

The One of A Kind Show in Chicago was my last show of the year this past weekend, and it ended with a bang! Seven pieces went to new homes, including Central Park and Townhouses, at left. The purchaser wanted two pieces to hang together and I had fun rearranging the walls of the booth so she could see how different pieces worked together!

I enjoyed spending a little time with each of the purchasers of my work last weekend, and I appreciate their support deeply, as well as the support of everyone who stopped by my booth to chat about my art. That’s one of the satisfying things about doing shows–connecting with admirers and talking about art. Sometimes people apologize that they aren’t able to buy anything, and I always tell them how much it means to me that they took the time to stop and give me their reaction to my work–it means the world to me and it helps to get new ideas and insights for when I go back into the studio to create.

My youngest son is graduating from college this weekend, so I’m going to take some time off and enjoy his accomplishment with my family. Plus I haven’t had time to do anything about the holidays–which are fast approaching!

My show schedule is already shaping up for 2015–I’ll share the details in my next post, but the first show of 2015 will be the American Craft Council show in Baltimore February 20-22, 2015. Mark your calendars!