Inside Adventures in Improv Quilts

Inside Adventures in Improv Quilts

Posted by Cindy Grisdela on Sep 27th 2021

Hi! I’m Cindy Grisdela, author of Artful Improv and Adventures in Improv Quilts; Master Color, Design & Construction, released in September!

I’ve had a blast traveling around the country for the last six years, both live and via Zoom, lecturing and teaching workshops about Improv Quilts and Design. My new book was inspired by that experience and the wonderful students I’ve had the privilege to teach.


Zoom Improv Puzzle Class – Cindy Grisdela

One of my most popular lectures is called “Anatomy of Improv,” and it gave me the idea for the book. There are lots of different ways to create improvisationally without a pattern. Some are based on the tradition of creating blocks and arranging them in a pleasing design and may be accessible to traditional quilters who want to give something new and try. And some are a little more challenging, like the idea of roughing in an entire quilt on the design wall before any sewing is done.

When I started writing Adventures in Improv Quilts in the spring and summer of 2020, I started with the ideas from the lecture and made them more concrete with some new quilts and new ways of thinking about design.

Cindy's writing desk

One of those new ways of thinking I call “guided exercises.” They aren’t patterns, per se, but guidelines for students to use to put my techniques into practice and make their own quilts. There’s a deep dive into freehand curve blocks, a section on my popular Improv Puzzle quilts, and an exercise to create a version of my Confetti quilt from the book’s cover by cutting oversize curves freehand using your rotary cutter as a drawing tool. 

Retro Circles – Cindy Grisdela

Besides construction, there are chapters on choosing colors and putting colors together fearlessly, questions to ask to help you know when your Improv design is finished, and new ideas for free motion quilting your creation. 

Triadic color palette of orange, green and purple

It’s my hope that Adventures in Improv Design will give you a road map to exploring your own creativity and give you some tips on color, design, and construction that you can incorporate into your own artistic practice.

The book is dedicated to all my students with thanks for all you have taught me as we travel this quilting journey together. 

Quilts from Adventures in Improv Quilts – Cindy Grisdela



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