Book Review: Adventures in Improv Quilts by Cindy Grisdela
It’s a review, a blog hop and a give-away! I got my hands on Cindy Grisdela‘s brand new book, Adventures in Improv Quilts and I’ve got a review for you below. If you’d like a free e-copy of Cindy’s book, comment below and I’ll do a random number drawing on Oct 21st. I’ll announce the winner here, so be sure to check back.
First, I want to give a little background. Cindy and I have met in person a number of times at Studio Art Quilt Associates Conferences as well as at the Houston show.
For the last few years Sarah Ann Smith and I have met for dinner at the original Ninfa’s on the Friday of show week and last year Cindy joined us. Cindy had recently finished writing her book and was super excited!
Okay, the first thing to strike me about Cindy’s book was how pretty it was! Her book is packed with excellent photos of her colorful quilts and I was amazed to see how prolific she was. Each photo is helpful to illustrate a specific concept, color way, arrangement of fabric, etc.
I read her first book also and although there is some overlapping content, I think more than anything the difference is the guided exercises in this book where she breaks down the process into simple steps that even I could do.
There are no patterns (it IS improv after all), but no worries. Her instructions make the process tangible and she gives specific guidance and inspiration. I have tried improv piecing before felt inept and unfocused and my resulting piecing looked like it. I think anyone with the desire can make a great improv piece with the direction provided by the guided exercises.
I really enjoyed the stories behind the quilts – there was much to learn from those stories. She writes in the “how to” part of the book about combining controlled piecing with improv parts that are often created to solve a problem. As Cindy writes about the process behind the quilts, you see how that all works out.
For Lime Medley she tells the story of a green “that didn’t go with anything else ever”. She made a lovely quilt using that pesky green and leftover from other projects. It is a good example of “there are no mistakes in improv, just opportunities”.
I don’t think there is a better way to impress your readers than to show extraordinary work by your students. Here’s just a sample of student work:
And in the final section, Cindy helps you build your own version of free motion quilting designs:
Bottom line, whether you are new to improv piecing or experienced, there is great inspiration and instruction for all.
Here’s the full blog hop schedule:
October 12, 2021 C&T Publishing https://www.ctpub.com/blog/adventures-in-improv-quilts-social-media-tour/
October 13, 2021 Maria Shell, Tales of a Stitcher https://talesofastitcher.com/
October 14, 2021 Jenny Lyon, Quilt Skipper https://quiltskipper.com/blog/
October 15, 2021 Becca Fenstermaker, Pretty Piney https://prettypiney.com/blog/
October 16, 2021
October 17, 2021
October 18, 2021 Carolina Oneto https://carolinaoneto.com/
October 19, 2021 HollyAnne Knight, String and Story https://www.stringandstory.com/blog
October 20, 2021 Cindy Grisdela https://www.cindygrisdela.com/blog/
Come back Oct 20th to see who won. Be sure to comment below for a free e-book!
Connie Duffey says
Your review wants me to go out and buy Cindy’s book! My attempts at improv have been “eh” and would really like to make one “wow” improv piece. Thanks for writing the review!
I’ve never thought I could be an improv piecer, but perhaps this book could change that?
Deb Thuman says
Looks like an interesting book.
Love this book so much. Have admired Cindy’s work for years
Brenda Perry says
Yes, please add my name. I love improv! This looks like another book I’ll have to purchase if I don’t win it!!
Your book review makes me want to instantly buy the book instead of waiting for a chance of winning it.
Cindy Grisdela’s new book is so intriguing. I have done some improv before, but the book looks like it could take me farther on that journey.
Kitty Talmage says
Love the photos! I’ve seen Cindy’s first book and this new one look’s like a must have !
Oooooooh, I’ve been looking forward to Cindy’s new book. I am new to her work etc, just found her recently and am intrigued with her teaching style!
What a great review of this new book- I look forward to reading it myself.
Fran Urquhart says
Looks like a lot of fun. Who doesn’t have fabric you love that really needs something off the wall to use it!
Donna Brennan says
The Lime Medley comment reminded me of my time with designers…two or three greens may clash, but 20 greens will work.
I really enjoyed Cindy’s workshop with the Folsom Quilt & Fiber Guild, and my resulting piece will be in FQFG’s show in February. Cindy, I need to email you a picture of it!
Cindy Grisdela says
Thank you for your kind words about my new book, Jenny! I love the new guided exercises that take some of the mystery out of Improv design.
Jen Vienneau says
Your comment about combining controlled parts with improv parts makes me think I have been approaching improv all wrong. Now I am really curious about exploring that idea. Great review of what sounds to be a great book!
Peggie Thomas says
I love a book of “how to” that still let’s the reader interpret the technique and create an original design.
Great review! Hoping to get my copy! Looks fantastic!
Marti Meadows says
Looks like a great new book!
So much talent!! Oh and Glacier in the fall how lucky!!
Cheryl Gebhart says
Looks like a great book.
Margaret Moore says
Glad to hear a bit of commentary on comparison to her first book
Cindy Barrett says
I love improv quilting, pick me!
Barbara Black says
Great review! And Ninfa’s is a Must Eat every year in Houston.
Valerie J Bonkowski says
This book may help me leave my “box” and try new things. Thank you for the review.
Linda H. says
Improv is something I’m pursuing, but it isn’t coming easily. This book would certainly be helpful. Thank you for the chance to win!
Kathy E. says
How I’d love this book and glean so much good inspiration from it! Seeing the photos above give me hope that my improv sewing can be just as beautiful!
Marla Varner says
I love Cindy’s approach to improv and her new book looks terrific! Including student work is a nice feature.
Love the quilts – hoping to inlease my inner improv!
Sharon Weibler says
I want her books for my daughter who already does some improv piecing. I know she will share.
Sue MacLeod says
I’ve read most of the first book. When this came out, it went on my wish list. I’d love to win a copy!
Penny Dominici says
Nothing like an attractive cover to draw you inside a book. I love the curved piecing combined with improv.
Cathy Urbanus says
I’ve never tried improv quilting. This looks like something I’d like to try!
Luetta Luman says
I love Cindy’s first book and have enjoyed exploring the possibilities of improv quilting. I look forward to reading this as well.
Debra Gerritsen says
This books looks so interesting. Would love to try improv. Great review. Glacier looked fun.
Dawn Stephens says
I’m just starting to get into improv quilting and so enjoying it. This book would definitely help me on my journey.
Val Ursulak says
This looks like extreme fun!
Diane Taylor says
I love Cindy ‘s work and use of Color. I haven’t had the courage to try improv quilting. Sounds like the guided exercises in her new book would help.
Gail Bush says
Cindy’s improv quilts are inspiring! And I love the student work as well. Congrats on the book!
Christina Bain says
Looks super interesting!
Pat Findlay says
I’ve tried Improv piecing, and while the results were okay, they somehow lacked that “wowie” that we all aim for. Your review makes me think that this book ,ight be the answer
Pat King says
Can’t wait to get her book. Have used her first one many times. She is an excellent teacher. Very helpful review.
Cheryl McCallum says
I haven’t tried improve yet but would like to. Would love to win her book. Thanks for the chance to try.
This is the direction I’m taking with my quilting and definitely want this book.
I was very impressed with Cindy’s presentation style at last year’s quilt festival. She makes everything possible. Thank you for a great review. It sounds like a good read, like it is presented the same way. I would love to win her book.
Jackie O says
I’m enjoying finding out about other quilters through these reviews.
I loved Cindy’s first book…can’t wait to get WIN the second!!
Lynn Kroll says
Lots of photos, guided exercises, and simple process steps make this book sound like a great resource.
Robin Parton says
Sounds like a good instructional book, have been wanting to try improv piecing.
Cathy Wilson says
I’ve never tried improv piecing but these pictures make me want to jump right in! Beautiful!
Such a colourful approach to improv; looks very happy.
Birgit Knuth says
Eye Candy, want some….
Susan R says
This book looks phenomenal. I just starting sewing a quilt, that will be my first improv quilt and I think this book will answer all my questions that I have that have come up!
Catherine E Happersett says
Super excited to read this book.
I could really get behind some guided exercises and reducing the mystery of improv quilts. Thanks ladies!!!
Charlotte Noll says
I love quilt stories and Cindy’s lecture and curves workshop were very interesting and informative to me for a quilt I’m working on for the South Florida Modern Quilt Guild Curves Challenge.
Jayne P says
I would love to give improv quilting a try and this book would be a great start
Elaine in North Texas says
This would be so much fun to try and I would need all the help I can get.
This book is on my Christmas list, don’t think I can wait!
Bren Holmes says
I love the idea that there are no mistakes in improv piecing, just opportunities. ‘Controlled piecing’ is something I would need to learn, control not being one of my virtues, especially around fabric. The book sounds great!
Connie German says
Looks like some new exciting quilts to try. Thanks
Betty Anne Alexander says
This book looks very inspiring! I love doing improv blocks but I think using some inspiration and guidance avoid some of the chaos. Looks like a great book for guidance
Nancy Angerer says
I looks like a very helpful book to have and use.
Vivian B. says
Interesting enough, everything you pointed to in the book speaks to things that have made me hesitant to attempt an improv project. Like many here, this book may be my intro to the process.
Laura M says
Thanks for the review of the book. It looks like the fabulous photos would be very helpful to learn the technique.