Blog Tour

Artful Improv Blog Tour

“I’m convinced that everyone has the ability to create. Sometimes we forget our creativity in the hustle of daily life, but it is there waiting for you when you are ready to give it space to grow. One of the secrets to being creative is giving yourself permission to play,” and with that fantastic start, Cindy Grisdela had me hooked with her new book, Artful Improv.

Artful Improv by Cindy Grisdela

Artful Improv by Cindy Grisdela

Artful Improv isn’t a pattern book; instead it provides you with lots of great tools. Cindy focuses on how to use simple principles of design to create original quilts. There are so many pictures for inspiration within the book (as a very visual learner, this really appeals to me), and the book provides a gentle effort to encourage movement beyond patterns to do your own work.

Monochromatic Example

Monochromatic Example

Artful Improv includes suggestions on how to sort your scraps and save leftover fabric, delightful color theory and color recipes from which to pull from (I am itching to do more monochromatic play myself!), an introduction to design elements, some building blocks on which to start the foundation of your own improv exploration, and quilting and finishing techniques.

Building Blocks of Improv Design

Building Blocks of Improv Design

I can still remember the first time I tried to make an improv block. I started by trying to create a wonky log cabin block, and that first “wonky” block sure looks awfully square. But I kept going and that first series of blocks are saved in a quilt to show the progression. If you have yet to give improvisational piecing a try, I really recommend you take a look at Artful Improv. The building blocks of improv design that Cindy presents are a great place to start!

Negative Space

Negative Space

Cindy also has a section on “learning to love negative space”, which is a very modern and minimalist approach that I am also starting to incorporate into more of my own work. Getting comfortable with negative space can be a large step, and Cindy’s background as a traditional quilter really will help you view the transition to improv (and negative space!) with fresh insight.

Artful Improv is available from C&T Publishing and Cindy (all non-affiliate links).


I am excited to be able to offer a giveaway of a copy of Artful Improv. The giveaway is open internationally; a US domestic winner will be shipped a hard copy of the book and if the winner is outside the US they will receive an electronic copy of the book. The giveaway is open until Midnight Eastern on October 19th to entrants 18 years and older and the winner will be randomly selected. To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Artful Improv Blog Tour

October 10: C&T Publishing
October 11: Maria @Tales of a Stitcher
October 12: Rayna @Studio 78 Notes
October 13: Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
October 14: Sujata @The Root Connection
October 17: Heather Kojan
October 19: Cindy Grisdela


For more information on Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts:


Disclosure: This book was provided for review by the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by the businesses involved.

131 thoughts on “Artful Improv Blog Tour

  1. Camille says:

    I have not tried improv quilting as I am primarily a traditional quilter. I think I need to just take a leap to try a block or two.

  2. Summer Daisy says:

    I like the ‘negative space.’♥

  3. Ooh, this looks like such a fun book! It was surprisingly challenging the first time I attempted to make a wonky block. Kind of goes against everything you know about sewing, but it’s sooo liberating to break free! Best part of improv!

  4. Debbie says:

    I just tried it recently for the first time and I love it! This looks like the perfect book for me 🙂

  5. Lynne Pfeffer says:

    Seems like a great book. I’d love to win it. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  6. Susan Zakanycz says:

    This looks like a great book, I would love to try this neat technique and make a wild quilt!

  7. Cathy Calloway says:

    My only attempts at improv have been in making wonky blocks, such as log cabins or wonky stars. Would love this book to lead me towards some more adventuresome improv quilting

  8. Allison C says:

    I have and my like for it depends on my mood. I like it for scrap busting.

  9. jbrognstad says:

    I really want to try some improv piecing but can’t quite seem to loosen up enough to do it. Maybe this book could be the inspiration to just do it.

  10. Lisa says:

    I’ve tried it a little, it’s harder than I thought

  11. Diane M says:

    I tried improv piecing with some scraps and wasn’t really happy with what I came up with. I like the Monochromatic example so maybe need to give it another try with the help of this book!

  12. Kaja says:

    There are some beautiful quilts here – looks like an interesting book.

  13. Darleen Sanford says:

    I’ve tried improv once. Would love to try my hand at it more.

  14. Vera says:

    I don’t think I tried the true improv yet.

  15. Lara B. says:

    This book looks really exciting Yvonne. My first forays into improv were thrilling. I follow along with Kaja and Ann’s Ad Hoc Improv group. I hope to try more. After trying it, I do think you pour more of yourself into an improv piece and it is therefor a little scarier and also a little more fulfilling.

  16. Marcia says:

    I have tried improv piecing and am working to get more comfortable with it. Thanks.

  17. audrey says:

    I haven’t done a lot of Improv., but Sujata Shah’s book has gotten me started. Love this style so much. Lots to learn!

  18. Linda says:

    I’m a new quilter so I haven’t tried improv quilting yet but it appeals to me, I think I should like to just start sewing my many scraps together!

  19. aquilterstable says:

    Looks interesting! You know I love improv already, but am always exploring it more…

  20. Looks like a fabulous book.

  21. I have done improv piecing with scraps but I would love to learn more about colour and fabric selection for improv.

  22. Pamela Doan says:

    I have done some improv piecing, but it really just looked like a mess. I think I need some guidance! Desperately!

  23. janequiltsslowly says:

    I have done improv piecing, some to create “made fabric” used in traditional block patterns and also slabs that are used in negative space designs. I enjoy the freedom to create this way.

  24. jhimsl says:

    I admire Cindy’s work. I’d love to read the book and learn more about her technique.

  25. carol says:

    I have never done improve quilting. Looks like a good book to learn more about this form of quilting.

  26. Kathy says:

    I have not tried it but I think this book would get me started!!

  27. Ellee says:

    Haven’t tried improv piecing yet. This book would sure give me a boost. I have a lot of scraps ready to go.

  28. Nurdan says:

    I have tried improv quilting before, just once tho. I loved it but found it difficult to let go of the fear of “cutting wrong” or “doing wrong”. I guess I need to try more! And thank you for a chance to win a copy of this gorgeous book Yvonne!

  29. Tamie says:

    I’ve tried it multiple times but it is so out of my comfort zone. Maybe someone to encouage me will help.

  30. Beth T. says:

    I have done some improv piecing, and I really enjoy it. It’s so interesting to me that sometimes I’m pleased because it turns out the way I’d hoped it would, and other times I’m happy because I am surprised at the outcome. There are times, though, when I’m dissatisfied with the finished project and I am not sure why; I suspect this book would help me understand why.

  31. I’ve done some improv light but I have this ridiculous fear of “ruining” my fabric by messing up that can be paralyzing. I do think something like this book would help me break away from that, by giving me some guidelines.

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)