Gallery 1
My Favorite Pieces
Artist - Cindy Grisdela

These are some of my favorite pieces, ranging in size from statement pieces for the wall to smaller works mounted on painted black canvas.


I’m intrigued by color, line, and shape, just like any other artist. But there’s a reason I chose to create these pieces of art in fabric and thread rather than paint.


As an artist who works in textiles, I create dynamic contemporary compositions, cutting the shapes out freehand and sewing them together. But then I have another opportunity to add texture to those compositions with the stitching lines. It’s that tactile piece that drew me to creating in this way, and keeps me excited about going into the studio every day. I also stitch all the lines freehand with my sewing machine. There’s no computer program or marking ahead of time that does that part for me. As I stitch, I feel that texture coming to life under my fingers. Some of the pieces have dense motifs stitched into the various shapes of the design, while others have irregularly spaced lines. It all depends on what the composition seems to want or need. As you appreciate the compositions from a distance, don’t forget to come a little closer to see the additional dimension the stitching lines add. 


So I think of these pieces as textile paintings—I’m drawing with fabric and thread to create my own artistic statement. I hope you’ll enjoy browsing the show!

About the Artist

Cindy is an artist, teacher, and author of Artful Improv: Explore Color Recipes, Building Blocks & Free motion Quilting and Adventures in Improv Quilts: Master Color, Design, and Construction. She travels all over the country teaching and lecturing to guilds and groups about Improv Design. Cindy was raised in Gainesville, FL and learned to sew at age 10. She made clothing as a teenager and young adult, but there weren’t any quilters in her family, so she didn’t start quilting until she happened on a magazine article about quilts as a college student. She was immediately enthralled with the possibilities of making something beautiful and useful out of fabric and thread that wouldn’t wear out, or at least not quickly, and gave up garment making for quilting. 

Cindy has a BFA in Art History from the College and William and Mary and an MBA from George Washington University. She used quilting as a creative outlet for many years while working as a financial reporter for Dow Jones News Service and then raising two children. She started out as a traditional quiltmaker but got tired of following patterns and began to develop her own contemporary style as an artist, inspired by the modern painters she studied in college, like Henri Matisse, Paul Klee, and Helen Frankenthaler. 

Cindy’s work has won awards in both quilt venues and art venues and can be found in private collections all over the country. She is represented by the online gallery Artful Home, and she is a Juried Artist member of Studio Art Quilt Associates, as well as an associate member of the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association and the Art League of Alexandria, VA. 

Cindy lives and works in Reston, VA. 


For more information about Cindy’s work, visit her website and blog at or follow her on Instagram @cindygrisdelaquilts.


Gallery 2
Thread Head
Artist - Eileen Doughty

I love the concept of "place" and so my preferred subject matter is the landscape, and the creatures that dwell in it. My degree in cartography has been useful in designing my fiber art, since both require understanding how people view and interpret colors, patterns and symbols.

My work explores and celebrates what makes fiber art so unique: texture, freedom of shape of the "canvas", and employing three rather than two dimensions.

Fiber art appeals to me because my hands are always touching my materials. My favorite medium is “thread sculpture”, which I create with free-motion machine stitching (being very careful not to stitch a finger!). Think of it as drawing a picture with the pencil held still and moving the paper; or that the needle is my brush and threads are my paint. I have a vast collection of threads in my “paintbox”. So many colors and fiber types!

Thread sculpture may be fairly simple, such as a gently curved Sulphur Butterfly stitched with yellow and gray cotton threads. Or it may be a very complex decorative teapot shaped like a gnarly elm tree trunk, using over a dozen threads,  and much planning to get everything shaped properly. Or there may be minnows swimming alongside lily pads on a decorative teapot, with a surprise of more fish seemingly swimming around inside. Yes, thread can stand completely on its own.

Bright shiny objects have never lost their appeal for me, I will admit. Combining that with the drive to repurpose things rather than send them to the landfill, I have incorporated used CDs into several wall art and wearable artworks, sometimes cutting them into smaller shapes.

Fiber art draws me!

Eileen Doughty

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