Checks & Balances
More information and details below
- Copyright © 2010 Caryl Bryer Fallert
- Size: width 93" x height 65" (236cm
- Techniques: Machine pieced and quilted
- Materials: fabric: 100% cotton / batting:
- Price: $32,000.00
you would like to purchase or exhibit this quilt, please contact Caryl privately.
Email Phone: 360-385-2568 Snail Mail: Bryerpatch Studio 10 Baycliff Place. Port Townsend, WA 98368
This quilt is a visual interpretation of a philosophical
concept. "Checks and Balances" is a term most
of us first heard in our high school civics classes, an
idea to which we aspire in government and in the world around
us, and often fall short. Perhaps the best way to achieve
balance is to look within or possibly create it in our art.
Several years ago, when I first moved to my Paducah Kentucky
studio, I attended a performance of yoga dance by Sarah
Brumgart. I was enthralled by her artistry, and having
just begun classes in yoga and pilates myself, I was astounded
by the strength, flexibility, and balance she had achieved
through a lifetime of gymnastics, dance and yoga. After
four years of regular practice, I have found additional
strength, flexibility, and balance myself, although I only
aspire to some of the positions depicted in this quilt.
My whole life I have been enamored with dance, although
I didn't learn how to dance until after my 60th birthday.
I always imagined it would feel like flying, a recurring
theme in my quilts. It is also the ultimate collaborative
art, involving visual, musical and kinetic art in a single
performance. Through weekly ballroom lessons I have discovered
the joy of dancing, and I'm happy every moment I am dancing.
My interest in physical movement has given rise to an ongoing
series of works that include the human form.
In this piece the dancers are abstract and their colors
change as the lines forming the green and purple checks
in the background flow through their bodies. This creates
the illusion that the dancers are translucent. Shadows were
drawn into the background fabrics so the dancers seem to
float in front of the checks. Smaller dancers are quilted
into the background in contrasting thread.
Process and Technical Details:
|I began the design for this quilt by getting
as many pictures as I could find of people doing yoga
or pilates poses. I chose eighteen poses and drew silhouettes
of the bodies. I knew that I would not be using all
of them, but I wanted a variety of drawings to play
with while developing my composition. All of the line
drawings were scanned into the computer and converted
to vector shapes in Corel Draw.
|I tried many different arrangements of
|Eventually I made a checker board from
non-parallel curving lines and moved the figures around
in the checks until I had an arrangement I liked.
|Once I had an arrangement I liked, I
played with color until I had a clear idea of the colors
I wanted to use in the quilt. I still make color decisions
while I am piecing the quilt, but having a general map
of where the colors and values will fall is important
|To make a full size pattern for piecing,
I printed the line drawing on clear acetate and projected
the image onto my design wall with an overhead projector.
The projected design was drawn with pencil on freezer
paper that was 98" wide by 68" high. The drawing
then went on the floor of my studio, where I spent a
couple of days refining it, smoothing out the curves,
drawing the features on the figures, and making registration
marks across all of the seamlines so I can get the pieces
lined up again after they have been cut apart.
When the drawing was finished I hung it on the wall,
shiny-side-out, because the fabric is attached to the
I began cutting out the pieces of the
drawing, one at a time and using them as templates
for cutting my fabric. I cut all of the background
templates (green and purple checks) first, and then
pinned them back on the wall with the freezer paper
still attached. The figures were cut from fabrics
that contracted with the background checks. All of
the fabrics used in this quilt are from my "Gradations"
collection, which I design for Benartex, and as of
March 2013, three of them were still available through our
Studio Internet Store. To piece the curved seams
I use a method called "applipiecing ®",
a fast, easy, and accurate method I developed in 1989
to assemble my complex organic designs. We have complete
instructions for this method available through our
Studio Internet Store.
When the pieced top was finished I photographed it,
scanned the photo into Corel Draw, and designed the
layout of smaller quilted figures in the background.
I made a couple of copier paper sized quilt sandwiches
and practiced quilting a couple of the figures before
I marked the quilt top.
|Quilting design on computer screen
| The small figures were printed on acetate,
projected onto the quilt top, and drawn with white
charcoal pencil. The top was then layered with
batting and a backing fabric from my "Multi-Tye-Dye"
collection for Benartex. I began by quilting the
small figures in the background with contrasting
|Thread colors used
in the quilting
On the day I was ready to decide how to quilt
the larger figures, two movies arrived from
Netflix, and both of them were about Cirque
de Soleil. The performers are clothed in
costumes that hide their identity and are often
more plant-like or animal-like than human. The
fantasy quilting of the figures, in many different
colors of thread, was inspired by this meshing
of fabric art and movement.
The background of purple and green checks was
quilted last, in a small meander pattern with
thread matching the background, which graduates
from light to dark. This is a smaller more uniform
pattern of stitching than is found in many of
my quilts, and it took almost two weeks to complete.
A looser, more decorative stitch pattern would
probably have hidden the small dancers.
The result of twelve or more hours a day of quilting
is often a stiff or stooped back and a sore neck.
To overcome the ill effects of my quilting marathon,
I used an exercise ball to reverse the direction of
my spine and stretch the muscles in the front of my
shoulders several times each day.
The quilt was completed on Friday, September 3, 2010
at 11:15 am.
- Bryerpatch Studio Gallery: September, 2010 & 2012
- Quilts a World of Beauty: International Quilt Association
Juried Show, 2011, International
Quilt Market and Festival, Houston, TX (First
- Quilts Inc. Traveling Show: 2012:
- International Quilt Festival/Cincinnati, April 13-15,
- International Quilt Market/Spring, May 18-20, 2012,
Kansas City, MO
- International Quilt Festival/Long Beach, July 27-29,
- American Quilters Society Show, Paducah, KY 2014, (Honorable Mention)
- "Motion", Contemporary Quilt Association show at the National Quilt Museum, Paducah, KY, November 21, 2014- February 23, 2015
- Caryl Bryer Fallert: A Retrospective, New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, MA, August 20 - October 31, 2015
- Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry: 40 Years of Color, Light, & Motion, University Museum, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, January 26 - April 16, 2016
- Fantasies in Fiber & Beads: (two person show) Northwind Arts Center, Port Townsend, WA, May 5-29, 2016
- Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry: 40 Years of Color, Light, & Motion
- Mitchell Museum, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mt. Vernon, IL, July 31-October 9, 2016
- Nixon Centre for Performing & Visual Arts,
Newnan, GA January 9 - February 17, 2017
- Texas Quilt Museum, La Grange, TX • March 30 - June 25, 2017
- Color, Light, & Motion: Fine Art Quilts by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry, Art at the Old Alcohol Plant Gallery, Port Hadlock, WA, July 8-August 26, 2018
- Quiltfest Lancaster, Lancaster Resort & Convention Center, Lancaster, PA, May 9-11, 2019 (Third Place)
- International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene, Winter 2011/2012,
- International Quilt Association Show 2011 CD of winning
- Quilt Life (The) - 2011, April, p. 5 Feature
- Machine Quilting Unlimited, May-June 2012, pp. 40-41
- Art Quilt Portfolio: People & Portraits, 2013, Martha Sielman, Lark Crafts, p 184
- Catalog of Show Quilts: 2014, American Quilters Society, p. 36
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