Click for larger image Dancing Through the Blues #2
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  • Copyright 2012 Caryl Bryer Fallert
  • Size: 30" x 30"
  • Techniques: Hand painted, machine pieced, machine appliqued, and quilted
  • Materials: fabric: 100% cotton  / batting: 50% cotton | 50% polyester
  • Owner: Private collection, Port Townsend, WA
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Design Concept

The design for this quilt was drawn the first week of 2012, five years after my first husband died, after a holiday season when the light was low, the weather was dismal, and most of my friends and neighbors were out of town. I discovered that it was impossible for me to feel lonely and blue when I was dancing, so I took every opportunity to dance. Although the color choices are all in the blue range, the effect is joyful because of the contrast between light and dark and the inner glow created by using gradations. The figure is intentionally angled to look a little off balance.

The fabrics in this quilt are all from the various collections I have designed for Benartex. The background in this design is a big wavy spiral. The lines of the spiral continue behind the dancer in some areas and in others the illusion of transparency happens where the spiral and the dancer intersect. The dancer is quilted in a small meandering pattern, using flesh colored thread and blue thread for areas where the spiral intersects the body. In the background, each fabric is quilted in a slightly different decorative pattern with threads that contrast only slightly with the colors of the fabrics. The blue spikes are quilted with a zigzag pattern, and the alternating purple spikes are left unquilted, so they stand out. The spikes were outline quilted with #30 black thread to give them more emphasis.

The design began with a simple pencil sketch of a dancer. I scanned the sketch and combined it with the sketch of a wavy spiral. I experimented with different background treatments, and once I picked a favorite I did a couple of value studies in black white and grey.

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I printed the line drawing on acetate, projected it onto freezer paper and drew the design full size. The freezer paper pattern was cut apart, one shape at a time and the pieces were used as templates for cutting the fabrics. A quarter inch seam allowance was added when the fabric was cut, and each piece was pinned back to the design wall. Once all of the color decisions were made, the pieces were joined using my applipiecing technique. You can find instructions for this technique in several of Caryl's publications, which are available at Paper Pieces.
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About half of the quilting was done on a Bernina 550 machine, and the rest was done on a Legacy industrial machine.
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Installation at International Quilt Market & Festival,

2013, Houston, TX

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  • Bryerpatch Studio, Paducah KY 2012
  • Quilts a World of Beauty: International Quilt Association Juried Show, 2012, International Quilt Market and Festival, Houston, TX
  • 30 Quilts for 30 Years: Solo, traveling exhibition celebrating 30 years of making art quilts.
  • Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry: 40 Years of Color, Light, & Motion,
    • University Museum, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, January 26 - April 16, 2016
    • 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
  • Legacy 2: LowerTown Past and Present, Paducah School of Art, Paducah, KY, October 12- November 8, 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
  • Found Again, The Ohio Craft Museum, 1665 West 5th Avenue, Columbus, OH, February 9 - April 5, 2020
  • Photos Pixels & Pizzazz, (solo exhibition), McLean Textile Gallery, McLean, VA, April 1-May 2, 2022
  • Photos Pixels & Pizzazz, (solo exhibition), Quilt Show Reno, Reno-Sparks Convention Center, Reno NV, June 9-11, 2022
  • Reflections of Light: Recent Works by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry, New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, MA, July 13 to October 20, 2022


  • Fine Quilting & Fiber Art Guide: Paducah Kentucky, 2013 Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau, Paducah KY, p. 19
  • Fiber Art Now, Fall 2013, Volume3, Issue 1, p. 14
  • Machine Quilting Unlimited: May/June 2014, p. 12
Web Site Design by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry 1997-2022 All Rights Reserved
Bryerpatch Studio • 10 Baycliff Place • Port Townsend, WA • 98368 • USA
360-385-2568 • caryl@bryerpatch.com

Updated 06/13/2022