Nectar Collector
Printable version

  • Copyright 1994 Caryl Bryer Fallert
  • Size:  59" wide x 73" high
  • Techniques: Hand dyed, machine quilted
  • Materials: Fabric: 100% cotton
    Batting: 80% cotton / 20% polyester
  • Private Collection: Kauai, Hawaii

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Design Concept

original, hand-painted fabric

This is the fourth in a series of painted whole-cloth quilts. The fabric was painted with fiber reactive dye in an expressionistic design. The fabric was then layered and quilted heavily by machine. The machine quilting becomes a major design element in this piece, providing a foreground dimension that is contrapuntal to the painted background design. Top stitching thread in many different colors was used, so that the stitching could be clearly seen against the background. Most of the imagery in the quilting came directly out of my imagination. 

When I was a child, I used to lie in the back yard in the summer and watch the clouds. After a while, I could begin to see animals, or faces, or other pictures in the clouds.

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The quilted images developed in much the same way. I sat and looked at the painted fabric, until a picture developed in my mind. Then I quilted the picture. Most of the imagery is of various flowers, leaves, and weeds. These images represent my feelings when I experience flowers and weeds, and not any specific botanical species.

When the quilting was about three quarters finished, a friend saw the quilt in my studio and said, "you ought to hide a bird in it somewhere."   At first I rejected this idea. However, the next morning the large red-orange weed in the center began to look very much like the sort of plant a hummingbird would like, so I quilted in a hummingbird  drawing nectar from this plant. Thus the title "Nectar Collector."
The back of the quilt is black fabric, with a side border of commercial painted fabric. The bobbin threads in the machine quilting are close to the colors of the top threads, and show up clearly against the solid back.

With the exception of the humming bird, all of the machine quilting was done free hand, i.e. without marking the quilt top, or following a pencil line. The sewing machine needle is my drawing tool, and I draw with thread directly on the quilt, as it is being quilted. I use free motion quilting to do this. "Free motion" means that the feed dogs on my machine are lowered, and I use a darning foot, which allows me to move the fabric freely under the needle with my hands. Many of the motifs in my quilting refer to traditional quilting patterns, such as the "feathered plume". The character of this kind of quilting is unique to each individual quilter, like handwriting or a signature.

Exhibitions and Awards:

  • COLOR & VISUAL PERCEPTIONS, (juried) Quiltfest USA, Louisville, KY
  • FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA, (juried) Penn. Nat. Q. Extravaganza, 1994, Philadelphia, PA (HONORABLE MENTION)
  • QUILT FEST OF JACKSONVILLE, 8th Annual Quilt Show, 1994, Jacksonville, FL (FIRST PLACE)
  • DALLAS QUILT CELEBRATION '95, Market Hall, Dallas TX
  • QUILTERS HERITAGE CELEBRATION, 1995 (juried) Lancaster, PA
  • A WORLD OF QUILTS XVI, Northern Star Quilters Invitational, 1995, Somers, NY
  • MAKE BELIEVE GARDENS, 1995, (juried) Le Chassy d'Or, Chateau-Chinon France
  • SPECTRUM: THE TEXTILE ART OF CARYL BRYER FALLERT, 1996-1978, traveling, solo exhibition: The Museum of the American Quilter's Society, Paducah, KY; Illinois Art Gallery, State of Illinois Bldg., Chicago, IL; Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL
  • CONTEMPORARY QUILTS, (invitational) 1997 Everson Arts Center, Syracuse, NY
  • PATTERNS OF PROGRESS, 1997 (invitational) Autry Museum of Western Heritage, LosAngeles, CA.
  • LIGHTHOUSE LEGACIES 1998, Lighthouse Quilters Show, Racine, WI (FIRST PLACE)
  • Solo Exhibition, 1999, Kauai Museum, Lihui, Hawaii


  1. CARYL BRYER FALLERT: A SPECTRUM OF QUILTS, 1983-1995, 1996, AQS Books, pp. 8-9, 82-83
  2. THE QUILTING QUARTERLY, (National Quilting Assoc. Inc.) Spring, 1996 p. 21
  3. PATTERNS OF PROGRESS: Quilts in the Machine Age,  1997: Autry Museum of Western Heritage, Brackman, pp. 106-107
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 1/6/17