Unwinding the MBA
Printable version

  • Copyright 1985 Caryl Bryer Fallert
  • Size: 98" high x 80" wide
  • Techniques: Machine pieced & appliquéd, machine quilted, & tied
  • Materials: fabric: Men's' clothing, ties, designer labels,
    buttons / polyester batting
  • Original Purchaser: Private Collection: Massachusetts
  • Current Owner: Permanent Collection of the International Quilt Study Center, University of Nebraska, Lincoln NE
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Design Concept

This quilt was inspired by my husbands decision to sort through and discard a twenty-five year accumulation of old clothes. I wanted to use his old clothing to represent the high-pressure business man coming home and "unwinding" after a hectic day at the office.

Many design and construction details of the original clothing were retained in the piecing. Forty-two dress shirt cuffs, forty-seven collars, and fifty-seven ties form a spiral at the center of the quilt. Pieces of shirts and suits fly out of the spiral as it unwinds. Behind the spiral, at the top are six inch squares of "serious suit" fabrics. Progressing toward the bottom of the quilt, the fabrics become more casual. The squares mutate into 45° and 60° diamonds as corduroys and denims are added. At the center of the bottom is an area of "crazy pieced" distorted rectangles made of old jeans, flannel work shirts, and "T" shirts. Thirteen watch faces are sewn across the "serious suit" fabrics to represent time pressure. One hundred seventy-six designer labels spill out of the spiral into the 60° diamonds and continue around the entire border of the quilt. Buttons were sewn back on all the collars and cuffs. They also serve to tie the layers of the quilt together. The binding is made from ties, and the backing is striped "shirting" fabric.

Exhibitions & Awards :

  • A QUILT FOR ALL SEASONS, Illinois Quilters Inc. 1985 Evanston, IL (JURORS AWARD & VIEWERS CHOICE)
  • 1985 NATIONAL QUILTING ASSOCIATION SHOW, (judged) Sanford, FL (FIRST PLACE & JUDGES AWARD OF MERIT for inventive interpretation of an abstract theme)
  • FIBER EMERGING: MIDWEST, The Textile Galeria - 1985 (juried) Chicago, IL
  • AMERICAN GALLERY OF QUILT AND TEXTILE ART, Dec. 1985 (solo exhibition), Gig Harbor, WA
  • THE MONROE GALLERY, Feb. 1986 (solo exhibition) Chicago, IL
  • SYMPOSIUM V.: RHYTHMS IN QUILTING, 1986 (invitational) Milwaukee, WI
  • SECOND ANNUAL AMERICAN QUILTERS SOCIETY SHOW, 1986, (juried ) Paducah, KY (honorable mention)
  • QUILT ART '87, Boston University Art Gallery, (juried) Boston, MA


  • QUILT DIGEST IV. 1986 p. 42
  • AURORA BEACON NEWS, Oct. 26, 1986


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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 1/1/17