Messenger #1
Printable version
  • Copyright © 1995 Caryl Bryer Fallert
  • Size:  36.5" wide X 42" high
  • Techniques: Hand dyed, , machine appliqued, and quilted
  • Materials: fabric: 100% cotton  / batting: 80% cotton / 20% polyester
  • Private collection: Aurora, IL
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Design Concept

This is one of a series of quilts about birds of the imagination. During the first week of January, 1995, my 87 year old mother had a stroke, which left her a prisoner in her own body, paralyzed, and unable to speak, read, or write, but fully conscious of what was happening to her. In the first few weeks when I was driving back and forth to visit her in the hospital, I began to notice large white gulls, often solitary, circling in the sky. I have no idea what gulls were doing in the middle of winter in the corn fields of Illinois, but I found comfort in seeing them. This is a small quilt I made in response to this experience.

The bird was drawn on paper and scanned into the computer. It was traced using a program called Streamline, which converted it from a bit-map to a vector drawing, which could be manipulated in Corel Draw!. The shape of the center panel, with it's curved and spiraled edges was drawn directly on the screen, using bezier curves. The shapes of the center panel and outer border were filled with texture fills (bitmaps of pattern and color) which were altered to look like my hand painted fabrics. To suggest quilting lines, the shapes of the bird were left unfilled, and the outlines of the shapes were colored white.

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The outline of the center panel was printed onto clear acetate, and projected onto hand painted fabric. After the line was drawn onto the fabric, it was cut out and appliquéd to a darker, hand painted, background fabric.

The outline of the bird was projected onto the center panel and was traced with a thin white pencil. This became the general outline for the machine quilting of the bird. The quilting was done with #30 cotton top stitching thread which shows up clearly against the background. The bird is surrounded by organic patterns of free machine quilting, done with no additional marking. This kind of quilting is like doodling. It's patterns are as distinct to the individual quilter as handwriting or a signature. After quilting, the bird was colored with white prismacolor pencil.Both the center panel fabric and the outer border fabric were painted with fiber reactive dyes.


  • CONTEMPORARY WALL-QUILT EXHIBIT, The Wild Goose Chase Gallery, 1995, Evanston, IL
  • PHEASANT RUN QUILT EXHIBITION, 1995, (juried) Pheasant Run Expo. Center, St.Charles, IL
  • COMPUTER DESIGNED QUILT EXHIBIT, 1995 Greater San Antonio Quilters Guild, (juried) San Antonio, TX
  • NORTHEAST QUILTS UNLIMITED, Old Forge Arts Center, 1995, (juried) Old Forge, NY (FIRST PLACE)


  • CARYL BRYER FALLERT: A SPECTRUM OF QUILTS, 1983-1995, 1996, AQS Books, pp. 86-87
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 1/7/17