click for larger image Death Taxes and Dandelions
Printable version
  • Copyright © 2000 Caryl Bryer Fallert
  • Size:  30" x 48"
  • Techniques: Hand dyed ink jet printed, machine pieced, and quilted
  • Materials: 100% cotton fabric • batting: 80% cotton / 20% polyester
  • Price: $3500.00
See details & more information below

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If 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

Design Concept

Here's the basic Dandelion Image
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This quilt was made especially for the exhibition Oxymorons: Absurdly Logical Quilts!   For more information or to book this exhibition for your area, contact Judi H. Bastion bastion@gwi.net.  A color catalog of this exhibition was available in 2001 from the American Quilters Society or MAQS

When I was asked to be in this exhibit, I chose the oxymoron "Certain Possibilities" thinking it would be fun to present a single image in many different ways. When I started working on the design, however, I wondered why I had ever chosen this oxymoron, because I couldn't think of an appropriate image. Finally an old axiom came to mind: The only thing certain is death and taxes. Usually heard with the grammatically unmatched verb and noun.

I began working on this theme, and found it a bit dark and depressing, so I worked on other projects for a while. The project I enjoyed most during my procrastination was a completely frivolous quilt in which I scanned dandelions and printed them onto cloth, making them permanent and washable with a product called Bubble Jet Set. After making this silly little traditional quilt, it occurred to me that dandelions must be at least as ubiquitous as taxes, so I decided to include them in my oxymoron quilt.

The general outline for the patchwork was designed in Corel Draw!, my vector drawing program. It is basically a grid of rectangles, some of which were distorted around the edge to create the illusion of three-dimensional space. The skeleton was superimposed over the grid.

I placed a prime dandelion blossom face down on my flat bed scanner, covered by a pile of dandelion leaves, and scanned at the highest possible resolution. The lid of scanner was propped open, to avoid squashing them. I opened the image of the dandelion in a program called PhotoImpact, which has endless ways of electronically altering images. I spent the better part of three days playing with all the things that could be done with this single image.

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Each variation of the dandelion was used to fill the shape of one of the templates in the design, and printed onto cotton fabric, which had been treated with Bubble Jet Set. I finally ended up with 38 different variations.

The three blocks at the bottom of the quilt were printed first with altered tax forms and then printed a second time with a pastel version of the dandelion. The tax forms include a popular joke about income tax. "How much did you earn last year? Send it in"
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In the upper left corner is a single small square in which George Washington, from the one-dollar bill, peeks through the fluff of a dandelion gone to seed.

Click details for larger images
Basic design for Oxymorons quilt

Click here for larger image of this design
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Lettering in the left hand border repeats the old axiom, grammatical errors and all: "The only thing certain is death, taxes, dandelions." The lettering is filled with images from a one-dollar bill. The top border reads "Certain Possibilities", and the letters are filled with a stretched version of the dandelion image.

After all the dandelion squares were assembled, I cut the skeleton from a hand painted fabric, and appliqued it to the pieced background. In its right hand, the skeleton is holding a three dimensional dollar bill, with three bites taken out of it. In it's left hand, it is holding a three dimensional dandelion.                 

Since I had room for only 23 of my dandelion images on the front of the quilt, the other fifteen were used on the back. The skeleton was quilted in black thread, and after outlining the letters, the remainder of the quilt was meander quilted with invisible thread.


Traveling schedule for Oxymorons: Absurdly Logical Quilts!

  • Museum of the American Quilters Society (MAQS) Paducah, KY August 18,2001-January 12, 2002
  • New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, MA, January 25- March 16, 2002
  • Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, Golden CO, April 2-June 1, 2002
  • Carnegie Hall Museum, Lewisburg, WV, June 15- August 30, 2002
  • Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI, October 14-November 25, 2002
  • Rock County Historical Society, 10 South High Street, PO Box 896, Janesville, WI 53545   April 4- June 14, 2003
  • Art Center Gallery, Warrensburg, MO, November 10- December 12, 2003
  • Dane Hansen Memorial Museum, Logan, KS, January 9,-February 21, 2004
  • "Evolving Styles - 20 Years of Color & Design", Solo Exhibition: LaConner Quilt Museum, LaConner WA, March 16 - May 15, 2005
  • Silver Star Salute: Caryl Bryer Fallert (Retrospective Solo Exhibition) International Quilt Market/Festival 2006, Houston, TX
  • Bryerpatch Studio Gallery, Paducah, KY, 2006-2014
  • Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts, (retrospective exhibition of my work) Cedarburg, WI, January 14-April 12, 2015


  • OXYMORONS: Absurdly Logical Quilts, 2001: AQS, Dianne S. Hire, p. 13
  • Quilt Savvy: Fallert's Guide to Images on Fabric, AQS 2004, pp. 108-109
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 11/11/13