Feather Study #30
2007 Fairfield Master Award for Contemporary Artistry
Printable version

  • Copyright © 2007 Caryl Bryer Fallert
  • Size: 53" x 65"
  • Techniques: hand dyed, hand painted, machine pieced, and quilted
  • Materials: fabric: 100% cotton  / batting: 80% cotton / 20% polyester
  • Private Collection: Alpharetta, Georgia

See details and more information below
Larger image

Design Concept & Process
Where To See This Quilt

Design Concept

For many years birds have been a recurring theme in my work. At one point I began focusing on the patterns within a single feather, and the patterns created when feathers overlap. I have made hundreds of sketches/doodles using these patterns as a launch-pad for my imagination. Many of these flights of fantasy go far beyond anything that could be found in a real bird, but they still reflect patterns found in nature, both in birds and in plants. During the last eight years, I have made a series of quilts based on the most interesting of these raw sketches. This is the thirtieth quilt in the series.

The fabrics for this quilt were hand dyed and painted in gradations of color and value. The juxtaposition of intersecting gradations creates the illusion that the feathers are lit from within, rather than from an outside source. The machine quilting was done freehand with many different colors of thread.


Original doodle
The design started with a small pencil sketch on paper. I scanned the sketch into the computer played with the proportions. I tried the whole design as a rectangle, and liked that better. I did a value studio in shades of grey. Then I did a full color study (below).

Click on details for larger images

To make a full size drawing I used an overhead projector to project the line drawing onto freezer paper which was hung on the wall. I drew the basic outlines with pencil and then spent several days refining the big drawing and adding all of the information I was going to need to piece it together. Several days later, the completed big drawing was on my work wall (below). I got out my painted fabrics and my hand dyed gradations, and began laying out the colors I would use.
I cut a large chunk out of the drawing and then cut apart the individual templates within that chunk. Each individual template in a series was ironed to successive colors in a gradation. I cut them out with seam allowances, and laid them in order on my work table. I cut the next set of templates from multi-colored, painted fabrics and stitched those pieces to the solid color templates, and so on.
When I finished piecing the first chunk it went back on the wall. I cut the next chunk and contunued piecing the sections together until the top was completed.
Houston: 2007

This quilt received the $5000.00 Fairfield Master Award for Contemporary Artistry at the 2007 International Quilt Festival in Houston Texas, and the Best Machine Workmanship Award (wall quilts) in the 2009 American Quilters Society Show, Paducah KY.

Here the batting and backing have been added and it is being quilted.

Caryl quilting on Legacy machine

Paducah 2008


  • Asheville, NC, Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Jan. 18th through May 11th, 2014
  • American Quilters Society Show 2009, Paducah KY. Machine Workmanship Award - Wall Quilts
  • International Quilt Association Show, 2007 International Quilt Festival, George Brown Convention Center, Houston TX Master Award for Contemporary Artistry
  • Quilts by Caryl Bryer Fallert, (solo exhibition) Gallery I: Opal Frey Gallery, Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, July 17–August 11, 2007
  • Give & Take: International Quilt Study Center, Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE. February 5 - March 2 2007
    and The Riffe Gallery, Q, 77 S. High Street, Columbus, OH 43215 May 3- July 8, 2007


  • 500 Art Quilts, Lark, 2010, p 295
  • Arte Patchwork, (Spain) December 2009, p. 10
  • The Daily Sentinel (Denver CO) Sunday July 22, 2007, p. 2C
  • Quilts Inc. wall calendar 2008 (cover)
  • AQS wall calendar, 2009
  • The Daily Sentinel (Denver CO) Sunday July 22, 2007, p. 2C

Design by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry © 2015 All Rights Reserved
Bryerpatch Studio • 10 Baycliff Place, Port Townsend, WA 98368
360-385-2568 • caryl@bryerpatch.com • www.bryerpatch.com

Updated 11/29/14