FREE instructions for drawing and piecing your own variation of "Flying Geeses" available on our ARTICLES page.
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  • Copyright © 1997 Caryl Bryer Fallert
  • Size: 10
  • Techniques: Hand dyed and painted, machine pieced, and quilted
  • Materials: fabric: 100% cotton  / batting: 100% cotton
  • Coat: Private collection, Mt. Vernon, IL
  • Dress: NFS

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Design Concept & Process
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Design Concept

Flying Free #4: Midnight Flight to Dawn celebrates my retirement after 28 years as a flight attendant for United Airlines. Many times during my career, I took off from the California at midnight and flew all night to find the sun just beginning to rise as we landed in Chicago.
The black cotton fabric in this full length swing coat represents the night sky. To represent the sun beginning to filter up through the clouds on the eastern horizon, I hand painted cotton broadcloth with fiber reactive dye, creating a spectrum of rainbow colors emerging from black. Around the body of the coat are two long sweeping curves with a series of triangles in graduated rainbow colors. These are a variation of the traditional "flying geese" pattern, however these geese fly along a curving path so each one is a different size and shape. Drawing and piecing the flying geese in a curve is one of the many fun things I teach in the workshops at the Bryerpatch Studio, and we have a set of instructions available through our Internet Store for those who can't attend the class.
The front of the coat is finished with a full length collar with more flying geese in rainbow colors. The lines of curving geese from the body of the coat flow across one side of the collar. The last triangle in each row laps over the front to form a closure.
Elaborate, free-motion, machine quilting covers the entire surface of the coat, providing a foreground dimension that is contrapuntal to the painted and pieced design of the fabric. Black #30 cotton top stitching thread was used for the quilting, which shows up clearly against the light areas of the painted fabric. All of the machine quilting was done free hand, without any marking on the quilt top. The sewing machine needle is my drawing tool, and this kind of quilting is just like doodling with thread. The style and appearance of this kind of quilting is as unique to each individual quilter, as handwriting or a signature. The 100% cotton batting is thin enough to allow the coat to drape, yet adds enough loft for the quilting to show.
At the end of the night flight comes the dawn, and as the coat is opened it reveals a lining of cotton broadcloth, painted in the colors of the sunrise, and more elaborate and ornate machine quilting. The silk noil dress is dyed in the same sunrise colors as the coat lining and it is surrounded by a quilted belt of rainbow colored flying geese.


  • Full-Spectrum: Natural Fibers, Quilts & Textile Arts, Binghamton University Art Museum, Binghamton NY, Sept 10-December 18, 2009


Web Site Design by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry 1997-2016 All Rights Reserved
Bryerpatch Studio • 10 Baycliff Place • Port Townsend, WA • 98368 • USA
360-385-2568 • caryl@bryerpatch.com

Updated 02/28/2018