Friday, March 6, 2015

Caryl Bryer Fallert - Gentry at the Wisconsin Quilt Museum

The interior of the Wisconsin Quilt Museum
 Last weekend hubby and I went to the Wisconsin Quilt Museum to see the Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry's 30 years of Quilts exhibit. WOW!

I took a lot of photographs and this blog is for all of you who won't be able to see this marvelous exhibit.

The quilt museum is in a renovated barn. It has sweeping high walls, spotlight lighting and 360 degrees of space, angles, rafters, beams and wonderful old gray wood.

Walking in and looking at the walls and hanging quilts was wonderful. You were literally surrounded by color and movement. 

Caryl unveiled her first quilt. And here it is! HUMBLE beginnings isn't it? Doesn't that give you hope for your quilting future? She started small, that is for sure. 

Rail Fence, Caryl's first quilt
 Quilts were hanging from the rafters above us. 
Reflection #18
 Some of her quilts are big, some are small. Here are some of her small ones. 

Midnight Fantasy

Giraffes in the Paintbox #2
 Some of the small wall quilts were over my head so taking straight on shots was impossible. (In case you are wondering why my photos are so distorted!) 

New Dawn
 This is the quilt she made to celebrate the new millennium. Do you remember the 'horrors' promised by Y2K?! I was living in northern Idaho at the turn of the last century and there were all kinds of people moving up there into the wilderness to escape the collapse of civilization as we know it.

Sometimes the "unknown" can inspire all kinds of irrational fears and sometimes powerful forces use those fears to magnify their own influences on our lives. Beware what you listen to.

But I digress...

Instead of focusing on the 'fear' factor, Caryl made a sweeping statement about hope and the dawning of a new day in a new age.

She writes "The Phoenix is beautiful symbol of the ability of life and beauty to arise out of decay and destruction."

As a Christian, I can surely relate to this!

I took a bunch of detail photographs so you can see her stitching and quilting up close and personal. 

Detail, New Dawn

Detail, New Dawn

Detail, New Dawn

Oops, forgot to get the name. Sorry!

Feather Flower #3
 As I said earlier, there is so much color and movement in her quilts. 
Dancing through the Blues #2

Spirogyra #5

Detail, Spirogyra #5

Dancing through the Blues I
 Flying geese flying with geese. :)

Migration #12

Detail, Migration #12

Lepidopteran #3
 This next quilt has always been one of my favorites.

Corona #3 Solar Eclipse

Detail, Corona #3 Solar Eclipse

Caryl's quilt Leap makes me want to jump out into the big wide world and embrace every adventure that comes my way! 

Cosmic Feathers #1
 Her color palette is awesome, I love the flowing pastels in this quilt.  Here is a closeup.

Detail, Cosmic Feathers #1

Chromatic Feathers #2
 Somehow this next quilt reminds me of the Beatles and their cartoon movies. Maybe from Sargent Pepper's or Yellow Submarine? I keep expecting blue meanies to come out and stamp on these guys. Lol.

Casting a Long Shadow #1
 I wish there had been a date of some of the display tags. To me, the Long Shadow quilt looks like it could have inspired the 'modern' quilt genre with it's use of negative space. 

Fibonacci Series #14

Bradford Fantasy

Aquarium #2

Forgot to get the name again - sorry!
 These older quilts made with 'high tech tucks' are kind of cool aren't they? Seems like you could do a lot more with them in landscape quilts than has been done so far. (Don't look at me for this, lol, I already have waaaay too many ideas to get down in fabric!) 

Illusion #2

On the Wings of a Dream
 Caryl made this quilt after the death of her first husband. She made it to symbolize her life as she moves forward, as she leaves the past and embraces all the new choices ahead of her.  For her, birds have the symbolic meaning of 'freedom' so she merges herself with a bird to show how she's embracing what's next in her life. 

Detail, On the Wings of a Dream

Detail, On the Wings of a Dream

Feather Study #1
 This quilt and the next were hanging high above our heads from the barn rafters. When you were in the exhibit, you really were surrounded by color and movement. The museum was a great venue for all of Caryl's quilts. 
Illusion #13
Well, that is if for me this week. Next week we'll come back to the watercolor landscape I'm working on. The design part is done and I'm starting to sew, buy you'll have to wait to see it and all the steps I'm taking.

RJR Fabrics found me the other day and asked if I am interested in designing some quilts from their Danscapes fabric line. (I am!) Soooo, I'll be busy playing with new stuff in the weeks ahead.

I really hope you enjoyed looking at Caryl's quilts. If you can get to an exhibition, I highly recommend it! The exhibit will only be here a few more weeks I think.

Take Care everyone, Stay Warm all you peoples in the North and East! It is COLD here too.

Comments/Questions welcome!


  1. Such fabulous quilts that span decades! Caryl Bryer Fallert is certainly an innovative and iconic quilt artist and seeing her quilts must have been a memorable experience. Thank you for sharing her amazing quilts with us!

    1. You are welcome! I'm glad you liked seeing them.

  2. Caryl Bryer is a very talented quilter. I would of loved to see these. Thanks for sharing. I purchased the pattern for the High Tech Tucks quilt and made 2 of them, which came out very nice. I have also tried her illusion design and it is my favorite of all my quilts. I wish I had half the imagination of you and Caryl to create my own designs.

    1. Thank you very much Debbie. I started off imitating what I see in other's quilts, then kind of found my own voice. I can't just 'turn it on' though and have inspiration come to me, I have to think and think and sketch and think. And look at pictures and think some more... I have a feeling that Caryl and others of her quality can just 'turn on' their creativity and just do it. It was a joy to see those quilts of hers.

  3. Hello from a land down under Cathy,

    Thank you so very much from a mad quilter from Adelaide South Australia. Cathy I would never have the opportunity to visit the USA due to medical reasons. Flying is bad for my health. Getting your blog and being permitted to see Caryl's work is a real blessing. I love it too and wish my processes in the quilting world were not taking so long because I'm still at the basic stage in fact I probably won't ever attain to Caryls status as "Brilliant Grand Master Quilter"! But I guess it's a process that one has to travel through. Some of Caryl's quilts just melt my heart and I too love the movement in them. Her geese quilt Wings on a dream is my all time favorite. I am truly blessed thank you for sharing those photo's with me and the many others. Happy quilting Julie Beard.

    1. Ooooo! I love getting letters from mad quilters, lol. (Especially from those down under). :)

      I'm pretty sure I'll never get to the "Brilliant Grand Master Quilter" either, but hey - that's ok. I'm happy doing what I do and have learned to be content with the talent the Master Creator has given me. Plus, I really like inspiring others and sharing what I do... that seems to be my main joy.

      We are entering the season of LOTS of quilt shows here in the states, as the snow is finally melting and winter is winding down. Hubby and I will be combining camping with visiting some shows and I'll try to remember to post pics of the various shows. When our family was young and the kids were at home, we were pretty broke so I didn't get to shows, and didn't enter very many either. Now we are in a better place, at least a bit, lol, 2 kids in college with high tuition costs, but anyway we can go more places. (I think I better put a "RUN ON SENTENCE" alert for that last one.

      I need more coffee. Take care and best wishes Julie! Thanks for writing. :)

  4. Thank you for sharing this wonderful exhibit. I have admired Caryl's quilts for years.

  5. It is so interesting to see her first quilt and then how she found such a distinctive style of her own! Thank you for sharing pictures!

    1. She sure did leave the muted color traditional quilts far behind! You're welcome.