Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry, internationally recognized quilter

caryl bryer fallert-gentry: queen of quilts

by Patricia Belyea

PORT TOWNSEND WA  When I arrived at Ron and Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry’s home, I was surprised by the mammoth sculpture emerging in the middle of their circular driveway.

Woodcarver Stanley Rill was transforming a 20' cedar tree stump into an art piece topped with a great blue heron. Originally the tree overwhelmed the whole front of the house. This was the Gentry’s creative solution to the problem.

 

Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry: Driveway Sculpture

 

Once inside, newlyweds Ron and Caryl explained that they both appreciate arts and crafts, and had extensive collections when they met. Both Caryl’s and Ron’s art now fill every nook and cranny of their gorgeous waterfront house.

(For those not familiar with Caryl, she’s on the list of the 30 most influential quilters in the world. Caryl has won Best of Show many times including International Quilt Festival, Houston, TX; American Quilters Society Show, Paducah, KY (3X); and Quilts=Art=Quilts, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, Auburn, NY.)

My visit began with Caryl proudly pointing out all the works of her quilting friends. At the top of the stairs, a whimsical quilt of an oversized frog by Ellen Anne Eddy dominated the hallway, flanked by giclée prints by Paula Nadelstern.

Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry: Hallway

Around the corner, Jane Sassaman’s O is for Oliver quilt brightened the entrance to the guest bedroom.

Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry: Hallway to Bedrooms

A sublime Japanese panel over the bed, from Ron’s collection, caught my eye. Above the chest of drawers hung a masterpiece quilt by Tarek Fattoh, one of the tentmakers of Cairo in Egypt.

Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry: Guest Bedroom

An early quilt made by Caryl covered the bed in the master suite. Helene Davis, a good friend from Paducah, dyed the fabrics in herTotem art quilt (at left) using the Japanese itajime shibori technique.

Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry: Master Bedroom

Before we were done, quilts by Hollis Chatelain (L), Carol Taylor (R), Melody Johnson, Penny Sisko, Ludmila Uspenskaya, Barbara Lee Smith, Cynthia Ann Morgan and more were featured on the tour.

Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry: Quilt Collection

The formal living room hosted a gallery of Caryl’s work including her iconic phoenix quilt from 2000 that symbolizes new beginnings. Displayed under halide lights with a museum hanging system, the quilts range from early to recent—a retrospective of Caryl’s exceptional quilting career.

Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry: Living Room

We didn’t miss the basement—a huge open space used for photography, storage, and shipping. I noticed Caryl’s shipping tubes covered with checkerboard graphics and learned that the distinctive wrapping makes them hard to lose during shipping.

Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry: Basement

Caryl saved the best for last—her studio. On one side, Caryl can see across the water to Mount Baker; on the other, her cedar sculpture in progress. Although the room measures half the size of her Paducah studio, it’s perfect for her present quilt projects.

Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry’s Port Townsend Studio

Caryl created a series of 30" x 30" quilts for her celebratory exhibition: “Thirty Quilts for Thirty Years.” The show premiered at International Quilt Festival in Houston TX last October and is on tour for the next few years. As quilts sell, Caryl makes additional pieces in her studio.

Below are a few close-ups from that show:

Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry: 30th Anniversary Quilts

Just as impressive as Caryl’s art collection, including her own creations, is the obvious devotion between Caryl and Ron. Both widowed, they’ve found each other and built a life together. In spending time with the couple, it was obvious that they both know the preciousness of having a true love, a friend, and a supporter.

For those of you who miss Caryl back in Paducah, I can assure you that she’s thriving in her new life. Happiness abounds throughout her lovely home in the Pacific Northwest.

Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry: Water View


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25 comments


  • Wanda Myers
    Thanks for the look into Caryl’s new home and studio! Amazing!

  • Maria Gardner
    Really enjoyed seeing your beautiful home, Caryl, and your fabulous studio. Thank you for being such an inspiration. Wish you and Ron every happiness together. Enjoy every minute of your lives.

  • Clare Vallance
    What amazing studio and the awesome quilts so great they can been seen round the world well done.

  • Barbara Minton
    Paducah’s loss was the Pacific Northwest’s gain. I hope she will do workshops locally but if not, good to know she is near

  • Denise Havlan
    So happy so see you have arrived at your life’s destination. I look forward to your work and hope our paths cross in the future.

  • Dorothy Towler
    We are all so lucky to have your quilts and ideas in our lives. You have broken the chains of conventionalism and freed us all. Thank you, and we wish you much happiness and joy in finding new, wonderful experiences and ideas to take us all dancing.

  • Jane Massingill
    I am so happy for you and your fabulous house & studio. We will all miss you in Paducah, but glad you found someone to share your life & art with.

  • Wilma Shimkus
    I have enjoyed watching Caryl’s career grow from when she lived in Oswego to now. It has been an inspiration to many of us quilters. Loved her home in Paducah and enjoyed the tour in April. Was sad to know she would not be near but happy she found happiness. Met Ron on the tour and could see he is a real gem. Happiness to you both and thank you Patricia for a very well written article.

  • Antoinette
    Very nice tour and studio. As someone who is still new to quilting (but not sewing) I’m interested in what sewing machine I see in one of the photos Caryl works on. Again beautiful studio.

  • Dar in MO
    Thank you for a beautiful visit to Caryl and Ron’s home as they continue their life together. Your home and views from your studio are such a feast for the eyes. The article that accompanies the pictures is beautifully written. Thanks so much for sharing your home, Caryl.

  • Donna Hixon
    I was lucky enough to visit Caryl’s studio in Port Townsend. It was a real treat. I enjoyed it completely. She invited our Quilt Guild for open house. Quilts, house and view, priceless. Thank you Caryl.

  • Patricia L Walters
    Beauty surrounds you two! And Congratulations on finding each other and such a wonderful place to live and create! Your solution to the overly large tree is super!

  • Lane
    What a gorgeous place to be creative. Thanx for the tour. Best of luck in your next chapter.

  • Melody Lutz
    Such inspiration! I saw one of her quilts at Visions some 20 years ago. I walked around the corner and saw her quilt…WOW. It took my breath away. When her 30 for 30 years came close to my house…I drove 2 hours there to see the collection in San Diego. In a word…STUNNING!

  • Laura wasilowski
    I have feeling that no matter where Caryl goes, she’ll have a wonderful life. Good people have that ability. Thanks for the tour!

  • Karen Nick
    Caryl, love your new home and studio. Love the view from your studio. I am going to miss seeing you in Paducah.

  • PT in SC
    Thank you for the tour and update on Caryl and her studio. I did have the opportunity to visit her Bryerpatch studio in Paduah. I’m so glad she and her husband are all settled.

  • Renate
    It is wonderful to hear that Caryl and Ron have settled into their new life together and are able to share their love of the arts! Thank you to you for a wonderfully written piece and an artful glimpse into the home that reflects Caryl and Ron’s love of “life, love and the pursuit of happiness”.

  • april zemke
    Loved seeing all the work of other quilters in their home. Enjoyed the mini studio tour also. How fortunate we are that she is now in our area.

  • Judy Brack
    So thrilled to have a “World Class Quiter” in our state! She is truly an inspiration to all of us!

    Thank You for your visit and blesings to you all!
    Judy


  • Judith Elder-McCartney
    What a lovely home you and Ron have Caryl. I’m so happy for you both.

    Love your work so very much. It was wonderful to have a tour of your home Caryl, and see all the work you display of others you admire.
    Thank you so very much!


  • Jo-Anne
    Patricia,

    Thank you for allowing us a peek in to the art world of Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry.

    Remarkable work. I am very happy that she has chosen to live near the rest of us Pacific Coast quilters….maybe a class or two in the near future?


  • Lynn
    Thanks for sharing, Patricia. So fun to get a peak into Caryl’s studio and home!

  • Nancy Anders
    Oh! What an absolutely wonderful tour! Beautifully written and photographed. Thank you Patricia, for sharing your experience with Caryl and Ron.

  • Sue O'Donnell
    Thank you for this lovely look into the world of an amazing artist

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