Meryl Ann Butler Quilts and Wearables

On August 8, 2001 while Meryl Ann Butler was in Los Angeles showing her artwork, her car was vandalized. A suitcase containing ten of her most recent works was stolen. It also contained hundreds of her slides, mostly of her quilted fiber art. Some of the slides are labeled with her name. These slides are a very important part of Meryl Ann’s portfolio, so it is hoped they can be recovered as well.

Meryl Ann is a former Fairfield designer and two of the stolen pieces were Fairfield garments. There were two other garments, one “Snippets” piece (featured in Cindy Walkers second book), and four quilted wall hangings. All of the missing pieces have her label sewn into them. Labels are about 1″ by 2″, white with black or blue, and often with a gold decorative border. On the garments, the label is usually sewn at the neck. On wall art, it is usually on the back casing. Meryl Ann uses several different labels, but the ones used on these pieces are probably one of the following. Please note: the address on these labels is no longer her current address.

Dreamcoat Designs, PO Box 991, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Dreamcoat Designs, Meryl Ann Butler Studios, PO Box 991, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Original Wearable Art, Meryl Ann Butler Studios, PO Box 991, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Original Quilted Fiber Art, Meryl Ann Butler Studios, PO Box 991, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

These are some of the pieces that were stolen:

“Amaterasu: Shinto Goddess of the Sun” is a wall hanging made of more than 850 pieces. It is 60″ at its widest point. The main portion is about 48″ by 36″. The two side pieces are 28″ by 16″. The three sections are separate and are designed to be hung from a single rod, forming a kimono shape. It is mostly yellows, oranges, reds and browns. The central panel has the figure of Amaterasu wearing a red kimono. The backing is yellow and red oriental, floral fabric.

“The Dawn of Remembrance: Egyptian Mysteries Unveiled” is a collar-cape with an image of the sphinx and a pyramid on the back. Cartouches for Queen Hatshepsut are on the front of the cape. The upper collar portion has a winged scarab made with gold holographic foil. This garment was made for a Fairfield International Fashion show. It can be seen on page 52 of Cindy Walter’s book, “More Snippet Sensations;” page 38 of “Art to Wear – Diamond Extravaganza: A Decade of Design,” published by The Fairfield Processing Corporation; and on page 50 of the December 1998 issue of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, issue 308.

“Goddess Babe Dreamcoat” is also a long, knee length vest with wingcaps over the armhole. The colors are predominantly purple and peach with purple silk noil lining. The central image on the back depicts a joyful, dancing goddess in orange holographic foil. It says “Goddess Babe” under the dancer and also vertically on one of the front panels. This coat is made of hand dyed fabrics and printed fabrics and has about 650 pieces.

“Gypsy Starcatcher Dancing the Dream” is a rainbow-colored silk vest and skirt. The vest is the only piece of this outfit that was stolen. The vest is pieced silk, embroidered with silk and has a hand-painted image of a woman with two water jugs on the back. Flaps attached to the waist have bells on the bottom. This ensemble was made for a Fairfield International Fashion show. This garment can also be seen on page 9 of “Art to Wear – Diamond Extravaganza: A Decade of Design,” published by The Fairfield Processing Corporation.

“The Millennium Dreamcoat” is a long vest, about knee length, with little wingcaps over the armhole. The colors are mostly blues with some purple, pink and lime greens. The central image on the back depicts the symbol of the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States, the pyramid with the all-seeing eye above it. This same image can be seen on the back of a dollar bill. Meryl Ann interpreted it in rainbow colors. This pieced vest is made up of about 650 hand dyed fabrics and printed fabrics. The dark blue, silk noil lining is signed in bold, black marker by well-known author and quilter, Faith Ringgold, with the inscription, “You can fly.”

“Out of the Cocoon” is a round wall hanging about 33″ in diameter. It was complete except for the beading. The center features an Ultrasuede butterfly. Cutouts in the wings reveal brightly colored silks. Hand dyed fabrics in gradated rainbow colors and white create a swirling background. The backing is a cotton, rainbow colored butterfly print. No photo is available. Meryl Ann’s color sketch is shown at left.

“Oya: African Goddess of the Dance” is a 60″ by 36″ wall hanging which depicts the dancing, silhouetted form of the goddess Oya. The form is edged in white against a bright rainbow-colored image of the continent of Africa, all on a brown background and edged in multicolor African fabrics. The outside shape is an Africa shield, similar to a rectangle with a triangular shape added to the bottom. It has a long fringe of fabrics hanging from the bottom.

“The Rainbow Serpent of Australia” is a symmetrical, six-sided shape. It is mostly browns with a vibrant snake made of three dimensional, triangular “scales” in rainbow colors, changing from reds at the bottom to red-violets at the top. This wall hanging is about 36″ by 48″. No photo is available. Meryl Ann’s color sketch is shown at left.

“The Three Queens” is a wall hanging 24″ by 36″. The queens, one Asian, one Black and one red-headed, are holding gifts against a blue sky, bordered in gold-ochre and blue fabric. The faces are created with Prismacolor pencils on fabric. Other elements are created by “painting” with tiny snippets of fabric. Wendy Bush Hackney helped create this piece. It can be seen on page 50 of Cindy Walter’s book, “More Snippet Sensations.” The photo in the book is shown mirror image.

These thefts have been reported to the Los Angeles Police Department, DR# 01-0928304, case 8-3/01. If you have information on these thefts you can contact the LAPD Art Theft Detail at 213-485-2524 or Meryl Ann at merylannb@mac.com. For more information about Meryl Ann, please visit her website at http://www.merylannbutler.com.

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