Gail Garber Designs
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Gail's Quilting Blog

Wildlife Quilts

Quilts that feature wildlife are among my most favorite.  So, I saved this selection for today.

Viewing the Bay of Islands by Sonya Prchal

Viewing the Bay of Islands by Sonya Prchal

In this delightful quilt by Sonya Prchal, a Tui looks out onto the Bay of Islands.  Tuis are the common garden birds that are easy to find in urban and rural areas of New Zealand.  They are distinctive with their glossy black feathers with the white (cottonball) puffy feathers at the throat and their song.

Tui at Dawn by Charlotte Scott

Tui at Dawn by Charlotte Scott

Tui at Dawn by Charlotte Scott is a particularly effective use of transparency in a quilt.  The judges liked it too as it was a multiple award winner at the show.  New Zealand’s wildlife evolved without mammals (except for two bat species) leading to a unique set of birds, many of which are flightless or poorly flighted.  The introduction of mammals to this island nation has had a devastating impact on the bird life.  The Department of Conservation spends millions each year in an attempt to control introduced possums, stoats, rats, mice and other mammalian predators.

Fanciful Feathers by Rosemary Rush

Fanciful Feathers by Rosemary Rush

Of course, quilter’s imaginations are fertile ground indeed!  Fanciful Feathers epitomizes the wonder that the mind can create.  With it’s bold use of color, this imaginary bird was a merit award winner.

Theres Plenty More Where That Came From by Natalie Murdoch

There’s Plenty More Where That Came From by Natalie Murdoch

New Zealand is famous for its fisheries and attracts sport fishermen worldwide, and Taupo is one of the primary areas to practice this sport.  At the Symposium exhibit, I also found two awesome quilts that celebrate the underwater wildlife so prevalent in the streams and lakes nearby.

Misty Morn by Sheryl Meech

Misty Morn by Sheryl Meech

Misty Morn by Sheryl Meech celebrates all that is beautiful about New Zealand, including the fish.  If you look closely at this first place award winning quilt, you will see an abundance of shadow fish in the water. If you are in the area be sure to check out the Tongariro National Trout Center.

Taupo Trout

Taupo Trout

It’s easy to enjoy the outdoor artwork of Taupo, made possible by the Taupo Sculpture Trust.  In fact all things Taupo are well worth a visit!

I am off to Houston to teach for the Greater Houston Area Quilter’s Guild, so there won’t be another post for a couple of days!  There’s plenty more to see about New Zealand!

 

 

 

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Competition Quilts at New Zealand Quilt Symposium

Classes at Symposium were held at the College, about a mile from the exhibit center where the quilts were hanging. So, I was only able to visit the show once to see the competition quilts, on my lunch hour.  It was a hurried visit with a dying camera battery, I managed to photograph some of the highlights.  Below are some of my favorites.

Belle Rouge by Ansa Beytenbach

Belle Rouge by Ansa Beytenbach

This first place winner was nothing short of remarkable, from the design, to color use, to the quilting and binding.  Simply stunning!

Traditions with a Celtic Twist by Anna Williams

Traditions with a Celtic Twist by Anna Williams

Anna Williams’ quilt above show exceptional workmanship and is heavily quilted.  One of the things that makes this quilt unique is the offset border on two sides only, showcasing the four different blocks in the quilt.  Another exceptional piece and a first place ribbon too!

Stan's Flower Garden by Christine Singleton

Stan’s Flower Garden by Christine Singleton

Another first place winner, this miniature is incredible.  At first glance, one might think the above image is of a larger quilt, but no!  Look below at the image that shows the prize winning ribbon for size comparison.

Stan's Flower Garden for size comparison with ribbon

Stan’s Flower Garden for size comparison with ribbon

Pretty amazing!

Land Use Change in Canterbury by Donna Rowan

Land Use Change in Canterbury by Donna Rowan

This triptych is unusual and effective in presenting the story that the quiltmaker tells in fiber.  The use of earthtone hand-dyed fabrics also is effective and the heavy quilting complements the pieces.  Another first place quilt.

The Devils Marbles (Karlu Karlu) by Veronicah Hampton

The Devil’s Marbles (Karlu Karlu) by Veronicah Hampton

Although this quilt was not awarded a prize, I love the way the piece reflects the title of the quilt.  The use of color, combining the muted earth tones with the bright blues of the sky and the brilliant orange/reds of the Jurassic and Triassic periods make this a fabulous quilt!

Set Adrift by Sonya Prchal

Set Adrift by Sonya Prchal

Who could not instantly fall in love with this whimsical quilt!  The dog positively radiates the sadness of being alone in the boat.  It won a first place ribbon.

The Comfort of Stitch by Lee-ann Newton

The Comfort of Stitch by Lee-ann Newton

And, the grand prize winner and winner of the Viewer’s Choice for the show is one amazing quilt!   Although I have shown this in an earlier post, I think it’s worth another look.   Lee-Ann found an old quilt in a thrift store and then painted over the surface of the quilt.

I wish I would have had more time to spend with the amazing quilts at the New Zealand Symposium 2013.  These are but a few of the many that were exhibited.  Stay tuned for a different style of quilts tomorrow . . .

 

 

 

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Sensational Stars

Jan Omnet NZ

Jan Omnet, New Zealand

The first class that I taught was the two-day Sensational Stars where each student designs and stitches her own unique circular star.   This was a terrific class where each and every student finished their initial design, and some even got their borders done!

Kay Smart

Kay Smart, New Zealand

What’s so refreshing about this class is how each design turns out so differently even though we all begin with the same basic exercises.

Lyn Saxby, Australia

Lyn Saxby, Australia

Most of Lyn’s fabrics were hand-dyed lending to the strong graphic design of this star.

Fire Drill

Fire Drill

Never a dull moment in quilting class.  Just after lunch on day two, there was a fire drill.  Now, I was certain that it was not for real, but I was wrong! Large tea urns were provided in the hallways outside the classrooms so we could enjoy hot beverages throughout the day.  One of them overheated and the alarms were for a real event!  Note that, although it is the middle of winter in this image, it is actually rather warm for a mountain town!

Peggy Morrison NZ

Peggy Morrison, New Zealand

I love the way Peggy used a dark background for her star.  It really makes the colors “POP”!

Michelle Chan, Australia

Michelle Chan, Australia

Michelle used traditional types of fabrics in her star.  Notice how the red outer trim really sets off the star and distinquishes it from the background.

Sensational Stars Class

Sensational Stars Class

My students were the STARS of this class!  I am so proud of each one and I cannot believe that everyone finished the inner star of their design.  I wish that I had enough room in this post to highlight each and every one individually.  You ladies are simply sensational!

 

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Welcome to Taupo Symposium 2013

Tongariro National Park

Looking out at Mt. Tongariro National Park

 After a long and fulfilling day of touring, we returned to Taupo where our hotel rooms were situated right on the shores of Lake Taupo, with an incredible uninterrupted view of the lake and Mt. Tongariro National Park in the distance.   The symposium opened that night with a hearty New Zealand style welcome.

Katrina Davidson, co-convenor

Katrina Davidson, co-convenor

I finally got to meet the organizers, including Katrina Davidson with whom I had been corresponding for nearly two years.  It was so nice to be able to match a face to the name.

Opening Night at Symposium

Opening Night at Symposium

New Zealanders, a.k.a. Kiwis, really know how to put on a party.  They welcomed all with glasses of wine and snack boxes of food.  This was the first of many such events, as Happy Hour was a regular occurrence, beginning right after class ended each day.

Susan Cleveland and Gail

Susan Cleveland and Gail

I got to hang out with fellow U.S. teacher, Susan Cleveland.

Maori Haka

Maori Haka

We were welcomed, Maori style, to the symposium via a Haka performed by young singers.

Haka Lead Singer

Haka Lead Singer

The group’s lead singer had a beautiful voice.  I wish it could have gone on forever.  In the morning, we would all be in our classrooms, ready to teach!

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to L’Arte Cafe, Gallery and Garden

Welcome to Cafe Latte

Welcome to L’Arte Cafe

Located in the hills above Taupo, this charming cafe was the final stop of our Tutor’s Tour of Taupo.  The first things that greeted us were the teapots hanging from the trees, our welcome to this quirky place.

Sitting in the Easy Chair

Sitting in the Easy Chair

Virtually everything was tiled with mosaic tiles in brilliant colors,

Window with a View

Window with a View

including the framed window that looked out onto the gardens below.

Fantails at Cafe Latte

Fantails and Tuis

Artwork adorned every surface and freestanding art graced the many walkways.

Picnic table

Picnic table

Even the outdoor tables were covered in mosaic tiles.  But,

Ladies Toilet

Ladies Toilet

perhaps the most interesting of all were the restrooms.  These hung outside the ladies’ room.  there would be no mistaking which gender this room was intended for.

Ladies' Room

Ladies’ Room

While inside, with the door closed, every surface was covered.  Above, the rest of the room is reflected in the mirror.

Wash Hands

Wash Hands

What a quaint way to remind all that hands should be washed before leaving the room!  Definitely a winner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Correction to Lava Glass Post

Chris Jones, Glassblower

Chris Jones, Glassblower

My friend, Marion Manson, who is heavily involved in the art community in New Zealand, graciously identified Chris Jones as the glass blower in my previous post.  Check out his website.  Thanks much, Marion!

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Lava Glass Cafe

Lava Glass

Lava Glass

The next stop on our tour was Lava Glass, where we enjoyed a hearty lunch in the cafe, complete with a hand-blown glass chandelier.

Hand-blown Glass Chandelier

Hand-blown Glass Chandelier

After lunch, we were treated to a glass blowing, and equally mind-blowing, demonstration of the art by the resident glass artist,  whose name I did not get.  My sincere apologies for that oversight.  

Glass:  The First Step

Glass: The First Step

The first step was to gather some glass from the oven and then further heat it in a hotter oven.

Glass:  Getting Started

Glass: Getting Started

Then, the rolling began, back and forth to begin the shaping.

Glass:  Making the Round

Glass: Making the Round

The process of heating and rolling continued, along with some puffs of air, blown by the man with the strong lungs to expand the glass bubble.

Glass:  Making the Opening

Glass: Making the Opening

After the outside shape was satisfactory, he began working on the mouth of the vase.

Glass:  Shaping the Mouth of the Vessel

Glass: Shaping the Mouth of the Vessel

Finally, and with a delicate touch, the glassblower shapes the mouth of the vessel.

Glass:  Testing the Stopper

Glass: Testing the Stopper

Nearly done now, he tests the pre-made stopper to see if it will fit into the vessel.  It might be suitable for perfume or just a beautiful accent piece in your home.

Glass:  The Final Step

Glass: The Final Step

Perfection!  The final step is to separate the glass from the glass-blowing rod.  Carefully!  In just seconds, the new glass vessel was free and then placed into a curing oven where its temperature would be gradually decreased over the course of 24-48 hours.  If this step were skipped, the glass would cool too quickly and the vessel would shatter.  Some of the larger pieces rest in the cooling ovens for weeks before they are removed.  Now, I have a better understanding of just how difficult it is to make hand-blown glass as well as the prices for these incredible works of art.

Glass for Sale

The Final Artwork

 

 

 

 

 

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Southward to Huka Falls

Southward to Huka Falls

Welcome to Taupo Symposium 2013

My stay in Auckland was all too short when it was time to move south to the mountain community of Taupo, home to the 2014 New Zealand National Quilt Symposium.  Faculty arrived throughout the day, many of whom had flown through the night to get here.  I was triply glad that I had elected to arrive a few days early.  The Symposium Team let everyone rest that first day and settle into our rooms, but the next day was set aside for touring!  And, our first stop was Huka Falls.

Huka Falls

Huka Falls – can you see the tiny people?

Living in the southwestern United States, it is hard to imagine so much water.  Huka Falls are a set of waterfalls on the Waikato River that drains Lake Taupo , the largest freshwater lake in New Zealand.  At Huka Falls, the Waikato River narrows from approximately 300 feet wide into a narrow canyon only 45 feet wide, making for an impressive display. The canyon is carved into lake floor sediments laid down before Taupo’s Oruanui eruption 26,500 years ago.

Below Huka Falls

Below Huka Falls

The volume of water flowing through often approaches 220,000 litres per second, regulated by the Taupo Control Gates as part of their hydroelectric system.  The uppermost falls are a set of small waterfalls dropping over about 25 feet, while the most impressive, final stage of the falls is a 35 foot drop.

Robbie Joy Eklow, Cara Gulati and yours truly

Robbie Joy Eklow, Cara Gulati and yours truly

In addition to learning about the natural wonders that surround Taupo, it was a great time to bond with our colleagues, with whom we rarely get to see as our schedules seldom allow for time to visit at a busy show.  We so appreciate the Taupo Symposium Committee’s efforts to build in a free day!  Here, Robbie Joy Eklow, Cara Gulati and I pose beside the mighty Waikato River below the falls.

I think I see a future quilt in this image!

I think I see a future quilt in this image!

Stay tuned for lunch adventures!

 

 

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