Gail Garber Designs

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Gail's Quilting Blog

The Raffle Quilt is Finished!

The 2011 Hawks Aloft raffle quilt is completely finished. Michele Hymel did the spectacular quilting and Donna Barnitz applied the binding. It looks just beautiful! I hope you can see some of the intricate quilting in this photo. Because of the southwestern design of the quilt we decided not to do our usual feathery quilting and instead did geometric and southwestern style quilting. We debuted the quilt at the Monte Vista Colorado Festival of the Cranes and sold a bunch of raffle tickets. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. If you wish to purchase tickets, please send me a check made out to Hawks Aloft and mail it to me at PO Box 10028, Albuquerque NM 87184. Please be sure to include your name, address and phone number. I will mail you back your filled out ticket stubs.

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Sailing Into the Sunset

Sailing Away 2011

Sailing Away 2011

Many times I am inspired to create a quilt by a piece of beautiful fabric. That was the case with this little sailboat quilt, “Sailing Away”.  I had a beautiful piece of hand-painted fabric by Mickey Lawler of Skydyes that reminded me of a gorgeous New Mexico sunset, where there is definitely a lack of water.  Still, I was inspired to use it as a backdrop for a sailboat.  This quilt is featured as a pattern on page 38 of the March/April 2011 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine.

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Finally Finely Finished!

Round Robin 1996-2011

Round Robin 1996-2011

Nothing like finishing up a ufo!!! This quilt began life in 1996 as part of a round robin with my small group, “Designing Women”. The quilt came back to me after a year and I added the final border with an outside curvy edge. Thanks to help from my friend Donna Barnitz, we finally finished it in 2011 – just in time to enter it into the local quilt show. When I made the center star I combined hand-dyes with commercially printed fabrics, one of my favorite things to do. I still haven’t given it a name – does that mean it isn’t really finished yet?

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Howdy from Texas!

A big howdy from the friendly state of Texas where I have been teaching and lecturing in Fredericksburg (Verein’s Quilt Guild of Fredericksburg) and Kerrville (Hill Country Quilt Guild).  One of my favorite things about quilting is the sisterhood of like-minded women (and men) who make up this amazingly supportive community. Some of my best friends in the whole world are those that I met in quilt class.

The Verein’s Country Quilters make a mean raffle quilt. They don’t have tickets yet, but I left my $5 with the program chair, Kate Hunter, who promised to get them for me as soon as they are available. Simply a stunning quilt!

One of the wonderful things about Texas Quilt Guilds is that they welcome other guilds to their meetings to sell raffle tickets for their groups. I left some $$ with this group too.  Whoever wins it will be lucky indeed!

One of the highlights of my trip to Kerrville and Fredericksburg was visiting “Creations”, the local quilt shop. I had heard rumors that this was a ‘world class’ quilt shop. This is not an exaggeration. Based in an old Victorian home, each room has a different theme. The owners, Julie Milam and Kathy Thompson (above), have great stuff! I bought lots, but left a little for you. You can check out their website .

This beautiful quilt is called Galactic Migration and it was created by Holly Nelson of San Antonio, TX. Holly took my design class in 2003. She brought her finished quilt, Galactic Migration, to show and tell at the Kerrville Quilt Guild for my lecture in February 2011.

It’s been a fun trip.  Happy quilting!

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Tutti Frutti III!

I just love my newest pattern. It’s simple to make, yet looks complex. This is the third version of my Tutti Frutti quilt, so named because I like to make it with fabric in bright bubble gum colors. With each pattern iteration I’ve simplified the quilt a bit, but kept the overall impact. The focal fabric is a Laurel Burch jungle fabric, in this one I fussy cut the toucan. The inner border of flying geese uses a rainbow of 20 hand dyed fabrics from Starr Designs Fabric. Isn’t it great how the colors gradate through the color wheel!

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Hawks Aloft Raffle Quilt Retreat 2011

Here we are at the Hawks Aloft quilt retreat.

It took a team of 13 makers and three dogs 1 and 1/2 days to make the top for this year’s raffle quilt. The design is by yours truly and inspired by my new fascination with Navajo rugs. The 13 humans are Donna Barnitz, Ruth Burstrom, Debbie Caffrey, Ed & Mary Chappelle, Steve Elkins, Mike & Michele Hymel, Anita McSorley, Chellye Porter, Lizzie Roberts, and Sam Sanborn and me.

Each year we retreat to the cabin in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico for a weekend of, not relaxation, but . . .

Sweat Shop Central!

In short order, we got down to business working on the center design.

Mike and Ed are the official cutters.

Ed does double duty as a paper remover. The entire quilt is paper foundation pieced (except for the bird’s heads that were appliqued by Anita).

Steve and Lizzie make great sewing partners!

All that paper has to go somewhere!

Laney helps hold down the paper while she guards her favorite toy, a pumpkin, that she never leaves out of sight.

Debbie displays the center diamond.

We started on Friday afternoon and by late Saturday the top was stitched. So, we switched from serious sewing mode to New Mexico relaxation mode with a traditional dinner with the traditional pre-dinner drink -margaritas! It was quite the festive evening.

Sunday morning is a time for sharing stories as we sit in front of the windows, drinking coffee and watching the birds outside.

Pogo, who was attending his first quilt retreat, wasn’t so sure about all the people and all the activity, so he took to hiding in the closet.

Shoes and jackets in the mud room, outdoor wear abandoned for inside activity.

Sunday morning after coffee was set aside for a hike to the overlook where the snow was only ankle deep.

The view from the overlook of Jemez Springs. We look forward to returning for our 2012 retreat. The quilt has now gone home with Michele Hymel, who has a longarm quilting machine and a very talented quilter! We hope to finish all of it in time for the Monte Vista, CO Festival of the Cranes in mid-March. We’ll have raffle tickets very soon.

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Happy 2011!

Here at Gail Garber Designs, I am very excited to announce my new website. It was designed by Michele Foster of the Quilting Gallery, and I think it just looks fabulous! After several months of redesign and updates, I am thrilled with the new feel of this site. There are many new photos of my quilts as well as those of student quilts. When you open the gallery, just click on a thumbnail to open a full-size image.

You’ll want to visit the store section where you’ll find information on my favorite products. The teaching section includes all of the information necessary if you are interested in a class or lecture for your group. There is also a handy calendar section that details my upcoming appearances. I hope you find the website easy to navigate and helpful.

Soon, I’ll begin sending out a quarterly newsletter with tips, projects, student photos and more. If you wish to subscribe, simply click on the link at the top of the homepage that says subscribe.

In April 2011, I will be off to New Zealand for a quilting and textile tour of that country with several of my favorite quilting friends. The tour will feature participation in the biannual National Symposium – Remarkables 2011, this time held in Queenstown on South Island. We’ll visit artists in their studios, learn about Maori culture and fiber art, visit quilt shops, view native wildlife, and much more. For complete information, see the tours section tab on the homepage. While you’re there also look for the information on the 2012 Paper Piecing Quilt Cruise with myself, Carol Doak and Eileen Sullivan!

If you haven’t had a chance to become a friend on Facebook, please do. I love keeping up with my friends and students!

Another exciting happening for 2011 is the addition of Michele Hymel to my office. She and longtime assistant Donna Barnitz crack the whip and keep me organized and in control. Life is never dull here. Look for their profiles in our first newsletter. The three of us are looking forward to brainstorming new ideas, sewing up beautiful quilt designs and sharing new ideas with all of you.

So, here’s to a fabulous 2011!


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To Market, To Market to buy a … lot of great stuff.

Paula Nadelstern

One of the great things about going to Quilt Market and Festival is seeing all my quilting buddies. I found Paula Nadelstern showing off some of her newest work.

Ginny Eckley

And, I met Ginny Eckley, who is a master stencil maker and makes the exact right sort of stencils for the resist-type dyeing that I prefer. Check out her website!

One of the really great things about attending Market (the wholesale part of the show) is that you can really spend time looking at all the amazing quilts without having to jostle with all the Festival attendees. They are superb and the competition is stiff. The prize winners won’t be announced until Wednesday. I wonder if some of my favorites will be among the winners.

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