Gail Garber Designs
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Gail's Quilting Blog

Remembering Michele Hymel

I’ve been negligent about posting this past month.  It’s been a challenging 30 days. 

Today was the memorial service for my long-time friend and invaluable assistant, Michele Hymel.  The celebration of her life took place outdoors in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, as she would have wished.  Michele Can Do AttitudeSome of my best friends in the whole world are the ones that I met in quilting classes.  Such was the case with Michele, who I met back in the late 1990s when she took my design class at Bernina Sewing Center in Albuquerque, NM.  I liked her immediately and marveled at her ‘can do’ attitude.  She embraced life and exuded positivity.

Goose is Loose Quilt by Michele

Goose is Loose Quilt by Michele

In fact, it wasn’t long after that class that she finished her first original design.  We soon became fast friends and she joined my small group, Designing Women.  Little did we know how close our friendship would become.

On Golden Pond by Michele Hymen

On Golden Pond by Michele Hymel

Michele designed this whimsical piece for my book, Flying Colors, published in 2010.  Overall, she was one of the most productive and creative members of our group, one who could always be counted on when something needed doing.

Spiral Galaxy by Michele Hymel

Spiral Galaxy by Michele Hymel

Sometimes she surprised us by bringing a completed quilt for show and tell, one that none of us had ever heard about before.

Working with me at Gail Garber Designs

Working with me at Gail Garber Designs

Several years ago she joined Donna Barnitz and me at my home based Gail Garber Designs.  Michele was a wiz at everything, especially all-things-computer, an area where Donna and I were less than stellar.

Quilting at the Cabin - Hawks Aloft style

Quilting at the Cabin – Hawks Aloft style

Michele also jumped into Hawks Aloft, the conservation organization that is so close to my heart, with enthusiasm, becoming a regular at the annual Hawks Aloft quilt retreats, where we stitch a quilt top in one day!!  We could always count on Michele to finish those final seams.

Michele Finishes the Hawks Aloft Raffle Quilt

Michele Finishes the Hawks Aloft Raffle Quilt

Not long after Michele began attending the retreat, Mike, her hubby, joined our team.  It was then, and remains his job now to accurately cut the fabrics, trim the blocks and help in the organizational process.

Michele and Mike Hymel, married 40 years.

Michele and Mike Hymel

Michele loved to hike and be outdoors as much as possible.  Above she is with her husband of 40 years, Mike, as we hiked in the Jemez Mountains.  Her other passion was scuba, which she learned so that she could partake of that sport when she visited her son, Kent, who was working in Australia.  Scuba was Michele’s solo sport, one that none of her quilting friends or Mike practiced.  So it was that in spring of 2012, Michele went with some of her Texas friends to Roatan, off the coast of Venezuela, for a scuba trip.  While there, she had a nagging pain in her back beneath her shoulder blades.  Upon her return, several doctor’s visits revealed the worst, stage 4 lung cancer!  She immediately embarked on a regime of radiation and chemo.  The rest of us set about doing what quilters do for each other – making a friendship quilt.

Giving Michele the Quilt

Giving Michele the Quilt

We  hurried as fast as possible and were able to surprise Michele with this friendship quilt just before her second chemo treatment.

Chocolate - Michele's favorite!

Chocolate – Michele’s favorite!

We even made a little party of the evening, presenting her with her favorite dessert, chocolate and more chocolate.  As the chemo progressed, Michele was very ill and so nauseated that there was little she could eat.  As she lost weight, we all worried about the prognosis.  Eventually, this particular cocktail of drugs ceased to halt the spread of the cancer.  A new treatment, one with far fewer side effects, ensued.

Michele, Me, Cynthia Figueroa-McInteer, and Mary Chappelle

Michele, Me, Cynthia Figueroa-McInteer, and Mary Chappelle

She had some bad days, but far more good days, and they were predictable.  So, we traveled to some of the places she wanted to see.  It was in the spring of 2013 that two of my quilts were accepted into the National Quilt Museum.  Michele said, “I’ve never been to Paducah!”.  So four of us set off on a long April weekend to visit the museum.  Here we are dining at Flamingo Row, one of the best Paducah restaurants!

At the National Quilt Museum

At the National Quilt Museum

The museum is, of course, an amazing experience!  Seeing my quilts hanging on the walls was thrilling for all of us, but perhaps most of all for Michele.  We adjourned to Hancock Fabrics, a.k.a. Mecca to quilters and it was then that I noticed that, while the rest of us were merrily shopping away, Michele didn’t take home anything.

Michele Birds Alaska

Michele Birds Alaska

In June, Michele traveled with me to Alaska, where Maret Anderson, owner of Seams Like Home Quilting in Anchorage, had hired me to teach at her annual retreat at Halibut Cove, Alaska, across Katchemak Bay from Homer.  We birded along the way, stopping first at the famed Potter’s Marsh.

Tide pooling

Tide pooling

At the lodge, with the long days of summer, we had ample time to explore our surroundings, doing things like checking on tide pool creatures like this star fish.  Did you know that when you turn them upside down, they immediately begin to right themselves by moving short tentacle-like extensions on their backs in unison/  It feels very weird.

Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking

We went sea kayaking too, another first for Michele!

Michele appliques

Michele appliques

And, while I taught class, Michele hand appliqued a quilt for her grandson, Henry, who was two years old at that time.

Michele had one more grand adventure in July 2013 when she traveled with all of her family to Hawaii.  She was still working for me at the time, but I could tell that she was often in pain, although she never once complained and definitely did not whine!  She confided that she was afraid the drugs were no longer working.  Her fears became reality during the next round of scans that showed the cancer had spread.  She entered hospice care in October last fall, and was able to remain at home throughout, thanks to the devoted nursing of her husband and life companion, Mike. She said good-bye to this life on April 8, 2014, while I was away teaching in New Bern, NC.  I had known the end was near, but didn’t know exactly when the time would come.

Michele enriched my life so greatly and I cherish the memories that I will always have of her.  Those who counted her as a friend are amazingly lucky to have known this incredible woman.

If You Want to Make a Pie

If You Want to Make a Pie

A while back, before the dreadful diagnosis, Michele made this little quilt for me.  It epitomizes her intelligence, someone who always thought outside the box.  I miss her terribly.

I know this is a long post, but a necessary one for me.  Michele had never smoked.  Another friend of mine was diagnosed with the same exact cancer, one year later.  Now, she remains on chemo, her outcome as yet undetermined.  She also did not smoke.  Lung cancer remains the number one killer of women, and non-smokers lung cancer is rarely diagnosed until the latest stages.  It seems so unfair that this disease remains one for which there is no routine screening.   Please!  Next time you go for an annual checkup, ask your physician for a chest x-ray.  It might save your life.

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Giveaway Day Winner

 

 

Thank you to everyone who visited during Giveaway Day.

MayGiveawayDay

Up for grabs was my Southwest Critters pattern.

sw critters

Mr. Random Number Generator has made his selection, and the winner is…

#21.

Michelle Folkerts said, “I am a new follower of yours on Bloglovin.”

Michelle, please e-mail me your mailing address, so I can send you your pattern.


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Giveaway Day

Welcome familiar friends and new visitors who are participating in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day.

MayGiveawayDay

Up for grabs is my pattern for Southwest Critters. It measures 45” x 45”.  Five whimsical southwestern appliqué designs are set together for a unique lap or baby quilt. 

sw crittersTo be entered, please leave a comment below telling me your favorite critter. For an additional entry, add another comment telling me how you follow my blog. Feel free to click the button below if you’d like to see my posts via Bloglovin’. This contest is open to those in the U.S. A winner will be selected on May 16.

Follow on Bloglovin
Good luck to you.

Cheers,

Gail

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Twin Rivers Quilter’s Exhibit, New Bern, North Carolina

Last week, I made a quick trip to visit the Twin Rivers Quilter’s Guild in New Bern, North Carolina.  I had hoped to stay a few extra days to tour some of the amazing countryside of the southernmost outer banks, an area which I had never previously visited.  My hostess was Chris Gillespie, who has a lovely home right on the banks of the Neuse River, with birds galore, and sunset views to die for!  Sadly, it was windy most afternoons when I finished teaching so outdoor photography was minimal at best.

One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the North Carolina History Center, with 60,000 square feet of exhibits showcasing the 300 year history of the area.  One of the wings featured an exhibit of quilts, old and new, curated by the Twin Rivers Quilter’s Guild.

Twin Rivers Quilters Guild

Twin Rivers Quilters Guild

The guild’s logo quilt welcomed visitors and was the first thing I saw when I turned into that wing of the museum.

Collecting and Recollecting the Past

Collecting and Recollecting the Past

The exhibit honored Nancy Packer (1962-2013), who had been the Assistant Curator or the History Museum.  The welcome sign stated, “by collecting quilts, you are collecting the colors and designs of America” through the wide variety of quilts, old and new, exhibited here.  “To recollect the history of a quilt is to share a great American craft and a treasure of our past as well as the designs of our future.”

Exhibit Overview

Exhibit Overview

It was refreshing to see all the beautiful quilts hanging in a museum quality exhibit hall.  The depth and breadth the the exhibit was unusual in that such a wide array of styles and techniques were included.

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul by Rolayn Schwendy

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul  owned by Rolayn Schwendy

This quilt was made by Rolayne’s great, great aunt, Bertha Hill in 1885 or 1886. That young quiltmaker died of diphtheria soon after her sixteenth birthday.  This may have been the first and only quilt she ever made in her short lifetime.

Basket Stack by Paula Paganucci

Basket Stack by Paula Paganucci

Basket Stack, by Paula Paganucci maintains the feel of an antique quilt with 1800 reproduction fabric.  It was made ins 2006 and is hand quilted.

Sashiko Flowers by Penny Finney

Sashiko Flowers by Penny Finney

A small wall quilt, this embodies the feel of the Orient with sashiko style quilting.

Color Our Town by Pat Boni

Color Our Town by Pat Boni

This whimsical piece by Pat Boni falls into the art quilt category with shapes that transform into figurative birds flying into the sky.

Modern Morris by Sue Marra

Modern Morris by Sue Marra

Sue Marra’s quilt was created from a pattern by William Morris. The applique and stitchery on this piece is exquisite.

Beach Memories by Dorothy Najarian

Beach Memories by Dorothy Najarian

Although this quilt was hung with a vertical aspect, I rotated the image to save space in this blog post.  Dorothy machine pieced and appliqued this Cathedral Window design as a bed runner.

Bow Tie by Ruth Powers and Lilly Lucier

Bow Tie by Ruth Powers and Lilly Lucier

Bow Tie was machine pieced and quilted using Civil War Reproduction Fabric.  It is one of the larger quilts in the exhibit.

America The Beautiful by Frances Conner

America The Beautiful by Frances Conner

Frances says this of her quilt, “It is based on the song ‘Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties . . . ‘

Twin Rivers Quilt Raffle 2014

Twin Rivers Quilt Raffle 2014

But, the Twin Rivers Raffle Quilt for 2014 is surely the centerpiece of the entire exhibit!! It is one of the finest raffle quilts I have ever seen, hand appliqued and quilted with extraordinary needle work!  I had to leave a bunch of dollars with them in the hopes of it coming to live at my New Mexico home!  However; winning for me is unlikely.  Despite the hundreds or thousands of raffle tickets I have purchased, not one winning ticket has ever been owned by me.

Chris Gillespie's Giraffe Quilt

Chris Gillespie’s Giraffe Quilt

Lastly, my hostess-with-the-mostest, Chris Gillespie’s Giraffe Quilt was hanging right outside the exhibit hall!  It’s a beautiful piece, as is her T-shirt featuring Red-winged Blackbirds!!! Oh, my!  What fun they have in North Carolina!!! I wish I could have stayed longer.

 

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Thimbleweeds on Retreat

Each year the Thimbleweed Quilters hold a weekend-long retreat at Hummingbird Music Camp in the Jemez Mountains.  That’s the camp where my girls attended every summer until they were just too old and it is less than two miles from my cabin.  Last fall, Thimbleweeders invited me to be a teacher at their retreat.

Thimbleweeders at retreat

Thimbleweeders at retreat

And what fun we had!  We gathered at the primitive accommodations just as the clouds were gathering in the west.

Storms A-coming

Storms A-coming

It looked as if rain were iminent and it was much needed.  New Mexico has been in the midst of a long-term drought that has lead to severe fires, like the 2013 Thompson Ridge Fire.  There were grave fears about the aftermath.

Water roaring in Jemez River

Water roaring in Jemez River

And, then it happened — a downpour!  Water roared through the canyon, threatening to wipe out the only bridge that lead to the reclusive retreat area.  Dark brown water raged downstream.

Donna Barnitz, Suzi Campos, and  Anne Townsend posed for one last photo as we crossed over the bridge heading toward the cafeteria.

Donna Barnitz, Suzi Campos, and Anne Townsend posed for one last photo as we crossed over the bridge heading toward the cafeteria.

But the bridge held, and shortly thereafter, we were back in the classroom, working away.  My buddy, Donna Barnitz posed with Suzi Campos and Anne Townsend on the rustic bridge spanning the raging brown waters.

Working in the classroom

Working in the classroom

Laughter was everywhere despite the rising torrent outside!

Lucy Greene's Pile of Fabric

Lucy Greene’s Pile of Fabric

Lucy Greene brought a giant pile of fabric in case she had trouble making fabric selection choices.  Others brought less, but still created fun designs that they stitched up.  The storm never did wipe out the bridge and the next day delivered sunnier weather.  We finished our Goose is Loose class in style.  Check out the projects in progress below.

Sue Harris and Glenda Crowley

Sue Harris and Glenda Crowley

Sue Harris opted for a simple design and brought a pre-printed panel to which she added goose strips applied with flat piping.

Selina Farington

Selina Farington

Selina Farrington opted for a more complex design.

Mary Moya and Anne Townsend

Mary Moya and Anne Townsend

Mary Moya worked in her usual bright colors, while Anne Townsend explored pine trees.

Kathy Sublett

Kathy Sublett

Kathy Sublett opted to work on my Little House of Geese pattern so she could learn the stitching tecnhiques.

Diane Bourg

Diane Bourg

And, Diane Bourg was fascinated by the sun.

Ardith Alumbaugh

Ardith Alumbaugh

Ardith was into evergreen trees, of which there was many at this getaway in the Jemez Mountains.

Donna Barnitz and Colleen Konetzni
Donna Barnitz and Colleen Konetzni

While Donna and Colleen, the head honchos of the group, stitched up their newest project, a raffle quilt for the Farm and Ranch Association.

Overlooking Jemez Canyon

Overlooking Jemez Canyon

It’s one of my favorite place on the planet.  Although I won’t be a teacher at Thimbleweeds 2014 retreat,  I hope I still get to stop by to visit.

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On the Homefront – Thimbleweeds Homecoming Project

I love being a part of my local quilt scene.  That includes two different quilt guilds, the New Mexico Quilter’s Association and Thimbleweeds Quilters of Rio Rancho, which is where my home is located.  Perhaps because of my proximity to Thimbleweeds (2 miles away) or my relationship to my longtime friend, Donna Barnitz, who is one of their founders, this small group holds a very special place in my heart.  A long time ago, about 15 years or more, I used to publish quilting patterns.  At that time, I was known for my applique designs.  One of those patterns was called Homecoming and featured 12 blocks with houses that might be found anywhere in the U.S.

Homecoming, by Gail Garber (c) 1990

Homecoming, by Gail Garber (c) 1990

I got out of the pattern business not long after this one was published.  It was a lot of work and I wanted to be free from pattern-making to pursue new interests.  Homecoming was one of the last patterns that I produced for the general quilting marketplace.  A while back, when I was cleaning out my garage, I came across boxes, many of them, all containing the parts to this pattern.  Two choices confronted me:  1) throw them into the recycle bin, or 2) find a good home for them.  Donna volunteered to take them off my hands and drove away with her newly discovered treasure.

Fast forward to 2014 when my phone rang a couple of weeks ago and Ann Driscoll asked if I would like to attend their April meeting. They had a project to show me.  Wow!  They outdid themselves in creativity!  Check out the variations below.

Lorraine Barksdale  Quilt Blocks

Lorraine Barksdale Quilt Blocks

Lorraine created a unique feel to her blocks by adding southwestern embellishments.  Lorraine Barskdale detail

Check out the cactus and black-tailed jackrabbits, the desert cousin to the cottontail.

Colleen Konetzni quilt

Colleen Konetzni quilt

Colleen, head honcho of Thimbleweeds, is known for her beautiful hand-dyed fabrics.  She opted to use only her own hand-dyes in this rendition.

Mary Moya Quilt

Mary Moya Quilt

Mary Moya’s blocks stood out because of the bright colors she used.

Mary Moya detail

Mary Moya detail

Mary loves bright yellow and lime green.  She opted to machine applique her blocks using a zig-zag stitch.

Ann Driscoll Quilt

Ann Driscoll Quilt

Ann Driscoll viewed the design as an embroidery project.  Each block was beautifully executed with floss and handwork.

Anne Townsend Quilt

Anne Townsend Quilt

Check out the sashing on Anne Townsend’s quilt !  She told me that the block repeat in the border print didn’t quite fit, so she had to trim down the blocks to fit the sashing.

Ardith Alumbagh Quilt

Ardith Alumbagh Quilt

Ardith added several unique touches to her quilt, both in embellishments and in fabric selection.

Ardith Alumbaugh detail

Ardith Alumbaugh detail

The use of the fireworks fabric in this block literally makes it glow and reverberates with its Independence Day theme.

Ardith Alumbaugh detail

Ardith Alumbaugh detail

Aridth also added a kitty to each of her blocks, a little surprise.

Judy Aronow Quilt

Judy Aronow Quilt

But, surely one of the most elaborate quilts was the one made by Judy Aronow.  Hers was packed full of incredible ribbon embroidery and other goodies.  Check out some of Judy’s blocks!

Judy Aronow Detail

Judy Aronow Detail

It goes without saying that this block “Quilts for Sale” is far beyond what I had envisioned in my original pattern.  And, then .  . .

Judy Aronow detail

Judy Aronow detail

the tiny little flower garden is nothing short of incredible!  Wow!  I had never imagined this.  Finally,

Holly Plugge Quilt Blocks

Holly Plugge Quilt Blocks

at first, it might be easy to overlook these charming blocks by Holly Plugge, but look closely!

Holly Plugge detail

Holly Plugge detail

Each and every block featured dinosaurs!  How fun is that!

Holly Plugge detail

Holly Plugge detail

And the simple little house that I designed (the one that reminded me of the brick homes dominant in the area where I grew up – Cheyenne, WY) morphed into a castle, replete with dinosaurs!

The Homecoming Queens: Anne Townsend, Ann Driscoll, Lorraine Barksdale, Joyce Johnstone, Holly Plugge, Colleen Konetzni, Mary Moya, Judy Aronow, and Ardith Alumbaugh

The Homecoming Queens: Anne Townsend, Ann Driscoll, Lorraine Barksdale, Joyce Johnstone, Holly Plugge, Colleen Konetzni, Mary Moya, Judy Aronow, and Ardith Alumbaugh

What a creative bunch of Thimleweeders!  I never imagined all that they could do with one old pattern.  But, it was not quite over yet!

Anne Townsend and Ann Driscoll

Anne Townsend and Ann Driscoll

The two Ann(e)s had one more surprise in store for Thimbleweeds – Each participant won a prize for their creation.  It was one of the most fun mornings I could imagine,  far better than hanging out in the office!

Thank you Thimbleweeders!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tradition – Quilt Guild Style

Gail Garber's President's Quilt - Term 1986-87

Gail Garber’s President’s Quilt – Term 1986-87

It seems so long ago, 1987, when I was president of the New Mexico Quilters Association (NMQA), the only quilt guild in Albuquerque at that time.   One of the treasured traditions in this guild, as well as a possible incentive to entice one into becoming the guild president, was to make a quilt for the outgoing president to be awarded at the end of her 12 month term. Back in 1987, the guild members made blocks in colors of the president’s choosing, stitched the top together and then hand quilted as much of it as they could by the end of the year.  It was up to the recipient to finish the quilting, which I did when I was housebound during a bout of pneumonia.  The quilt above is mine and the colors are very typical of the style of the time, burgundy and blue. Many of the blocks were hand stitched, and the quilt is entirely hand quilted.  It is one of my most treasured quilts complete with the embroidered names of all who contributed blocks.

NMQA President Aurora Cordova - Term 1980

NMQA President Aurora Cordova – Term 1980

NMQA was formed in 1974 and they celebrated their 40th birthday in March 2014.  As part of the celebration, they contacted all the former presidents  they could find and asked us to bring our first quilt (see previous post), our president’s quilt, and our most recent quilt.  Above is the quilt created for Aurora Cordova, president in 1980, the oldest of the quilts shown that day.  Aurora’s daughter brought the quilt that had been bequeathed to her by her late mom.

1986 (partial year) Virginia Walton

1986  Virginia Walton

From there, we jumped to 1986 when Virginia Walton was only able to serve a portion of her term.  Then it was my term for the remainder of that year and the next.  Then, there was a big gap in years represented, during a time that I was more focused on my work and not active in the guild.  Thus, for most of the remainder of the quilts, I don’t know the years represented.  It is fascinating to see the evolution of color and design as the quilts evolve over time.

June Romero

June Romero

June Romero’s quilt blocks are done in pastels with a lovely applique outer border, another very large quilt.

June Romero Second Term

June Romero Second Term

June clearly loved the guild and stayed for two consecutive terms.  I love this one in shades of red with blocks set next to one another with no sashing.  Check out the second star block from the left on the bottom row.

Fran Blisga

Fran Plisga

The contrast between the bright blues and yellows, make this quilt of Fran’s a stunner!

Emily Smith

Emily Smith

President Emily Smith collected enough nature themed blocks to make two smaller quilts.  Very cool idea!

Barbara Geary

Barbara Gary

Barbara Gary chose lighthouses and mariner’s compass blocks.  Barbara had a more recent term and set her own blocks together.  She then added the large lighthouse and compass in the upper right hand corner.   Beautiful and dramatic!

Neida Naumberg

Neida Naumberg

Neida Naumberg chose a hot air balloon theme.  Albuquerque is home to the International Balloon Fiesta, the most photographed event in the world.  One of the other traditions of NMQA is to make a hot air balloon themed raffle quilt each year that features replicas of actual flying hot air balloons.  They sell tickets at the Balloon Fiesta morning and night for the 10 days of the event. It is the guild’s main fundraiser.

Vicki Harms

Vicki Harms

Vicki’s quilt has a strong Amish feel due to the color selection, even though many of the blocks bear little resemblance to traditional Amish styles.

2013, Afton Warrick

2013, Afton Warrick

Last came the president’s quilt of Afton Warrick who served in 2013.  Notice the Modern Quilt look of this beauty!!! It was a great day to reminisce, visit with friends I haven’t seen in a long time, look at quilts, and be among my sister quilters in Albuquerque.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, there are several guilds in the area, ranging from only a few members to a few hundred.

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My First Quilt – 1980

Just last week, I was invited to visit the New Mexico Quilter’s Association for their monthly meeting.  They were honoring past presidents and asked each of us to bring our President’s Quilt, our First Quilt, and our most recent quilt.  I got to thinking that, for all of us who quilt, that first quilt made such a difference in our lives, something we all share.  For, if there had never been a first, you and I would not belong to the sisterhood of quilt makers! Here’s my story!

My First Quilt - 1980

My First Quilt – 1980

Wow – 1980!  That’s 34 years ago!  It seems like yesterday.  My friends had talked me into taking a quilting class, saying I would love it.  They were right!!!  I immediately fell in love with this art form, even though, way back in the dark ages of quilting there were SO MANY RULES!  Rules like, “If is isn’t made by hand, then it really isn’t a quilt”.  Machine stitching of any sort was shunned.  I labored along with my hand needle, painstakingly stitching each block by hand.  Kay Pike was my first teacher, at a quilt shop called the Quilt Works, which is still in business today.

First Log Cabin

First Log Cabin

The shop provided kits for the class, so students didn’t have to purchase anything, not even the backing or batting.  Notice the humble fabrics of that day – small calico prints with muslin for the background.  I remember being befuddled by the Log Cabin block, wondering how I would be able to draft it into any size other than the 9″ blocks in our sampler quilts.

My First Applique - Tulip

My First Applique – Tulip

When it came to that first applique block, I was less than impressed by the technique, and determined to never ever do that again!  It went like this:

1.   We cut our templates out from thick plastic
2.   We stretched our fabric pieces over sandpaper and traced around the shape with a standard lead pencil
3.   We basted all the edges under
4.  We pinned the piece in place
5.   Finally, we got to stitch it down
6.  Then, we removed the bating stitches and we were done — with that piece only!

The curves weren’t very curvey and the points were anything but! I didn’t see much potential applique in my future.

Grandmother's Flower Garden

Grandmother’s Flower Garden

Then there was this block, Grandmother’s Flower Garden.  Let it suffice to know that I have NEVER made one of these again!

By 1984, I took another applique class where I learned the needle-turn technique, falling in love with this method!  For many years, I was known for my southwestern applique quilts.  I was hungry to learn more about my newest passion and took all the classes I could!  I dabbled, I learned, I loved!

A while back, my quilt collection was appraised for insurance values.  Imagine my surprise then the humble quilt above was valued at $1,500!  I querried the appraiser, only to be told that all first quilts are highly valued because they are irreplaceable.  In each of our lives, there can only be one first quilt.

Now, 34 years later, I remain just as passionate about quiltmaking, but my quilts are very different.  Below is my most recent quilt, finished with Kris Vierra in 2013.

Climate Change (c) 2013 by Gail Garber and Kris Vierra

Climate Change (c) 2013 by Gail Garber and Kris Vierra

I am sharing this story as part of the Quilting Daily Blog It to Win It Contest.

Blog It to Win It

 If I am fortunate enough to win, I’d select:

T1436 – Color Magnet

14QM11-EP8282 – Grouped – Digital Surface Design

T1987 – Fabric Surface Design

13QM28-EP7571 Grouped – Dynamic Fabric Art Portraits

13qm29 – EP7572 Grouped – Quilting Arts Workshop – Art Quilt Design from Photo to Threadwork

 

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