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Gail's Quilting Blog

Meet Janice Schindeler and Her Quilts

As I have said before, I meet the most wonderful people in quilting classes, many of whom turn out to be my best friends — friends that last a lifetime!  Such was the case when I met Janice Schindeler, at Quilting Adventures in Kerrville, TX, back in 2009.  It was clear from the beginning that Janice marched to her own drummer!  And, I surely did love the tune that she tapped out.  Below is her quilt from that five day workshop.

Harry's Heart Quilt

Harry’s Heart Quilt

Her use of colors, brilliant and bright, the strong contrast created by the blacks and whites, and the whimsy of the design all work together in Harry’s Heart Quilt.

Janice's Design in Progress

Janice’s Design in Progress

Janice confided that that she was making this quilt for her husband, Harry Crofton, to whom she had been married for more than 30 years.  She obviously still remained quite enamored of this fellow!  Above, she poses with her design in progress.  Over the years, Janice and I have kept in touch.  I’ve been to visit her and she’s been out to New Mexico.  I also get to see her every year at International Quilt Festival in Houston, as she lives not far from downtown.

Cupcake

Cupcake

Cupcake was her next endeavor, created for her daughter Elle, who is the light of Janice’s life!  What could be more fitting?   In her non-quilting life, Janice is a master chef, who sells her creations at Grower’s Markets in Houston.  She also is a wicked gardener!

Janice at the Grower's Market

Janice at the Grower’s Market

Next up for Janice was the Hamburger Quilt.  She had been talking about making a three-dimensional quilt for a while and I was thrilled to see it on display at International Quilt Festival.

The Burger Quilt

The Burger Quilt

Always with a keen eye to detail, the top of the burger bun is sprinkled with over-sized sesame seeds!  Delicious!

Burger Bun

Burger Bun

Most recently, Janice revisited the heart shape that had been at the beginning of our friendship!  Here’s her latest venture into sentimentality.  She hasn’t yet told me the story behind this little gem!  I can’t wait to hear it.

The Newest Heart Quilt by Janice Schindeler

The Newest Heart Quilt by Janice Schindeler

As always, Janice’s quilts are unique and colorful and they always make a statement.  Lest you think that she only designs quilts in this style, she also is well known for her story quilts.  I am so glad that we met those many years ago and look forward to our future adventures.

 

 

 

 

 

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Art Socks – Dyeing with Procion Dyes

You may not know this, but back in the 1980’s my quilting friends and I were bitten by the hand-dyeing bug.  We delved into the world of Procion dyes, learning to create perfect step gradation in all the colors of the rainbow.  For a while, I even sold my fabrics.  But then, a lot of others also began selling commercially, places like Cherrywood Fabrics and Starr Design Fabrics.  Only they did it full time and had large scale productions.  I LOVED their products.  In fact, I was so enamored that I stopped dyeing altogether now that I had a steady stream of whatever color I wanted!   But, as with all things wonderful, the desire returned — not to make fabric, but to make other fun stuff, like socks!

Bamboo Art Socks

Bamboo Art Socks

My friend and compatriot who-has-a-strong-influence-on-me, Donna Barnitz, and I began by dyeing art socks for a group home that housed 8 women several years ago. Two of those women happened to be my mom, and the woman she cared for, Ruth.  We decided that the perfect gift for someone who lives only in a room and is never going to get better was to make socks – Lots ‘O Socks!  We made sock-filled goody bags for all the residents and the staff!  It was a marvelous Christmas!  Since then, both of us continue to dye socks.  Here’s how we do it!

Procion Dyes

Procion Dyes

Bamboo Socks

Bamboo Socks

Soda Ash Fixative

Soda Ash Fixative

Start by visiting our favorite supplier, Dharma Trading Company.  They offer increasing discounts on their merchandise depending on the amount purchased.  So gather up your friends and place a big order – read BIG discount!

It only takes a teeny bit of dye for intense color, so just order the smallest quantities of dye!  One jar will last a long time.  While you’re ordering, you might just want to purchase one of their little squirt bottle assortments.  When filled with different colors of dye, the bottles allow nearly exact placement of the dyes, almost like painting.

Dharma also offers a wide variety of other dyeables, ranging from clothing to cotton socks and infant apparel.  I like bamboo socks because they are so soft, take the dyes well, and feel luxuriant next to my feet.

It’s like being a kid on Christmas day when your order arrives.   Unpack all your materials and launder them in hot soapy water.

Donna unpacks the socks!

Donna unpacks the socks!

Next mix up a five gallon bucket filled with soda ash fixative and warm water, following the directions on the package.  Place your dyeables into this solution and let them sit for an hour or more, even overnight.  Take the socks out, squeeze out the mixture, and then hang to dry.  Your socks can be stored this way until you are ready to dye.  At my house, they sometimes stay like this for a long time.

Next, mix the procion dyes with warm water, wearing a dust mask so you don’t inhale the powdery dyes.  Experiment with the intensity you prefer, remembering that the laundered wearables will be paler than they first appear when the dye is applied.

You’ll also need a large flattish tub, like those under the bed storage containers, lots of kitchen garbage bags and a tile floor that can be wiped up.  I use my small 4′ x 30″ folding table and cover it with the plastic bags.  Lay the socks out so they don’t touch.

First Dip!

First Dip!

One way to make the process go faster is to leave some of the dye in a small plastic tub (like a butter tub), then fold the socks in half and dip the top and toe in the solution.

Squirt Bottle Dyeing

Squirt Bottle Dyeing

Using the desired color, squirt the dye onto the sock.  The dyes will bleed into each other making some fascinating shading.  Try putting turquoise next to yellow and see what happens.  Once you have finished dyeing all the socks on the upward-facing side, turn them over and repeat on the other side.

Socks in Progress

Socks in Progress

Keep working from the two ends toward the middle, trying not to let the newly added colors drip on the already dyed areas.

Almost done now!

Almost done now!

Be sure to keep the plastic covering wiped up so the socks don’t accidentally pick up any spilled drops.  Once both sides of the socks are completed,

Resting Art Socks

Resting Art Socks

lay them next to one another so that only like colors touch.  Place a layer of plastic between each layer of socks.  Cover them all and let them rest at room temperature for 24 hours.  Once that is done, your socks are ready to rinse.  I begin by rinsing them in the sink with warm water.  I do this by hand, several times, until the water runs mostly clear.  Toss them into the washing machine and launder on hot with regular laundry soap.  Your art socks are ready to wear.  If you add a pretty handmade label, they also make a nice gift, or a special item to sell at a craft show.  I sell Art Socks on my website too, and they sell very well to students when I teach classes.

Kid's Art Socks

Kid’s Art Socks

I’m linking up with:

Sew Cute Tuesday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunset Birds at Kilauea Lighthouse Wildlife Sanctuary, by Edna Ray

I meet the most interesting and talented people in my classes.  Edna Ray, of Kauai, Hawaii, took my design class at Quilting in the Desert in Scottsdale, AZ this past January.  And, she has already finished her quilt.

Sunset Birds Kilauea Lighthouse Wildlife Sanctuary  by Edna Ray © 2014

Sunset Birds Kilauea Lighthouse Wildlife Sanctuary by Edna Ray © 2014

Edna writes  “At long last I finished the quilt I started in your class:  Sunset Birds — Kilauea Lighthouse Wildlife Sanctuary.  I truly enjoyed your class and learned a lot both during the class and later as I proceeded to assemble all the parts and remembered some of your cautions which I didn’t internalize during the class.  I would have saved myself some grief if I had done a better job of editing my design before proceeding to sew.   I am pleased with the result and am entering it our local island quilt show later this month.”

When Edna sent the above image, I was really impressed with how she captured the ‘feel’ of the image that was her inspiration.  I asked her to send me that photo too, so you could see the inspiration image for yourself.

Kiluea Lighthouse

Kiluea Lighthouse

Edna, I do hope our paths cross again!  Beautiful quilt!

 

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Upcoming Multi-Day Design Workshop at the National Quilt Museum


Garber-Header

Have you taken one of my single day classes, learned the stitching techniques and been intrigued by the designing aspects?  Want to know more?  If so, this is the class for you, held at the remarkable facilities of theNational Quilt Museum in beautiful Paducah, Kentucky, right in the heart of Quilt Country.

Garber-Wesbite

 

Join me for a three day workshop where each student will learn to create their own original designed quilt, complete with free-form geese creating motion and adding light. It’s simple and easy with a ruler and compass, even for those who hate math. This class is designed for the student who desires an in-depth experience: exploring all aspects of crating innovative geometric quilts. Students will learn design, color selection, use of contrast and scale, and stitching techniques that include freezer paper foundation piecing.

Join me in Paducah!  We will have a grand time!  Contact Rebecca Glasby or me for additional information about the class.

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Shades of the Southwest – Call for Entries

The American Quilter’s Society, QuiltWeek® Show will take place in Albuquerque in January 2015!  I am so excited that I, and Donna Barnitz will be curating an exhibit of Southwestern Quilts, “Shades of the Southwest”, for the show!  The dates of the Show are January 14-17, 2015!  Watch for more details on the AQS website and in magazines and other media.

Storyteller, by Gail Garber 1984.  Design by Fran Soika, Novelty, OH

Storyteller, by Gail Garber 1984. Design by Fran Soika, Novelty, OH

Part of the reason I am so excited is because some of my earliest published quilts were southwestern applique designs.  I learned the needle turn method of hand applique back in 1984 from Fran Soika, when she was the guest speaker and workshop teacher at my quilt guild, the New Mexico Quilter’s Association.  In addition to needle-turn, Fran taught us to use one strand of embroidery floss and an outline stitch to outline all the detail in a design, a technique that I use to this day.  Learning this method opened a whole new world of design possibilities for me, and I ran with it.  It was this quilt that lead me into the quilting world of teaching and was the technique that I primarily taught up until about 1990.

We seek a wide variety of quilts that interpret this theme.  There are no size, style, or age requirements for this exhibit which will include 30 quilts to be displayed at this show.  Additionally, there is no entry fee.

Emily, by Gail Garber, © 1990

Emily, by Gail Garber,
© 1990

Do you have a quilt that interprets this theme?   If not, do you have an idea you’ve just been itching to create?  Entries are due no later than November 1, 2014.  No more than two entries will be accepted from one individual. Quilters, whose quilts are accepted for the exhibit will be notified by November 10, 2014.

For complete entry information and entry form, please click the link below.

Shades of the Southwest Exhibit Announcement and Entry Form

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Flickr Group

Hooray! There is now a Flickr group dedicated to sharing your work created from my classes, patterns, and books. It is always a pleasure to see the work of my students. If you have a completed quilt or work-in-progress you’d like to share, join the Gail Garber Student Work Flickr group and upload your photographs. The online community is full of inspiration. Won’t you join us?

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Blog Reader

Bloglovin’ is a blog reader that notifies you when any of your favorite blogs adds a new post. Instead of cluttering your e-mail inbox with multiple blog subscriptions, it consolidates new posts in an organized central location. As a bonus, it keeps track of which posts you have viewed, allows you to mark your favorites, and simplifies sharing posts on social media.  You can search for blogs by name or category. Word has it, they are going to add a sewing category soon! If you already have a Bloglovin’ account, you can follow my blog by clicking the button below.  If not, give it a try. You’ll be glad you did.

Follow on Bloglovin

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Quilting with Kids – Bosque Farms School

Last spring, I was honored to be invited to teach a quilting class for the “Art Day” at Bosque Farms Elementary School.  It was organized by music teacher, Sherilyn Welton, the music teacher for that school.  Each year, they hold a special day to explore various themes, and this year, it was the ARTS.  I would be teaching back to back classes for all grade levels, all day long.  Now, for standard classroom teaching, this is a normal thing.  However, for a quilting instructor, it presented a whole new challenge.  What would be suitable for kindergarteners and fifth graders?  I opted for two different projects with overlap for the youngest students.  Fortunately, I got to practice on the older students first.

Fun with Strips!

Fun with Strips!

My pattern was the traditional Log Cabin Block.  I printed enough papers so each student would have their own block.  In advance of the class, I pre-cut strips that fit exactly into the various log shapes, in light and dark values (with a little help from my friend, Michele Hymel – okay a LOT of help!).  Then, on each table of the classroom, I placed one set of strips.  For instance, all the 1″ x 3″ strips were on one table, and all the 1″ x 5″ strips were on another table.  Students had to travel among the tables to collect all  the strips they would need to complete the blocks.

Gathering Strips

Gathering Strips

Before the students got started, I showed them a traditional Log Cabin quilt and we talked about how each block needed light values on one side and dark values on the other side to make it work.  The individual log cabin papers also were labeled with ‘light’ and ‘dark’ in the appropriate strips to help students remember.  Each table also had enough glue sticks so no sharing was needed.

Student with completed Log Cabin block

Student with completed Log Cabin block

It didn’t take long at all for the older students to catch on!  It was really interesting how individual  students perceived color.  Some, like this girl, worked hard to try to collect the same light and dark fabrics in the various strip sizes.

Students with random lights and dark in her quilt block.

Students with random lights and dark in her quilt block

This young lady kept her lights and darks on the appropriate side, but opted for wide variation in the individual strips.

Student with completed block.

Student with completed block.

Interestingly, the colors selected by the male students were markedly different than the pastels often chosen by the females.

More student blocks

More student blocks

The room was buzzing as students mingled among the various tables.  We had only about 30 minutes to complete the project before they would move on to the next class.

Building Blocks

Building Blocks

As the blocks were completed, students worked to arrange them into various designs.

Completed blocks, group 1

Completed blocks, group 1

Then, they posed for the photo of their group project, although each student took home their own block.

Bosque Farms School Quilting Art Class

Bosque Farms School Quilting Art Class

Depending on the size of the class (student-wise), some block sets were larger than others.  And, some students opted for total creativity and did not adhere to the suggested color arrangements.  Check out the boy in the center of the photo.
What worked really well for students in grades 3-5, was not at all successful for the youngest students.  Fortunately, I had anticipated this and had another plan for them.  Using greatly thinned down acrylic paints, we made a painted hand-stamped piece of fabric with a hand print from each student. While one student came up, put on the paint shirt and got their hand stamped, the others were given the same log cabin blocks but asked only to make a design of their own choosing on the paper using the strips leftover from the other classes. They had great fun with this and came up with some very interesting designs – but I was so busy with hand stamping that I didn’t get any photos of that.

Painted Hand Print Quilt Top

Painted Hand Print Quilt Top

What a fun day I had.  I hope the students enjoyed it too.  Boy, was I pooped at the end of the day!  Thanks, Sherilyn, for making this all come together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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