Gail Garber Designs
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Artwork by Others

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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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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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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Quilting in the Desert – Sensational Stars

Sensational – an apt description of this class of versatile students!  The smaller class size enabled me to spend more time with each student, getting to know them and to help them with their designs.

Sensational Stars Class

Sensational Stars Class

Although in the above image, only the star centers appear, the two-day class also included circular border design.  We’ll have to wait to see those when the images of the finished designs show up at a later date!

Bea

Bea

My favorite part of class is doing introductions at the beginning because this is where we get to know each other and begin to develop friendships that just might last a lifetime.  When Bea (no last name given) introduced herself, she said she was OLD.  How old we will never know, but this lady taught others a thing or two and was one of the first students to finish all the sections of her original design star!

Bea's Star

Bea’s Star

I just love the way her fabrics almost appear to be floating atop the mottled background fabric.

Carol Ann Emerson Quilt, Surprise, AZ

Carol Ann Emerson Quilt, Surprise, AZ

Shortly after class began, Carol Ann Emerson showed another quilt that she had stitched. It was a beauty and the detail work incredible.

Carol Ann Emerson, Surprise, AZ

Carol Ann Emerson, Surprise, AZ

Carol was the only student that elected to make an asymmetrical star design.  Although simple to draw, these designs create sewing challenges.  I can’t wait to see what she does with the rest of her design.

Beautiful!  (Sadly I didn't get the name of this student)

Susan Lock, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The color in Susan’s star simply radiates!

Alexandra Bykova,Novosibirsk, Russia

Alexandra Bykova,Novosibirsk, Russia

It was my great pleasure to meet Alexandra Bykova, who traveled all the way from Siberia, Russia to attend Quilting in the Desert.  Leksie, as she prefers to be called, is bringing quilting to the women of Novosibirk.  She blogs about her work on SkinnyBear Hugs Quilts.  It hope to entice her to write a guest blog here about her quilts and the women of her area.

Leksie and yours truly

Leksie and yours truly

It was a grand time!  Now, I have a whole bunch of new friends in quilting, some from near and others from very far away!

 

 

 

 

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Art in Phoenix – Chihuly After Dark

This is the second post about my visit to the Desert Botanical Gardens to view Chihuly in the Garden.  My new friends and I arrived in the late afternoon after we all finished class for the day.  The daylight exhibit was impressive with the glasswork mirroring and complementing the desert vegetation.  But , but once the sun set, it became positively magical.  Below are my favorites from the series of images that I took that night.  I hope you enjoy them.

Chihuly Starburst

Chihuly Starburst

Chihuly Starburst Detail

Chihuly Starburst Detail

Globe Among Spires

Globe Among Spires

Garden Globes

Garden Globes

Hidden Among the Vegetation

Hidden Among the Vegetation

Fireball on the Mountain

Fireball on the Mountain

Fireball Detail

Fireball Detail

Spires Among Cacti

Spires Among Cacti

Spires Among Prickly Pear

Spires Among Prickly Pear

Glass Yuccas at the entrance to the park.

Glass Yuccas at the entrance to the park.

Desert at Dark

Desert at Dark

What a treat it was to see Chihuly in the Garden.  It will remain in Phoenix through May 11.  It’s definitely worth the visit!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Art in Phoenix – Chihuly at the Desert Botanical Gardens

Chihuly Boat

Chihuly Boat

In Scottsdale this week teaching for Quilting in the Desert, one of my first tasks after checking into my hotel room was to check out art exhibits.  Chihuly was emblazoned on the cover of more than one travel mags stacked in my room.  So, it made perfect sense that my second task was finding a way to see the exhibit at the Desert Botanical Gardens.  The goal became a reality yesterday afternoon, when my friend Gale Wrigley said she’d be happy to drive.  In the end, we were a party of five, driven by fellow teacher, Sue Rasmussen.  Oh, my!  What an experience!  Any comments that I might make could not possibly do his artwork justice, so I present them without comment below.  All photographs were taken by me.

About Chihuly

About Chihuly

Chihuly and Saguaro

Chihuly and Saguaro

Chihuly 9

 

 

Chihuly 7

Chihuly 8

Chihuly 2

Chihuly 5

Chihuly 4

Chihuly 6

Chihuly 10

Simply amazing!  Our visit spanned the twilight hour so we were fortunate to view the exhibit during the last light or day as well as after dark!  The exhibit runs through May at the Desert Botanical Gardens.  If you are in Phoenix, be sure to make time to take in this incredible exhibit.

Stay tuned for Chihuly At Night, and also tales from Quilt Classes in the Desert!

 

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Back at Home: Rainbow Crow Class at Bernina Sewing Center

Oh, what fun we have at our local Bernina dealer, Ann Silva’s Bernina Sewing Center!  I taught a two session class on my Rainbow Crow design on two consecutive Saturdays.  Nine wonderful students joined me, including an 80-year-old quilter!

Rainbow Crow by Gail Garber

Rainbow Crow by Gail Garber

Each was given the pattern, and instruction covered freezer paper foundation piecing and curved seam piecing.  At the end of the first class, students went home with some pieces completed and a lot of homework.  I worried that it might be too much homework!  But . . .

Rainbow Crow in Progress

Rainbow Crow in Progress

almost everyone returned with all their foundations stitched, or mostly stitched.  So we focused on curved seam assembly in the second class.  And, look what happened!

Rainbow Crow Class at Bernina Sewing Center, Albuquerque

Rainbow Crow Class at Bernina Sewing Center, Albuquerque

Didn’t they do great?  Check out the Rainbow Crow on the left.  She used this wonderful feather print that made her piece just sing, like the beautiful voice of the Rainbow Crow.  I have proposed to teach this class at International Quilt Festival in 2014.  I hope they select this class for me to teach!  My students are the BEST!!!!

 

 

 

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International Quilt Festival – Old Friends and New

One of the best things about International Quilt Festival is seeing my friends from afar, and meeting new friends. Some of my best friends in the whole world are people I met through quilting – a very special breed!

Diane Anderson, from Auckland, New Zealand, and Yours Truly

Diane Anderson, from Auckland, New Zealand, and Yours Truly

This year, I was thrilled to be able to spend time with Diane Anderson, and her husband Terry!  The first night of the big show, (and the night that I forgot to make a reservation at the Hilton, we all crowded into Janice Schindeler and Harry Crofton‘s lovely home in medical center area, where we all enjoyed a light repast and some bubbly!

Anna Sexton and her Little House of Geese, from class.

Anna Sexton and her Little House of Geese, from class.

Monday morning it was off to class, where I taught Little House of Geese, one of my favorite classes, and one in which students are very successful.  However, no one every finished the project in the six hour class.  But, the next day, Anna Sexton walked into my next class to show off her completed quilt top!  Beautiful, Anna!

Later in the week, I taught a design class in which students work through a series of exercises and then move on to their own designs.  I was surprised and delighted when

Kathleen Johnson's design, Alexander, ND

High Gear by Kathleen Johnson, Alexander, ND

Kathleen Johnson, of Alexander, ND brought this terrific quilt into class.  Kathleen had taken my class several years ago when I taught at the North Dakota Quilting Retreat.  She not only completed the quilt, but added many nice touches and lovely machine quilting!

Detail of Kathleen Johnson Quilt

Detail of Kathleen Johnson Quilt

I just love how she used asymmetry to create motion in the circular stars.

Oasis on the Green

Oasis on the Green

Where once a parking lot stood, the City of Houston has created an oasis of green across the street from the George Brown Convention Center.  The gardens were in full regalia during this year’s show and it was a peaceful respite from the goings on inside the center.  What could be more beautiful than

Bird of Paradise Flowers

Bird of Paradise Flowers

a whole bank of bird of paradise flowers!  I hope that I will see some of you there in 2014, the 40th anniversary of International Quilt Festival.

 

 

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