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Gail's Quilting Blog

Musuems

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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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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Quilting in the Desert – After Hours

A lot of what happens at a quilt event like Quilting in the Desert, happens after class has ended.  At this event, it began to get exciting before I even arrived. I had been following the exploits of former student, Gale Wrigley as she drove west, leaving her home in Florida for four months of travel.  She ran into road blocks in Texas that slooooowed her down, and for a while she worried that she might not ever move beyond those  expansive borders.  So, I commented a time or two and we began a friendly repartee about her travels.  However, not for a minute did it occur to me that Gale was en route to Scottsdale to take my class!  What a treat!

The Two Gails - Gale Wrigley and Gail Garber

The Two Gals – Gale Wrigley and Gail Garber

It was just like the reunion of two longtime friends, a natural and comfortable fit!  So, we hung out together, walking across the street for lunch with her friend, Dolores Roseveare.  They had reserved a suite with a full kitchen.  And, they invited me to dinner along with fellow teacher, Louise Smith.

Cooking in the Kitchen

Cooking in the Kitchen

I showed up at the appointed time to find Dolores and Gale in the midst of dinner preparations, with wine already set out – both red and white, which we drank in plastic hotel room cups.

Dining a la Wrigley

Dining a la Wrigley

A lovely Greek feast with couscous, feta, olives and veggies, along with a tasty salad of beets and greens hit the spot.  But the best part was the companionship as we lounged on their tiny patio renewing our friendship and getting to know Dolores and Louisa.   The next afternoon we headed off to the Desert Botanical Garden to view the Chihuly exhibit, but there was much to see at the gardens in addition to the glass exhibit.

Perfect Saguaro

Perfect Saguaro

I’ve always been intrigued by the massive saguaro cacti which grow only in the Sonoran desert.  They grow slowly and must reach ~50 years of age before they even begin to sprout arm buds.  A saturated saguaro can hold up to 200 gallons of water!  But, what I didn’t know was that

Saguaro Skeleton

Saguaro Skeleton

when the cactus dies, it leaves behind a sturdy wooden skeleton, much like the trunk of a tree.  My first exposure to this aspect happened when I checking in at the Cottonwoods Resort . . .

Saguaro Art

Saguaro Art

where a fully varnished saguaro skeleton graced the lobby of the hotel. It was for sale too, for ~$4500.  However, as much fun as it was to see this masterpiece, I was not even tempted — it was taller than the ceilings in my modest home.

I hope to be able to return to Phoenix sometime soon so I can take my time and take in the full majesty of the Desert Botanical Gardens a celebration of all things Sonoran, including

Spiral Cactus

Spiral Cactus

and

Round Button Cactus

Round Button Cactus

In fact, I’ve never seen such an amazing display of the various cacti!  But my favorite remains, the giant saguaro.

Saguaro in Desert Garden

Saguaro in Desert Garden

Bye Phoenix.  Bye Gale.  ‘Til next time!

 

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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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Welcome to Donna’s Quilt Studio

Donna's Quilt Studio

Donna’s Quilt Studio

Back in Hamilton, Marion and I made a quick stop at Donna’s Quilt Studio!   This is where we will be taking a 1/2 day class during my upcoming Quilting and Textile Tour of New Zealand.

Donna and Ashley

Donna and Ashleigh

Owned by award winning quiltmaker, Donna Ward and her daughter Ashleigh, a visit to these old friends was a treat in so many ways.  Above, Donna and Ashleigh show off the quilt they are raffling. The proceeds will go to help offset the costs of long-term rehabilitation for Libby Lehman, who suffered a stroke in April 2013.

Kiwiana Fabric

Kiwiana Fabric

I asked Donna to show off some of the Kiwiana fabric that she sells.  This fabric line features all the wonders of New Zealand in fiber, so that you can extend your memories of this great island nation.

Learn to Count

Learn to Count

There is even a panel that can be made into a Learn To Count soft book for young children.

Fantails - A New Zealand endemic

Fantails – A New Zealand endemic

The Kiwiana line of fabrics includes a wide array of designs from traditional Maori symbols to native birds.

Ashleigh, Donna, Yours truly and Merle

Ashleigh, Donna, Yours truly and Merle

Donna’s Quilt Studio is a family affair with Donna at the lead, daughter Ashleigh, and Merle, her mom!  I cannot wait to visit again in April 2014 with some of you and I can’t wait to see what Donna has in mind for our class!

Classic Car Museum

Classic Car Museum

And, for the men who will be on our tour and possibly not interested in a quilting class, the Classic Car Museum is right next door!

Car Art

Car Art

The vehicles range from this artistic alteration of a classic to the dream cars that are indoors!  It’s the perfect way for a gent to spend the morning.  I hope many of you will join me on this tour!

 

 

 

 

 

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My Place by Fibres Unlimited – Taupo Museum

My Place Exhibit Fibres Unlimited

My Place Exhibit
Fibres Unlimited

Fibres Unlimited is group that formed with the goal of encouraging each other in creativity.  Group members have very different strengths that made this project particularly rewarding.  Joan Bright, a founding member of the group, now age 91, is no longer able to stitch but has inspired several pieces by sharing her stash when she was forced to downsize.  Group members worked collaboratively over two years on this impressive exhibit, stretching their creativity as they worked together using techniques with which they were unfamiliar.

Fibres Unlimited dedicated “My Place” to the memory of Margaret Elizabeth Scott 1932-2013.  Margaret was a superb needlewoman who was generous with her knowledge.  In exhibitions, her quilts were stunning in their conception and immaculate in presentation.

The text below each of the quilts shown here are the words of their makers. 

Orakei Korako by Aletta Lamprecht and Robyn Tinkler

Orakei Korako by Aletta Lamprecht and Robyn Tinkler

Orakei Korako tells of the thermal activity present there.  It produces stunning, ever changing color schemes.

The quilts in this exhibit particularly spoke to me as they shared stories of their New Zealand, my other favorite country.  It was evident through these quilts that the women of Fibres Unlimited have great love for their country and for each other.

My Country by Barbara McQuarrie and Leigh Motion

My Country by Barbara McQuarrie and Leigh Motion

“When I was working on this piece, the London Olympic Games were on and New Zealand soldiers were being killed and injured in Afghanistan.  I felt very blessed to have been born in this country.

Forest Magic by Aletta Lamprecht and Pene Williamson

Forest Magic by Aletta Lamprecht and Pene Williamson

In Forest Magic, the roots of a tree that claws on bare rocks are supporting its magnificent tree trunk in one of the forests where I was tramping with a school group.  Piecing, discharging and quilting by Aletta Lamprecht.  Felting, hand embroidery and hand quilting by Pene Williamson.

Boat Sheds at Hot Water Beach by Leigh Motion and Aletta Lamprecht

Boat Sheds at Hot Water Beach by Leigh Motion and Aletta Lamprecht

As a child, there were many boatsheds near my place on the river.  Purpose-built, no frills and usually slightly derelict. Aletta and I often walk, run or ride past these lakeside boat sheds.

Deep in the Hills by Barbara McQuarrie

Deep in the Hills by Barbara McQuarrie

Deep in the hills of the Paparoa Range lie the bodies of twenty nine men.

On Friday 19 November 2010 at 3:45pm there was an underground explosion at the Pike River coal mine. Twenty-nine men lost their lives, and their bodies have not been recovered.

The remainder of the quilts will be featured in the next post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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37 Sketches: Small Quilt Studies by Gwen Marston

The Taupo Museum also featured an exhibit by Gwen Marston who has been quilting for three decades resulting in 440 small quilts.  Gwen says that making small pieces allows her to experiment with many more artistic and technical ideas.  She also believes that she feels that it helped her develop her own aesthetic more than anything else.  In 2010, Gwen began a new series of quilts that she calls, “Small Studies”.  Her intent was to use the ideas of “the sketch” as way to push herself into creating as many different compositions as possible without repeating herself.

Red Square II 2007

Red Square II (c) 2007

The brilliant, almost Amish colors in Gwen’s quilts makes them nearly leap off the wall.  With an irrepressible eye for graphic design, each of these intricately pieced quilts is stunning, particularly so when hanging together in the large room of the Taupo Museum.

Minimal Grid (c) 2013  Small Study # 56

Minimal Grid (c) 2013
Small Study # 56

The combination of large and small quilts with the same colors and similar shapes, also presents a powerful statement.

Medallion with Three Triangles  (c) 2012 Small Study #30

Medallion with Three Triangles (c) 2012
Small Study #30

Gwen thinks of the small quilt in the above image as her “tribal style”.  When something particularly pleases her, she immediately uses it as a study for a larger piece.  This is what happened with these two quilts.  She doesn’t try to make the larger work identical to the sketch, but uses the colors and design elements worked out in the small study sketch.

Small Studies #1, #2, and #3, (c) 2010

Small Studies #1, #2, and #3, (c) 2010

Gwen developed a strong appreciation for strong, saturated colors from looking at Amish quilt.  Each of these studies were created in 2010.  37 Sketches was a powerful exhibit of quilts reminiscent of an American style of quilting more so than those often created by New Zealanders.  It was one of the four different quilt exhibits at the Taupo Museum during Symposium 2013.

 

 

 

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