Gail Garber Designs
gail@gailgarber.com
http://GailGarber.com/

Logo: Gail Garber Designs

Gail's Quilting Blog

Quilt Shows

AQS Chattanooga – The Tentmakers of Cairo

I had heard about the remarkable work of the Tentmakers of Cairo, men who ply the needle so expertly and with such great speed that they create a huge body of hand appliqued quilts unique to their region.  Sadly, their work is not highly appreciated in their own country, but thanks to Jenny Bowker, Bonnie Browning and the American Quilters Society (AQS), word about their art is spreading.  AQS also has committed to establishing a long-term market for these quilts in the United States. It was my first stop at the show.

Stitch Like an Egyptian

Stitch Like an Egyptian

I began photographing the wide variety of quilts, all various designs in hand applique.

Egypt 2

 

This large quilt caught my eye immediately and it also was positioned in the front of the exhibit.  I also saw the empty bench in the middle of the display where Tarek Abdelhay was plying his needle.  But, he was on his lunch break, which is precisely the only time that I could visit.  So, I  continued photographing.

Egypt 6

Some of the quilts were whimsical, like this one, and sizes ranged from quite small to bed size.  Prices ranged from $100 – $2,000 for the quilts, a bargain in my opinion.

Egypt 9

Among my favorites were the incredible Arabic calligraphy quilts.

Egypt 3

Some were so detailed it boggled my mind!  Each was more beautiful than the last.  But, my lunch hour was coming to a close, and I had to return to class.  Darn!  I planned to be back as soon as class ended.  So . . .

Tarek Abdelhay

Tarek Abdelhay

A little after 4 pm, there he was!  Tarek Abdelhay, one of the many appllique artists from Cairo, was there and I have never in my life seen anyone stitch so fast and so accurately.  It was just as amazing as promised.  And, he didn’t even use a thimble.  I watched for a long time, gaining an even greater appreciation for the work in the display.  I viewed the exhibit again, this time with awe.

The next few quilts follow without my commentary – as no words can adequately portray the beauty of  each.

Egypt 7

Egypt 10

Egypt 8

 

Egypt 5

Egypt 4

Such beauty!  I bought the book about their work (it is available online from the American Quilters Society.  One of the quilts came home with me too.  Can you guess which one?

2 comments - Add your comment!

Quilt Canada – Goose is Loose

Yup, I’m home now!  What a grand adventure I had in Ontario!  The quilters, conference, and scenery were magnificent.  I could not turn my attention back to all things New Mexico, though, without finishing the Canada story – O Canada, How I Love Thee!  But first, the class:

Drawing

Drawing

Day one began like all of my design classes with a series of exercises.  Then students moved on to drawing their own designs.

Choosing Fabrics

Choosing Fabrics

Once satisfied with a design, colors and fabrics are selected for the portion of the quilt that the student chooses to begin working on.

Cutting the Fabric

Cutting the Fabric

Cutting the fabric comes next, after a short demo about how to determine what sizes to cut individual pieces for freezer paper foundation piecing.

Freezer Paper Foundation Piecing - Dashing Sunrays

Freezer Paper Foundation Piecing – Dashing Sunrays

The next step is to use Freezer Paper Foundation Piecing to stitch the individual filler strips.  The border above is called Dashing Sunrays.

10000 Pyramids

10000 Pyramids

Above is the 10,000 Pyramids border, my absolute all time favorite.

Judith Messenger, North York, Ontario

Judith Messenger, North York, Ontario

And, above, already stitched to a background piece is the filler strip called Mountains and Valleys, another of my favorites and very popular in class.

Fran Sayles, Calgary, Alberta and her design

Fran Sayles, Calgary, Alberta and her design

By the end of day two, some students, like Fran Sayles, have accomplished major portions of their designs.  This one is going to be a beauty!  Do you recognize the top border in Fran’s quilt as the 10,000 pyramids border shown above?

Goose is Loose Class - Quilt Canada 2014

Goose is Loose Class – Quilt Canada 2014

In the end, we all had a marvelous time!  I can’t wait to see where these talented quilters go with their new skills!  Thank you all for being such lovely students!

 

 

Add your comment!

Quilt Canada – In the Beginning

Don't Worry - Be Happy by Marianne Wiltse, Calgary, Alberta

Don’t Worry – Be Happy by Marianne Wiltse, Calgary, Alberta

What a thrill it was to be included as a faculty member of Quilt Canada, their national show.  Hosted by the Canadian Quilter’s Association (CQA), it features some amazing quilts in several different exhibits.  The quilt above, “Don’t Worry – Be Happy” was created by Marianne Wiltse and it was her first entry into the juried show. It is published here with her permission.  Sadly, the rules of the juried show preclude cameras and the images on the DVD  which can be purchased cannot be used except for personal use.  So, I can’t show you any of the other beautiful quilts, but you can see the winners on the CQA website.  In upcoming posts, I will show some of the other exhibits that can be photographed.

Marianne Wiltse, Calgary, Alberta

Marianne Wiltse, Calgary, Alberta

Marianne hails from Calgary, one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  She and her mom were both students in my two-day Goose is Loose Class. What creativity they have!

Luana Rubin, owner of E-Quilter

Luana Rubin, owner of E-Quilter

Luana Rubin, owner of E-Quilter, one of the coolest online quilt shops ever, and I drove down to Niagara Falls for dinner.  We supped at Four Brother’s Cucina a charming spot where the pasta is homemade daily. Family owned and operated since 1964, it was a good choice.  Then, we headed back to Brock University, host for Quilt Canada 2014.   It was show and tell night.

Birgti Schuller, Riegelsberg, Germany

Birgit Schuller, Riegelsberg, Germany

Fellow teacher, Birgit Schuller, showed the incredible quilted dance dress she had designed and stitched.   She and her husband like to do ballroom dance and other types of dance at home in Riegelsberg

Birgit Twirls

Birgit Twirls

and she even did a little twirl to show off the skirt of the ensemble. I took a lot of photos during show and tell but was off to the side so everything was photographed at an angle and I was unable to get the names of the makers.  I’ve included just a few here.

CGA Show and Tell

CGA Show and Tell

CQA Show and Tell

CQA Show and Tell

CQA Show and Tell

CQA Show and Tell

I also brought the Hawks Aloft raffle quilt for Show and Tell so I could share the story of our quilt-in-a-day quilt retreat.  Afterwards. several ladies came up to examine our handiwork.  What a great start to a terrific show.

Hawks Aloft 2014 Raffle Quilt

Hawks Aloft 2014 Raffle Quilt

Stay tuned  for more . . .

 

 

2 comments - Add your comment!

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

Add your comment!

Quilting in the Desert – Flying Colors

Quilting in the Desert at Cottonwoods Resort, Scottsdale, AZ

Quilting in the Desert at Cottonwoods Resort, Scottsdale, AZ

This was my first year to teach at Quilting in the Desert, owned and operated by Ginny and Lyn Goodbar.  What a treat it was to stay and teach in the warm sunshine of Arizona in the winter!  And, what a thrill it was to be able to teach multi-day workshops and meet students who had traveled from near and far to take the class, Flying Colors.

Drawing

Drawing

Like many of my classes, every student designed their own project.  We always begin by drawing, using a workbook to master the various free-form shapes before moving on to original design.

Earth in Progress

Earth in Progress

Geri Willems of Apache Junction, AZ, arrived with her already completed circle that was to be Earth in a cosmic view of our planet.  Once the drawings were complete, we turned to stitching.

Gail's Little Sweatshop!

Gail’s Little Sweatshop!

This is when the fun really begins as the patterns and colors start to emerge!

Debbie Cavillon and Carol Hesse

Debbie Cavillon and Carol Hesse

It was a double thrill to had the mother-daughter duo in class, Carol Hesse from Annandale, MN and her daughter Debbie, who hails from Aix-les-Bains, France!

Debbie Cavillon, Aix-les-Bains, France

Debbie Cavillon, Aix-les-Bains, France

Both of their designs were very different.  Above, Debbie poses with her design.  She had never before done freezer paper foundation piecing!

Sylvie Poulin, Val-D'Or, Quebec, Canada and yours truly

Sylvie Poulin, Val-D’Or, Quebec, Canada and yours truly

Sylvie surprised me with a gift of Pure Maple Syrup, a specialty of Quebec.  All the directions are written in French but she also gave me a good recipe for candied pecans, which will be one of my offerings for today’s SuperBowl Party!  Thanks Sylvie!

Sylvie Poulin

Sylvie Poulin

As an artist whose primary medium is stained glass, Sylvie arrived in class with her design already drawn.  The challenge for her, which she overcame brilliantly was using the far more accommodating fabric than the hard-as-nails glass.

Goose on the Loose

Goose on the Loose

As students worked, I took photographs of various parts and pieces in progress.

Beth Gilhuly, Kelso WA

Beth Gilhuly, Kelso WA

I can’t wait to see how this design turns out when it is complete.  Beth’s drawing includes piecework and hand applique of the Superstition Mountains.

Marilyn Lynch, Redwood City, CA

Marilyn Lynch, Redwood City, CA

Marilyn’s design includes the Golden Gate Bridge.  It will be very interesting to see how she combines the techniques to complete her design.

Jennifer Holt, Bossier City, LA

Jennifer Holt, Bossier City, LA

Above are two of the parts from Jennifer’s design.  The sun is particularly effective with the strip pieced center that combines many different fabrics.

Maggie Kingsbury, Bishop, CA

Maggie Kingsbury, Bishop, CA

Two students opted to use one of the quilts in my book, Flying Colors, for inspiration, although each drew her own interpretation.  Above is Maggie Kingsbury’s which features hand-dyed gradations in rainbow colors.

Pat Rotolo, Pueblo, CO

Pat Rotolo, Pueblo, CO

While Pat Rotolo’s design features commercially printed fabrics.  I think that both are equally effective and very different.

Geri Willems, Apache Junction, AZ

Geri Willems, Apache Junction, AZ

Geri Willems made good progress on Earth as viewed from the cosmos, completing major portions of her design.  I can’t wait to share this one, and all the others as they are completed in the coming years! Thanks to all 21 students in the class!  You made these days very special.

Stay tuned — I also taught the two-day Sensational Stars class, and there are ‘after-hours’ items to show as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 comment - Add your comment!

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.

 

 

Add your comment!

International Quilt Festival – New Mexico Quilts in Special Exhibits

What great representation we had from the Land of Enchantment at International Quilt Festival.  Although I tried to photograph as many New Mexico quilts as possible, I am sure that I missed some.  Great job ladies!

Adobe Row, by Michelle Jackson, Albuquerque, NM

Adobe Row, by Michelle Jackson, Albuquerque, NM

Adobe Row was juried into the Tactile Architecture exhibit.  Michelle Jackson writes, “My inspiration is always color and, in this case, using color to show the unique interaction of nature and the adobe.”

Avian Architecture, by Judith Roderick, Placitas, NM

Avian Architecture, by Judith Roderick, Placitas, NM

Judith Roderick is a very well know artist throughout our state.  Her work often features the birds that are her passion and hundreds of buttons that accent her designs.  Judith writes, “The male bowerbird clears a space on the forest floor.  He creates a large structure, a bower, or display area out of twigs, branches, sticks and grasses.  He decorates his bower in an amazing manner using his beak.  He chooses similar colored objects and carefully arranges them to decorate his area.  He chooses flowers, pebbles, moss, berries, and manmade objects, particularly if they are shiny. The drab female then comes and inspects the bower to see if he is a good enough architect and decorator to be her mate.”  This quilt was in the Tactile Architecture exhibit.

Ode to Dad, by Nora Bebee, Rio Rancho, NM.

Ode to Dad, by Nora Bebee, Rio Rancho, NM.

Also exhibited in the Tactile Architecture exhibit was Ode to Dad by Nora Bebee.  She writes, “Doors in New Mexico are not only functional, but pieces of art.  Their structure and elaborate designs fascinated me.  My father was a building contractor and I spent many hours following him on job sites, looking over blueprints, emulating his work in whatever form I could.  It only made sense to me to quilt a door.”

Watermelon Moon, by Patricia Gould , Albuquerque, NM

Watermelon Moon, by Patricia Gould , Albuquerque, NM

Patricia Gould commented that her design inspirations were the Sandhill Cranes wintering in the Rio Grande Valley and the beautiful Sandia Mountains.  She writes, “I’m entranced by the beautiful pink colors of our Sandia Mountains in the winter.  The full moon also turns pink at times.  Sandia means ‘watermelon’ in Spanish so it is easy to see how the mountain range got its name. Sandhill Cranes from Nebraska spend the winter in the Rio Grande Valley in New Mexico.”

Los Mambesis, by Jennifer Day, Santa Fe, NM

Los Mambesis, by Jennifer Day, Santa Fe, NM

Jennifer Day is a well known photographer as well as a quiltmaker.  In Los Mambesis, she writes, “This quilt is based on a photograph I took of an old man on the plaza in CubaLas Mambesis refers to the guerilla Cuban independence soldiers who fought against Spain in the Ten Years War (1868-1878).  This man would have been in his thirties in 1959 when the United States broke off relations with Cuba. Maybe his hat is a comment on international relations! He is a musician playing his instrument on the plaza for free for all to hear.  He is very happy with his craft.”

Eight Ravens, by Judith Roderick, Placitas, NM

Eight Ravens, by Judith Roderick, Placitas, NM

Another of Judith’s trademark quilts featuring birds, this time the playful raven.  She writes, “I love watching ravens flying and wheeling through the big blue New Mexico sky and sitting on telephone poles as I drive along. A friend is a wildlife rehabilitator so I have spent much time with Po, her raven.  I have sketched him repeated and taken his portait as he exhibits his particular behaviors.  In this quilt, I have shown him in many of his guises, flying, standing, squawking against a background of a southwestern landscape.”

Geology, by Lorraine Hollingsworth, Albuquerque, NM

Geology, by Lorraine Hollingsworth, Albuquerque, NM

Lorraine writes. “Geology is inspired by the many layers and colors of the New Mexico landscape, from the soaring red rocks to the rivers and meadows and all the layers in between.”

Chaco 1, by Sally Wright ,Los Angeles, CA

Chaco 1, by Sally Wright, Los Angeles, CA

Okay, so this quilt was NOT made by a New Mexico quilter, but it was inspired by a trip to New Mexico, so it deserves to be included in this post.  Chaco 1, by Sally Wright was inspired by the makers trip to the iconic Chaco Canyon.  Sally writes, “Several years ago, my husband and I visited remote, starkly beautiful and mysterious Chaco Canyon in the Four Corners area of New Mexico.  There we were, fascinated by the distinct architecture of this ancient trading and religious center in the middle of the desert where the Chacoan culture flowered between 800-1250 AD.  This quilt was made from photographs of a series of doorways in the Pueblo Bonito.”

Corona, by Betty Busby Albuquerque, NM

Corona, by Betty Busby Albuquerque, NM

And in the silent auction to benefit the International Quilt Association, I found this treasure by Betty Busby, of Albuquerque , NM.  Sadly, I wasn’t there at the end to see how much this little treasure raised for the group.

Abo Canyon, by Gail Garber, Donna Barnitz and Michele Hymel

Abo Canyon, by Gail Garber, Donna Barnitz and Michele Hymel

Lastly, there was our quilt, hanging in the exhibit, “In the American Tradittion.”  Abo Canyon Memories was inspired by my love of the Ganado Red style of Navajo Rugs typical of northern Arizona.

Thank you for joining me on a mini-tour of the quilts on exhibit at International Quilt Festival.  It was one spectacular show and I was privileged to be a part of the faculty.

See you there next year!

 

 

2 comments - Add your comment!

International Quilt Festival: IQA Competiton – New Mexico Quilts

I love New Mexico!  It’s called the Land of Enchantment for a good reason and I embrace all of those reasons.  Many times, our state is overlooked by some while others seem to be unaware that we are a state at all.  New Mexico has a thriving and talented cadre of quiltmakers statewide.  The breadth and depth of their artistic talents deserve to be showcased.  I was so proud to photograph many New Mexico made quilts at International Quilt Festival, both in the competition and also in the special exhibits.  Below are four of the quilts that appeared in the IQA competitive exhibit.

Breaking Out, by Kathy Tolbert, Santa Fe, NM

Breaking Out, by Kathy Tolbert, Santa Fe, NM

Kathy Tolbert writes, “I often use small squares in pieced quilts.  I chose to let the small squares be the focus of this design.  The quarter-inch ‘shadows’ vary in color and value as they progress downward.  Since the squares ‘break out,’ I quilted is with five unique ‘arms’ that span all three panels.”  This hung in the Innovative Pieced category.

Dragon Blossoms, by Vicki Conley, Ruidoso Downs, NM

Dragon Blossoms, by Vicki Conley, Ruidoso Downs, NM

The colors in this quilt by Vicki Conley epitomize New Mexico, from the earthen browns to the brilliant turquoises.  This was entered in the Art Abstract – Small category.  She writes, “I began this original quilt in a Caryl Fallert class, using her technique for developing designs.  When I mirrored my original sketched pattern, an abstract Art Deco-style flower emerged.  The design was pieced with gradation fabrics and enhanced with machine quilting, piping, and bobbin trapunto.”

Green River Sunset ,by Patricia Gould, Albuquerque, NMQ

Green River Sunset ,by Patricia Gould, Albuquerque, NM

Typical of the landscape of the high desert, the muted browns and greens flourish in this beautiful quilt by Patricia Gould.  She writes, “This scene is loosely based on a photo I took in Dinosaur National Monument in southwestern Colorado.”

Larry,  by Jennifer Day, Santa Fe, NM

Larry, by Jennifer Day, Santa Fe, NM

Lastly, for this particular post – but not least, Larry by Jennifer Day, won honorable mention in the Digital Imagery category.  Jennifer writes, “This is a quilt depicting my sewing machine repairman.  I caught this photograph of him as he was repairing my machine one day.  Obviously, Larry loves what he does!  I printed his image on Belgian Linen and covered his head, hands, and sewing machine 100% in 63 different colors of thread.  The background is free-motion embroidery with less than 1/4″ between stitches.”

But, wait!  There are several more New Mexico quilts to show you, all of the ones that hung in the special exhibits.  It’s worth waiting for.

 

 

 

 

Add your comment!

Page 2 of 41234