Gail Garber Designs
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Gail's Quilting Blog

Quilts by Gail

Sailing Into the Sunset

Sailing Away 2011

Sailing Away 2011

Many times I am inspired to create a quilt by a piece of beautiful fabric. That was the case with this little sailboat quilt, “Sailing Away”.  I had a beautiful piece of hand-painted fabric by Mickey Lawler of Skydyes that reminded me of a gorgeous New Mexico sunset, where there is definitely a lack of water.  Still, I was inspired to use it as a backdrop for a sailboat.  This quilt is featured as a pattern on page 38 of the March/April 2011 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine.

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Finally Finely Finished!

Round Robin 1996-2011

Round Robin 1996-2011


Nothing like finishing up a ufo!!! This quilt began life in 1996 as part of a round robin with my small group, “Designing Women”. The quilt came back to me after a year and I added the final border with an outside curvy edge. Thanks to help from my friend Donna Barnitz, we finally finished it in 2011 – just in time to enter it into the local quilt show. When I made the center star I combined hand-dyes with commercially printed fabrics, one of my favorite things to do. I still haven’t given it a name – does that mean it isn’t really finished yet?

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Howdy from Texas!

A big howdy from the friendly state of Texas where I have been teaching and lecturing in Fredericksburg (Verein’s Quilt Guild of Fredericksburg) and Kerrville (Hill Country Quilt Guild).  One of my favorite things about quilting is the sisterhood of like-minded women (and men) who make up this amazingly supportive community. Some of my best friends in the whole world are those that I met in quilt class.

The Verein’s Country Quilters make a mean raffle quilt. They don’t have tickets yet, but I left my $5 with the program chair, Kate Hunter, who promised to get them for me as soon as they are available. Simply a stunning quilt!


One of the wonderful things about Texas Quilt Guilds is that they welcome other guilds to their meetings to sell raffle tickets for their groups. I left some $$ with this group too.  Whoever wins it will be lucky indeed!


One of the highlights of my trip to Kerrville and Fredericksburg was visiting “Creations”, the local quilt shop. I had heard rumors that this was a ‘world class’ quilt shop. This is not an exaggeration. Based in an old Victorian home, each room has a different theme. The owners, Julie Milam and Kathy Thompson (above), have great stuff! I bought lots, but left a little for you. You can check out their website .


This beautiful quilt is called Galactic Migration and it was created by Holly Nelson of San Antonio, TX. Holly took my design class in 2003. She brought her finished quilt, Galactic Migration, to show and tell at the Kerrville Quilt Guild for my lecture in February 2011.

It’s been a fun trip.  Happy quilting!

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Tutti Frutti III!

I just love my newest pattern. It’s simple to make, yet looks complex. This is the third version of my Tutti Frutti quilt, so named because I like to make it with fabric in bright bubble gum colors. With each pattern iteration I’ve simplified the quilt a bit, but kept the overall impact. The focal fabric is a Laurel Burch jungle fabric, in this one I fussy cut the toucan. The inner border of flying geese uses a rainbow of 20 hand dyed fabrics from Starr Designs Fabric. Isn’t it great how the colors gradate through the color wheel!

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Hawks Aloft Raffle Quilt Retreat 2011


Here we are at the Hawks Aloft quilt retreat.

It took a team of 13 makers and three dogs 1 and 1/2 days to make the top for this year’s raffle quilt. The design is by yours truly and inspired by my new fascination with Navajo rugs. The 13 humans are Donna Barnitz, Ruth Burstrom, Debbie Caffrey, Ed & Mary Chappelle, Steve Elkins, Mike & Michele Hymel, Anita McSorley, Chellye Porter, Lizzie Roberts, and Sam Sanborn and me.


Each year we retreat to the cabin in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico for a weekend of, not relaxation, but . . .


Sweat Shop Central!


In short order, we got down to business working on the center design.


Mike and Ed are the official cutters.


Ed does double duty as a paper remover. The entire quilt is paper foundation pieced (except for the bird’s heads that were appliqued by Anita).


Steve and Lizzie make great sewing partners!


All that paper has to go somewhere!


Laney helps hold down the paper while she guards her favorite toy, a pumpkin, that she never leaves out of sight.


Debbie displays the center diamond.

We started on Friday afternoon and by late Saturday the top was stitched. So, we switched from serious sewing mode to New Mexico relaxation mode with a traditional dinner with the traditional pre-dinner drink -margaritas! It was quite the festive evening.


Sunday morning is a time for sharing stories as we sit in front of the windows, drinking coffee and watching the birds outside.


Pogo, who was attending his first quilt retreat, wasn’t so sure about all the people and all the activity, so he took to hiding in the closet.


Shoes and jackets in the mud room, outdoor wear abandoned for inside activity.


Sunday morning after coffee was set aside for a hike to the overlook where the snow was only ankle deep.


The view from the overlook of Jemez Springs. We look forward to returning for our 2012 retreat. The quilt has now gone home with Michele Hymel, who has a longarm quilting machine and a very talented quilter! We hope to finish all of it in time for the Monte Vista, CO Festival of the Cranes in mid-March. We’ll have raffle tickets very soon.

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Quadrille – 2010

Here’s the newest quilt with flying geese galore, intertwined with a colorful star. The geese were made from a rainbow pack of hand-dyed gradations by Starr Design Fabrics, and the backgrounds were hand-painted by Mickey Lawler of Skydyes. This was a fun quilt to make. Donna B and I worked on it together.

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