Gail Garber Designs
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O Canada – The Real Deal

I’ve been looking  forward to this trip for a long time!  I found myself in the Ottawa, Ontario airport where my buddy, Ruth Oblinski should have been waiting for me.  But, in her place, as I walked through the doors of customs was none other than Paul Leger!  He’s my buddy that I met back at Quilt Festival in Houston many years ago!  What a surprise!  The two had cooked up the switcheroo plan and I fell easily into their plot!  I got to spend a lovely hour with Paul as he drove me south to Perth, Ontario, home of Ruth!  I was here to teach workshops, and Perth was my first stop where I taught the two-day Goose is Loose Workshop!

Blue Jay by Cathy Price, Perth, Ontario

Blue Jay by Cathy Price, Perth, Ontario

I love it when students bring show and tell to class.  This abstract art piece by Cathy Price features a Blue Jay.  The detail and quilting in this piece are incredible.

Valetta Hudson, Ottawa, Ontario

Valetta Hudson, Ottawa, Ontario

Valetta Hudson drove down from Ottawa to take the class.  Prior to that, she made “Little House of Geese from my pattern published in American Quilter Magazine in early 2013.

Drawing Class Sample

Drawing Class Sample (Image by Ruth Oblinski)

The Goose is Loose class begins with a series of class exercises where students learn to draft the various fillers that are used in their designs.  Working from a workbook, this sample is not meant to be pieced, but rather a sampler to take home to refer to later.

Class Demo (image by Ruth Oblinski)

Class Demo (image by Ruth Oblinski)

Being older myself and not always able to remember a whole bunch of new things presented all in a series, I teach “things of three”.  That is, I demonstrate three things, then they return to their tables to draw those three things.  And so it goes until we work our way through the workbook.

Class Design (Image by ruth Oblinski)

Class Design (Image by Ruth Oblinski)

After lunch, everyone begins working on their original design.  This is a simple design that I drew for a demonstration.

Valetta Hudson works on her project (image by Ruth Oblisnki)

Valetta Hudson works on her project (image by Ruth Oblisnki)

On day two, students learn freezer paper foundation piecing.  Above, Valetta Hudson works on her design that features this gorgeous piece of  fabric featuring an oriental woman in glorious colors.

Goose is Loose Class - Perth, Ontario

Goose is Loose Class – Perth, Ontario

The Goose is Loose Class is all about design and although students learn much, they don’t always have a lot to show at at the end of second day.  It is a two day class!  I hope to see you in class one day!  What fun I had!  Stay tuned for more from O Canada!

 

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Quilt in Progress

It’s a gloomy sort of day here in Albuquerque, perfect for sewing!  Actually, we had a major downpour yesterday that was heaven sent and much appreciated!

I just finished putting on the outer, plain border on my newest design.  Here’s where I need your help, or at least your opinion!

Quilt in Progress

Quilt in Progress

It currently measures 66″ x 75″.  Do you think it needs one more border to be complete?  If so, what would you recommend as the outermost border?

Thanks for any suggestions.

I’m linking up with:

 

Delineate Your Dwelling

 

 

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O Canada – or – Girl’s Weekend At the Cabin

It was a little thing, really, that set the wheels in motion for my May obsession!  I was putting together a Canada themed gift basket for the Hawks Aloft silent auction at our 20th Anniversary Party.  My basket, however, was a little on the sparse side and I thought it needed some spiffing up to help it fetch a good price.  A little quick and easy quilt might be just the thing.  I could use the Canadian Maple Leaf Logo, simplify it and I’d be all set — a quilt in a day was foremost in my thoughts.

Enter my good friend, Amanda Ruden, to whom I was telling my idea.  Mandy said, “I have just the thing — A Maple Leaf Pattern you can use.

Maple Leaf Quilt from France

Maple Leaf Quilt from France

We had already made plans to spend the weekend at my cabin in the Jemez Mountains that last weekend in April.  I gathered all my red and white fabrics together, filled with the anticipation of the new addition to my gift basket.  We met there on Friday morning, just Mandy and me at first.  It was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for our weekend.  The quilt would be just the think to get done quickly while we enjoyed watching the birds at the feeders on the deck rail, the good friends of our quilt group,  great food and beverages.

Dawn over Redondo Peak

Dawn over Redondo Peak

Saturday morning, the colors at dawn were glorious, a lovely way to begin the day.  I took a look at the pattern which was meant to be assembled via precise cutting of pieces – NOT MY THING!  So, I re-drafted it so it could be freezer paper foundation pieced.

Snow at the Cabin

Snow at the Cabin

Soon, however, the fickle Weather Gods had other plans.  No worries though!  Sewing is an indoor sort of activity.  I stitched with a vengeance!  I watched out the window.  Mama Abert’s Squirrel arrived to help herself to the sunflower seeds.

Abert's Squirrel

Abert’s Squirrel, image by Amanda Ruden

And that’s when it really began to snow – sideways.  I began to worry that it would pile up.  Still, I stitched. By Saturday evening, I had completed 9 blocks and made the little sawtooth edge around the middle block.  I stitched them together.  ARGH!  It was VERY LITTLE!   And, it was very crowded, lots of pieces in a very small space.  DOUBLE ARGH!  I began to rip.  I would have to think of something else.  It was then that I realized the pattern had sashing between the blocks.  DUH!

O Canada in Progress

O Canada in Progress

By Sunday morning, with my head and attitude screwed on straight once again, I started over.  This time, I added sashing with my little picnic ants as the corner sets.  (That fabric was covering the tables at the Arizona Quilter’s Guild Show a year earlier – they let me gather up the remnants after my lecture!) Now, O Canada was larger, but still not large enough for my idea!  It would have to go home with me and grow into its final size there.

Mandy holding her quilt!

Mandy holding her quilt!

In the meantime, Mandy had been madly stitching away too!  She was piecing a quilt top  that was a new design of Nancy Rink for Nancy’s new fabric line with Marcus Fabrics.  She was under pressure to finish that top fast so Elizabeth Dawson, also in our group, would have time to quilt it. Here’s a link to her blog where talks about the quilt and our efforts. I believe they finished that quilt in under three weeks.  Simply amazing!

Looking North from the Cabin

Looking North from the Cabin

Typical of most April storms, this one was short-lived and left just a dusting of snow to appreciate as the final gasp of winter.  I headed home to Albuquerque for more sewing.

Sawtooth Border

Sawtooth Border

One of the things I love to do most of all is to make scrappy quilts.  O Canada holds just about every single red and white fabric in my stash.  Another beauty of designing and piecing with paper foundations is that you can adjust the sizes to make the border fit.  Above, the 1.5″ squares are not all what they seem.  Some are ever so slightly smaller to make it fit the completed inner quilt top. Then, it was time to begin quilting the little charmer.  And quilt I did, every night after work and every spare moment.

O Canada 2014

O Canada 2014

I finished stitching on Friday afternoon, May 16 about 5 hours before our party and the Silent Auction. Would my basket fetch a good bid?

Hawks Aloft Birthday Cake 2014

Hawks Aloft Birthday Cake 2014

The Anniversary Gala was a grand affair with about 150 attendees.  Mandy was there with her husband, Edward too!  We laughed about that O Canada Quilt and the time it took to make it!  After dinner, we served our Great Horned Owl Mama and Baby Birthday Cake and then it was Silent Auction time.

In the end, my O Canada Basket brought in the highest bid, and the winner was . . .

 

 

 

MANDY!

I’m linking up with:

Fort Worth Fabric Studio Blog


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Giveaway Day Winner

 

 

Thank you to everyone who visited during Giveaway Day.

MayGiveawayDay

Up for grabs was my Southwest Critters pattern.

sw critters

Mr. Random Number Generator has made his selection, and the winner is…

#21.

Michelle Folkerts said, “I am a new follower of yours on Bloglovin.”

Michelle, please e-mail me your mailing address, so I can send you your pattern.


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Giveaway Day

Welcome familiar friends and new visitors who are participating in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day.

MayGiveawayDay

Up for grabs is my pattern for Southwest Critters. It measures 45” x 45”.  Five whimsical southwestern appliqué designs are set together for a unique lap or baby quilt. 

sw crittersTo be entered, please leave a comment below telling me your favorite critter. For an additional entry, add another comment telling me how you follow my blog. Feel free to click the button below if you’d like to see my posts via Bloglovin’. This contest is open to those in the U.S. A winner will be selected on May 16.

Follow on Bloglovin
Good luck to you.

Cheers,

Gail

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Thimbleweeds on Retreat

Each year the Thimbleweed Quilters hold a weekend-long retreat at Hummingbird Music Camp in the Jemez Mountains.  That’s the camp where my girls attended every summer until they were just too old and it is less than two miles from my cabin.  Last fall, Thimbleweeders invited me to be a teacher at their retreat.

Thimbleweeders at retreat

Thimbleweeders at retreat

And what fun we had!  We gathered at the primitive accommodations just as the clouds were gathering in the west.

Storms A-coming

Storms A-coming

It looked as if rain were iminent and it was much needed.  New Mexico has been in the midst of a long-term drought that has lead to severe fires, like the 2013 Thompson Ridge Fire.  There were grave fears about the aftermath.

Water roaring in Jemez River

Water roaring in Jemez River

And, then it happened — a downpour!  Water roared through the canyon, threatening to wipe out the only bridge that lead to the reclusive retreat area.  Dark brown water raged downstream.

Donna Barnitz, Suzi Campos, and  Anne Townsend posed for one last photo as we crossed over the bridge heading toward the cafeteria.

Donna Barnitz, Suzi Campos, and Anne Townsend posed for one last photo as we crossed over the bridge heading toward the cafeteria.

But the bridge held, and shortly thereafter, we were back in the classroom, working away.  My buddy, Donna Barnitz posed with Suzi Campos and Anne Townsend on the rustic bridge spanning the raging brown waters.

Working in the classroom

Working in the classroom

Laughter was everywhere despite the rising torrent outside!

Lucy Greene's Pile of Fabric

Lucy Greene’s Pile of Fabric

Lucy Greene brought a giant pile of fabric in case she had trouble making fabric selection choices.  Others brought less, but still created fun designs that they stitched up.  The storm never did wipe out the bridge and the next day delivered sunnier weather.  We finished our Goose is Loose class in style.  Check out the projects in progress below.

Sue Harris and Glenda Crowley

Sue Harris and Glenda Crowley

Sue Harris opted for a simple design and brought a pre-printed panel to which she added goose strips applied with flat piping.

Selina Farington

Selina Farington

Selina Farrington opted for a more complex design.

Mary Moya and Anne Townsend

Mary Moya and Anne Townsend

Mary Moya worked in her usual bright colors, while Anne Townsend explored pine trees.

Kathy Sublett

Kathy Sublett

Kathy Sublett opted to work on my Little House of Geese pattern so she could learn the stitching tecnhiques.

Diane Bourg

Diane Bourg

And, Diane Bourg was fascinated by the sun.

Ardith Alumbaugh

Ardith Alumbaugh

Ardith was into evergreen trees, of which there was many at this getaway in the Jemez Mountains.

Donna Barnitz and Colleen Konetzni
Donna Barnitz and Colleen Konetzni

While Donna and Colleen, the head honchos of the group, stitched up their newest project, a raffle quilt for the Farm and Ranch Association.

Overlooking Jemez Canyon

Overlooking Jemez Canyon

It’s one of my favorite place on the planet.  Although I won’t be a teacher at Thimbleweeds 2014 retreat,  I hope I still get to stop by to visit.

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On the Homefront – Thimbleweeds Homecoming Project

I love being a part of my local quilt scene.  That includes two different quilt guilds, the New Mexico Quilter’s Association and Thimbleweeds Quilters of Rio Rancho, which is where my home is located.  Perhaps because of my proximity to Thimbleweeds (2 miles away) or my relationship to my longtime friend, Donna Barnitz, who is one of their founders, this small group holds a very special place in my heart.  A long time ago, about 15 years or more, I used to publish quilting patterns.  At that time, I was known for my applique designs.  One of those patterns was called Homecoming and featured 12 blocks with houses that might be found anywhere in the U.S.

Homecoming, by Gail Garber (c) 1990

Homecoming, by Gail Garber (c) 1990

I got out of the pattern business not long after this one was published.  It was a lot of work and I wanted to be free from pattern-making to pursue new interests.  Homecoming was one of the last patterns that I produced for the general quilting marketplace.  A while back, when I was cleaning out my garage, I came across boxes, many of them, all containing the parts to this pattern.  Two choices confronted me:  1) throw them into the recycle bin, or 2) find a good home for them.  Donna volunteered to take them off my hands and drove away with her newly discovered treasure.

Fast forward to 2014 when my phone rang a couple of weeks ago and Ann Driscoll asked if I would like to attend their April meeting. They had a project to show me.  Wow!  They outdid themselves in creativity!  Check out the variations below.

Lorraine Barksdale  Quilt Blocks

Lorraine Barksdale Quilt Blocks

Lorraine created a unique feel to her blocks by adding southwestern embellishments.  Lorraine Barskdale detail

Check out the cactus and black-tailed jackrabbits, the desert cousin to the cottontail.

Colleen Konetzni quilt

Colleen Konetzni quilt

Colleen, head honcho of Thimbleweeds, is known for her beautiful hand-dyed fabrics.  She opted to use only her own hand-dyes in this rendition.

Mary Moya Quilt

Mary Moya Quilt

Mary Moya’s blocks stood out because of the bright colors she used.

Mary Moya detail

Mary Moya detail

Mary loves bright yellow and lime green.  She opted to machine applique her blocks using a zig-zag stitch.

Ann Driscoll Quilt

Ann Driscoll Quilt

Ann Driscoll viewed the design as an embroidery project.  Each block was beautifully executed with floss and handwork.

Anne Townsend Quilt

Anne Townsend Quilt

Check out the sashing on Anne Townsend’s quilt !  She told me that the block repeat in the border print didn’t quite fit, so she had to trim down the blocks to fit the sashing.

Ardith Alumbagh Quilt

Ardith Alumbagh Quilt

Ardith added several unique touches to her quilt, both in embellishments and in fabric selection.

Ardith Alumbaugh detail

Ardith Alumbaugh detail

The use of the fireworks fabric in this block literally makes it glow and reverberates with its Independence Day theme.

Ardith Alumbaugh detail

Ardith Alumbaugh detail

Aridth also added a kitty to each of her blocks, a little surprise.

Judy Aronow Quilt

Judy Aronow Quilt

But, surely one of the most elaborate quilts was the one made by Judy Aronow.  Hers was packed full of incredible ribbon embroidery and other goodies.  Check out some of Judy’s blocks!

Judy Aronow Detail

Judy Aronow Detail

It goes without saying that this block “Quilts for Sale” is far beyond what I had envisioned in my original pattern.  And, then .  . .

Judy Aronow detail

Judy Aronow detail

the tiny little flower garden is nothing short of incredible!  Wow!  I had never imagined this.  Finally,

Holly Plugge Quilt Blocks

Holly Plugge Quilt Blocks

at first, it might be easy to overlook these charming blocks by Holly Plugge, but look closely!

Holly Plugge detail

Holly Plugge detail

Each and every block featured dinosaurs!  How fun is that!

Holly Plugge detail

Holly Plugge detail

And the simple little house that I designed (the one that reminded me of the brick homes dominant in the area where I grew up – Cheyenne, WY) morphed into a castle, replete with dinosaurs!

The Homecoming Queens: Anne Townsend, Ann Driscoll, Lorraine Barksdale, Joyce Johnstone, Holly Plugge, Colleen Konetzni, Mary Moya, Judy Aronow, and Ardith Alumbaugh

The Homecoming Queens: Anne Townsend, Ann Driscoll, Lorraine Barksdale, Joyce Johnstone, Holly Plugge, Colleen Konetzni, Mary Moya, Judy Aronow, and Ardith Alumbaugh

What a creative bunch of Thimleweeders!  I never imagined all that they could do with one old pattern.  But, it was not quite over yet!

Anne Townsend and Ann Driscoll

Anne Townsend and Ann Driscoll

The two Ann(e)s had one more surprise in store for Thimbleweeds – Each participant won a prize for their creation.  It was one of the most fun mornings I could imagine,  far better than hanging out in the office!

Thank you Thimbleweeders!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tradition – Quilt Guild Style

Gail Garber's President's Quilt - Term 1986-87

Gail Garber’s President’s Quilt – Term 1986-87

It seems so long ago, 1987, when I was president of the New Mexico Quilters Association (NMQA), the only quilt guild in Albuquerque at that time.   One of the treasured traditions in this guild, as well as a possible incentive to entice one into becoming the guild president, was to make a quilt for the outgoing president to be awarded at the end of her 12 month term. Back in 1987, the guild members made blocks in colors of the president’s choosing, stitched the top together and then hand quilted as much of it as they could by the end of the year.  It was up to the recipient to finish the quilting, which I did when I was housebound during a bout of pneumonia.  The quilt above is mine and the colors are very typical of the style of the time, burgundy and blue. Many of the blocks were hand stitched, and the quilt is entirely hand quilted.  It is one of my most treasured quilts complete with the embroidered names of all who contributed blocks.

NMQA President Aurora Cordova - Term 1980

NMQA President Aurora Cordova – Term 1980

NMQA was formed in 1974 and they celebrated their 40th birthday in March 2014.  As part of the celebration, they contacted all the former presidents  they could find and asked us to bring our first quilt (see previous post), our president’s quilt, and our most recent quilt.  Above is the quilt created for Aurora Cordova, president in 1980, the oldest of the quilts shown that day.  Aurora’s daughter brought the quilt that had been bequeathed to her by her late mom.

1986 (partial year) Virginia Walton

1986  Virginia Walton

From there, we jumped to 1986 when Virginia Walton was only able to serve a portion of her term.  Then it was my term for the remainder of that year and the next.  Then, there was a big gap in years represented, during a time that I was more focused on my work and not active in the guild.  Thus, for most of the remainder of the quilts, I don’t know the years represented.  It is fascinating to see the evolution of color and design as the quilts evolve over time.

June Romero

June Romero

June Romero’s quilt blocks are done in pastels with a lovely applique outer border, another very large quilt.

June Romero Second Term

June Romero Second Term

June clearly loved the guild and stayed for two consecutive terms.  I love this one in shades of red with blocks set next to one another with no sashing.  Check out the second star block from the left on the bottom row.

Fran Blisga

Fran Plisga

The contrast between the bright blues and yellows, make this quilt of Fran’s a stunner!

Emily Smith

Emily Smith

President Emily Smith collected enough nature themed blocks to make two smaller quilts.  Very cool idea!

Barbara Geary

Barbara Gary

Barbara Gary chose lighthouses and mariner’s compass blocks.  Barbara had a more recent term and set her own blocks together.  She then added the large lighthouse and compass in the upper right hand corner.   Beautiful and dramatic!

Neida Naumberg

Neida Naumberg

Neida Naumberg chose a hot air balloon theme.  Albuquerque is home to the International Balloon Fiesta, the most photographed event in the world.  One of the other traditions of NMQA is to make a hot air balloon themed raffle quilt each year that features replicas of actual flying hot air balloons.  They sell tickets at the Balloon Fiesta morning and night for the 10 days of the event. It is the guild’s main fundraiser.

Vicki Harms

Vicki Harms

Vicki’s quilt has a strong Amish feel due to the color selection, even though many of the blocks bear little resemblance to traditional Amish styles.

2013, Afton Warrick

2013, Afton Warrick

Last came the president’s quilt of Afton Warrick who served in 2013.  Notice the Modern Quilt look of this beauty!!! It was a great day to reminisce, visit with friends I haven’t seen in a long time, look at quilts, and be among my sister quilters in Albuquerque.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, there are several guilds in the area, ranging from only a few members to a few hundred.

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