Gail Garber Designs
gail@gailgarber.com
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Gail's Quilting Blog

Quilts by Gail

Three Days of Heaven

Were fast drawing to and end.

Maret Anderson and Gail

Maret Anderson and Gail

Many, many thanks to Maret Anderson, owner of Seams Like Home in Anchorage, Alaska for organizing this retreat and making our wonderful Alaska adventure possible.  It was simply the best!  The students thought so too.

Jyl and her Quilt Top

Jyl and her Quilt Top

Jyl had opted to bring a pre-printed panel and design fillers to coordinate.  She completely finished her quilt top!

Flying Colors at Stillpoint Retreat 2013

Flying Colors at Stillpoint Retreat 2013

It was simply the best time ever!  If you have a craving for an Alaskan adventure, I highly recommend this retreat.  The next one is scheduled for June 2014.  Read all about it at Seams Like Home.  And, thanks again Maret! All that was left to do was to pack up and head on down the road, first via the Danny J, then the gorgeous drive back to Anchorage.

Alaska still held a few more adventures.  So, stayed tuned . . .

 

 

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Stitching at Stillpoint

Debby Stitches

By days two and three of class, students were making good progress.  Several of the designs included themes based on the aurora borealis, or the northern lights.  Here Debby paper foundation pieces one of the sections of her design.

Wall Art that reflects the mountain nearby

Wall Art that reflects the mountain nearby

It is impossible to not be inspired at this incredible facility, where every small detail has been attended to, like:

Sea Star Art

Sea Star Art

this strategically placed, dried sea star nestled among the roots of the tree, and:

Peace Rock

Peace Rock

this small design in the sand beneath the wall art.  Art is everywhere, strategically positioned to surprise the viewer and inspire all who pass through the doors of Stillpoint Lodge.

Janis and Debby

Janis and Debby

Janis and Debby were table partners, good friends enjoying the class and inspired by our beautiful surroundings.

Kathy completed a good strip

Kathy completed a goose strip

 

Kathy was one of the first to complete a goose strip.

Janis and her Tiny Tree

Janis and her Tiny Tree

Soon afterward, Janis completed the tiny tree in her design.

Juvenile Bald Eagle

Juvenile Bald Eagle

And, all the while, this juvenile Bald Eagle watched rom outside, but also scanned the panorama spread before him/her, a place he called home.

Michele

Michele

Michele, when not taking photos, spent time working on hand applique for the quilt she is making for her grandson, Henry.

The Man in the Tree

The Man in the Tree

While the Man in the tree looked on through the window.

Stay tuned . . .

 

 

 

 

 

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Flying Colors at Stillpoint Lodge

Class Demo

Flying Colors – Day one

There’s nothing I love more than teaching a multi-day class.  In Flying Colors, we begin by learning about drawing tools that take the ‘scare’ out of that blank piece of paper.  This class was sponsored by Maret Anderson at Seams Like Home in Anchorage, Alaska.  Maret offers this as an annual retreat with a different teacher each year.  It is a delightful getaway from the hubbub of our urban lives.

Drawing Demo

Drawing Demo

Using easy techniques, students move on to working on their original designs.  The facilities at Stillpoint Lodge are spacious and the views spectacular.

Drawing Day 1

Drawing Day 1

It is impossible not to be inspired here.  Students spend the first day working on their drawings.

Everyone Draws

Everyone Draws

The designs ranged from simple to complex.  Some brought ideas and images with them to class, while others had a blank palette waiting to be filled.

Dining Hall with Melanie Janis and Linda

Dining Hall with Melanie Janis and Linda

Delicious gourmet meals arrived three times daily, featuring the local seafood and greens grown in the Stillpoint garden.  Our every comfort was attended to so we could focus on our projects.

Stay tuned . . .

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Welcome to Stillpoint Lodge

Stillpoint Lodge

Stillpoint Lodge

Stillpoint Lodge would be home to 20 of us, Michele and me from Albuqueque, and 18 others from the Anchorage area who would be taking my Flying Colors multi-day workshop (more on that in the next post).  The lodge is open only during the summer months and hosts a variety of retreats.

Da Crab

Da Crab

An artists’ pastoral retreat, the grounds boast hidden sculptures and other art, like this little crab that shouted a silent welcome.

Bird Art

Bird Art

This little pair of birds was strategically positioned alongside one of the walking paths.

Tree roots

Tree roots

Even the tree roots appeared to be artistically arranged.

View from the Deck

View from the Deck

My favorite view from the lodge was the one from the main room, and my classroom, as well as the deck.  It looks out onto Katchemak Bay State Park.  There are glaciers behind them thar mountains!

Pipe Art

Pipe Art

I was shown to my very own little cabin where this pipe art marked the turn off to my path.

Hermitage View

Hermitage View

My cabin was called the Hermitage, a tiny little place with the tiniest kitchen ever.  Talk about a well-planned cabin with an incredible view!  Not a morsel of space was wasted, but it was comfortable and homey!

Shell Wreath

Shell Wreath

A little shell wreath graced the wall next to my cabin door!  What a restful retreat from the world and a wonderful classroom environment!

Next up:  Class begins!

 

 

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Having Fun in Homer

Finally, the tiny port of Homer appeared as we crested a small hill.  Spread before us was the magificent expanse of Katchemak Bay @ Cook Inlet.  Even with the gray, gloomy skies, it was impressive.

Katchemak Bay Overlook

Katchemak Bay Overlook

But by now, it was getting on toward dinner time and we had been driving and sightseeing for a long time.  So, we adjourned to the local drinkery, the Salty Dawg Saloon a longtime fixture in Homer.

Maret and Michele at the Salty Dawg Saloon

Maret and Michele at the Salty Dawg Saloon

The Salty Dawg is a “must” when you are in Homer, not only for it’s eclectic decor, but also for the local culture.  (can you tell in the above image who is a native Alaksan and who is the tourist?)

Bumper Stickers at the Salty Dawg

Bumper Stickers at the Salty Dawg

The back of the bar is festooned with bumper stickers.  My favorite was the one on the top that proclaimed, “Grow your own Dope — Plant a Man!”.  Down in the lower left corner, another asks, “Where is the Hell is PIE TOWN, NM?”  Well, I can tell you the answer to that question, but that is for another blog post.

Ceiling Decor

Ceiling Decor

Every square centimeter is adorned with some memento from afar, from dollar bills to bras.  The Salty Dawg is definitely unique.  The rooms are filled with large tables and benches so bar patrons can mingle, and mingle we did!

Gail and Michele share an Alaskan Amber

Gail and Michele share an Alaskan Amber

Can you see the other folks at our table?  Well, turns out that they are the local fisherman ( and woman)! We learned a lot about the conditions of the seas, how the catch is declining, how the hooks are set so that it reduces accidental catch of seabirds. I was really happy to hear that!!!! The brew was pretty tasty too!  In fact,  brought some home in my suitcase — successfully too.  Sadly, it is already all gone!

Homer Harbor

Homer Harbor

The next morning was cool and cloudy.  We had some time to kill while waiting for the boat to take us over to Halibut Cove, so we opted for a little beach walk.

Black-legged Kittiwake Nest

Black-legged Kittiwake Nest

Black-legged Kittiwakes are the most common gull in the bay, overwhelmingly so!  There are thousands!  And, it seemed as if all of them had decided to build their nests, condo-style beneath the large pier that extended out into the bay.  It was the perfect nesting  place from a gull’s point of view, a nice roof overhead and protected from unexpected attack by the hordes of Bald Eagles that also reside there.

Driftwood and rocks

Driftwood and Beach Rocks

As we lazily walked the stony shores of Katchemak Bay, my mind wandered to photographic opportunities.  So it was that I was looking down at a natural arrangement of driftwood and beach rocks, when Maret and Michele exclaimed in unison, “OMG!  That eagle just plucked that gull out of the water!”  And, I missed it entirely!  That will teach me to be looking in the wrong direction!

Breakfast for an Eagle

Breakfast for an Eagle

I looked up in time to watch the Bald Eagle carrying the already dead gull to it’s favorite dining platform!  I am pretty sure the kittiwake never knew what hit him/her.  And, after all, eagles have to eat too.  Although the lighting is not good, if you look carefull, you may see the feathers wafting down from the eagle’s bill.

Next up — onward to roadless, Alaska!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Another Tutti Frutti!

Wow! I was just down in Truth or Consequences, NM, in the southern part of the state, teaching for the Winter Quilters of New Mexico. I’ve already received a photo from Suzie Jones who took the class. She’s finished piecing the top to Tutti Frutti!

Suzie Jones - Tutti Frutti

Suzie writes me – “I finished my quilt. I love it! I also want to thank you for a great class. I learned so much.”

Thanks for sharing this wonderful image of your quilt top Suzie. I love it when students finish a project so quickly.

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Aurora

I just love to receive photos from former students who have completed a quilt they started in one of my classes or made a quilt  from one of my patterns.  I recently received this photo of a gorgeous quilt that was made by Carol Ann Johnston of Boise Idaho (Moosecarolquilts.etsy.com).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Carol writes:  “I made a quilt from your pattern in American Quilter, Jan 2010, called Cartwheel Constellation. I would like your permission to enter it into an AQS contest this year.  I enjoy paper piecing and was so happy to find your pattern.  I’ll be glad to assign you design credit.  I call my version Aurora. It is much like your original,but with different colors in the center. You can see it on my Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosecarolquilts/4841247312/in/photostream/   Aurora measures 51 inches in diameter.  This is the most ribbon winning quilt I’ve produced to date. It won blue ribbons at both the Boise Basin Quilter’s show and at the Northwest Quilting Expo in Portland, Oregon.”

Carol, your quilt is just beautiful and I enjoyed reading your story on Etsy.  Carol became a “compulsive” quilter (doesn’t that describe most of us!) after surviving breast cancer in 2002.  She opened her Etsy shop after her house became full of finished and unfinished quilts.

Obviously Carol is a very talented quilter.  Thank you so much for sharing your version of my design with us.

And the name of this quilt is very appropriate.  I leave a week from Sunday for a teaching trip to Alaska.  Its probably the wrong time of year to see the Aurora, but I’m very excited about the trip.  You’ll be hearing about it soon!

 

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Love Field Art Program – Chapter 2

Another of the pieces that I particularly enjoyed during my layover at Love Field was the airbrushed tempered glass piece by Martin Donlin.  This expansive piece consisted of all the windows in one section of hallway leading back to the security checkpoint.

Lt. Moss Lee Love

Lt. Moss Lee Love

This section commemorates Lt. Moss Lee Love, and early aviator, for whom Love Field is named.  The entire piece is titled, “Blueprint of Flight” and was completed in 2013.  The opaque windows are lit from behind by the natural daylight.  I can only imagine how this would appear after dark.  The work was done by Martin Donlin, an architectural glass artist.

I am Not Alone

I am Not Alone

The glass panes flow from one ethereal subject to another, seamlessly except for the window frames.  I wish that I had the time to read more of the words and better absorb the underlying meaning of the pieces.

Flight

Flight

This airbrushed tempered glass has been painted with vitreous ceramic enamels to present the imagery on the 79 foot long glass panels. This collaged images feature portrait of Moss Lee Love in the center of the composition. The glass panels also include indigenous plant and bird life, a historic map of downtown Dallas with modern day flight paths.

Tiempo

Tiempo

Martin Donlin has completed glass projects in the USA, Europe, and the UK. He trained from 1984-1987 with the Architectural Glass in Swansea in the United Kingdom

Entryway

Entryway

This piece, like the work of Brower Hatcher, is simply stunning.  I hope that I can return soon and be lucky enough to transfer flights in one of the other concourses so I can take in more of the Love Field Art Program.

 

 

 

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