Gail Garber Designs

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Gail's Quilting Blog

A Proud Tradition!

There we were at the end of January – off to our 20th Annual Quilt Retreat weekend to stitch up the 2013 raffle quilt, our main fundraiser for Hawks Aloft, the other passion in my life.  Fourteen worker types with various degrees of sewing prowess, 24 hours, my cabin in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico, and with unparalleled  beautiful scenery outside the windows to distract.  Think we can get it done? Every year it’s our challenge.

The sweatshop, 2013 style.

The Sweatshop


The Hawks Aloft quilt raffle is an annual tradition.  Each year, yours truly creates an original design for the Hawks Aloft quilt. Once the design is completed, it is cut and stitched by an all volunteer team at our annual winter retreat. The quilt is unveiled each year at the Monte Vista Crane Festival in March. The Hawks Aloft community works together and produces both an heirloom quality quilt and a successful fundraiser. The proceeds from the raffle benefit the Hawks Aloft educational birds by helping to defray food costs. The winning raffle quilt ticket will be drawn at the annual Hawks Aloft Holiday Party on December 13, 2013.



Ed Chappelle is our Master Cutter!


Chellye Stitches the Outer Border


Chellye Porter removes paper foundations from the outer border.


Laney was the champion lounging dog!


Debby Caffrey

Debbie Prescott Caffrey works on the quilt center.


Laurie Marnell

Laurie Marnell was a first timer at the retreat. We were thrilled to have her expert help.


Carolyn Sanborn, a.k.a. Sami, works on the quilt center.


Quilt middle almost done.


Sharing a laugh or two over afternoon snacks! — with Sami Sanborn, Mary Chappelle, Cynthia Figueroa-McInteer, Anita Marsh McSorley, Steve Elkins, Laurie Marnell, and Chellye Porter at the cabin in the Jemez Mountains.


Rhianna and Olivia and Sami

Rhianna and Olivia were the youngest participants. Sami works hard in the background.


Ed and Steve, the champion paper rippers!


Gabby held down the furniture while we worked.


Finished at 7 pm


Did I say that we finished at 7 p.m. on Saturday!  Here’s the proof! — with Sami Sanborn, Chellye Porter, Anita Marsh McSorley, Cynthia Figueroa-McInteer, Mary Chappelle and Lauri Marnell.  I’m pretty sure the clock in the background tells accurate time . . .


And, here’s the official photo of the top, taken by Steve Elkins! Thanks to all who participated in the 2013 Quilt Retreat. It’s our 20th raffle quilt! I was hoping to show the beautiful quilting by Kris Vierra,  of Lincoln, NE, but it is TOO windy out there today to take a photo!  Dang!  Stay tuned for the final photo and information on how to buy tickets!!

Many thanks to all who helped before, during and after the retreat:  Donna Barnitz for pre-sewing and testing the pattern pieces, and Michele Hymel for binding the quilt and attaching the sleeve, Kris Vierra for machine quilting, and Ann Silva’s Bernina Sewing Center for loaning sewing machines for the retreat.   Retreat Participants were Ruth Burstrom, Debbie Caffrey, Ed Chappelle, Mary Chappelle, Steve Elkins, Laurie Marnell, Cynthia Figueroa-McInteer, Anita McSorley, Liz Roberts, Chellye Porter, Rhianna Roberts, Sam Sanborn,and Olivia Velasquez,

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