Gail Garber Designs

Logo: Gail Garber Designs

Gallery of Quilts


Tiny Geese © 2017

Designed especially for The Quilt Show, episode 2111, that features my work, along with three of the educational owls of Hawks Aloft, this was used to demonstrate how to design, freezer paper foundation piece and use curved seam piecing for assembly.  The small quilt was donated to the International Quilt Association for their silent auction at International Quilt Festival 2017.



El Proyecto Rio Grande © 2017, by Designing Women

At home, in Albuquerque, NM, I belong to a small, informal quilt group that we call Designing Women.  The group size ranges from 8 to 12, depending on attrition. Each year, we select a theme or project that expands our skill set, either in design or technique.  In 2016, we planned El Proyecto Rio Grande, with each participant creating a small quilt that speaks of their section of the mighty Rio Grande.  It was displayed at the 2017 NM Fiber Arts Fiesta, where it won 2nd place in its category.


Ute Mountain © 2017

Created for El Proyecto Rio Grande, Ute Mountain is found in the northernmost section of  New Mexico, where the Rio Grande flows from its headwaters in Colorado.  It is the northernmost quilt in this collaborative effort of Designing Women, and features the prominent volcanic cone of the same name as well as an embroidered Ferruginous Hawk.  The largest hawk in North America, these magnificent birds nest on the expansive grasslands adjacent to the Rio Grande Gorge.  The entire quilt is hand appliquéd; the Ferruginous Hawk was thread-painted using techniques learned from Nancy Prince.



Bernina Beyond Borders

BERNINA Beyond Borders

BERNINA Beyond Borders was designed especially for Bernina as part of my commitment to the Bernina National Teachers program. I used their new logo on the Swiss flag, birthplace of the company, and placed the American flag in the opposite corner. Flying Geese traverse the skies over the Atlantic Ocean, and the bright star represents the wonders that are possible with these incredible sewing computers. I swear that mine does just about everything, except maybe the laundry. It is an absolute wonder to sew on. I am so proud to be one of the Bernina National Teachers!

All of the free motion quilting was done using the Bernina Stitch Regulator (BSR) that ensures that every stitch will be the same size. There was a considerable learning curve, but I now feel that I know new tricks and techniques to make this tool a valuable asset in my quilting tool box. One of the tips that helped me considerably was to shorten the stitch length to 1.5. This enabled me to stitch tiny loops and curves that you will find within the geese.

The Bernina logo was digitized on the Bernina Designer 5 Embroidery Software by Julie Hogan, of Ann Silva’s Bernina Sewing Center in Albuquerque, and the quilt label was designed using the same software by my friend Twila Bastian. I appreciate their assistance, as well as the ongoing support from Ann Silva and my local quilting group, Designing Women.



Mariposa Mi Amigas © 2015

Inspired by my good friend, Donna Barnitz, who is one of the most creative women I know, always excited to try new techniques.  Above, we were working on filigree appliqué using UltraSuede for the butterflies (mariposas) in the center of the medallion style quilt.  It was a true collaboration in that the foundation piecing was done by Donna, Afton Warrick, and me.  It was quilted by Kris Vierra, of Lincoln, NE .  The image below shows the detail of her lovely machine quilting.

Mariposas Mi Amigas, back view


Almost Modern © 2016

Inspired by my friend, Afton Warrick, who has wholeheartedly embraced the Modern Quilt Movement.  Afton suggested that I explore the value of negative space and this is the result.  It is featured on the cover of American Quilter, January 2017, and the pattern is included in the issue.  Foundation piecing by Afton Warrick; longarm machine quilted by Kris Vierra.


Sylvia:  A Life’s Journey

My mom, Sylvia Kordus, passed away just before Thanksgiving in 2012, after suffering for 8+ years with increasingly debilitating dementia, although it was never formally diagnosed as Alzheimer’s Disease.  Her quilted journey began as a young bride, her portrait painted from a photograph taken on her wedding day. The first third of the quilt is rosy and full of joy with the brilliant colors of sunrise. The middle section is more muted. The births of her six children are represented in the spiraling row of gradating points. Although this was a happy time, it was financially difficult for my parents, not to  mention the family antics of 6 children under the age of 9. The colors in the last third are dark and stormy, for the period following my father’s death when her memory faded. She had to leave her family home and move to New Mexico to be nearer to my sister and me, leaving most of her possessions behind. Bright points remain. The red shooting star points are my joy in being able to be close to my mother in her last years but the unquilted black void of dementia represents her mind in those final years.  Mom was the rock upon which we depended as children that is memorialized in the colorful threads that are woven into our adult lives.


Big Bang

Big Bang © 1997

I call Big Bang my epiphany quilt because after designing and stitching it, I approached design in a completely different manner. I wanted to make it appear that two stars were colliding. Making the two stars was the easy part. Then, in order to create motion, I used the flying geese that have become my signature, grading the shades from light near the star, fading to dark near the outer edges. The border blinks in an out with the foreground crossing over the border in some places and disappearing behind it in others.  Freezer paper foundation pieced and quilted by Gail Garber.  Big Bang is in the collection of the National Quilt Museum.


Cosmic Parade


Cosmic Parade © 2000

Cosmic Parade represents three large stars on parade with free-form flying geese wandering among the star floats in the parade. The background is made up of larger tone-on-tone geese in grays and blues with the Pointy Dude border.  Freezer paper foundation pieced and machine quilted by Gail Garber.  Cosmic Parade is in the collection of the National Quilt Museum.


Black Hole

Black Hole © 2004

Black Hole has the illusion of radiating sunlight. Although the star was designed using concentric circles, I wanted wavy edges to the star, so I drew gently curving lines between the circles.  As I was piecing the background flying geese in shades of gray, I was incredibly bored with the monotone and made the serendipitous decision to add in a little sliver of yellow – a little Pointy Dude!  That helped to relieve my boredom and, I believe is the dominant  between the dying star in the center and the brilliant border.  Black Hole is in the collection of the state of New Mexico Art Collection.


Climate Change © 2013

A study in extremes:  warm versus cool and gently curving versus jagged edginess.  Climate change is neither gradual or calm, but can be quit violent as evidenced by the hurricanes and wildfires of 2017, four years following the completion of the quilt.  Freezer paper foundation and curved seam piecing as well as hand embroidery by Gail Garber, longarm machine quilting by Kris Vierra.


Dawn of the New Day

Dawn of the New Day © 2004

This quilt was created for the invitational United We Quilt Exhibit curated by the American Quilter’s Society to memorialize 9/11. The quilt traveled for three years and then returned to me. I elected to represent the events of that terrible day in abstraction. The gray geese represent the rubble that was the World Trade Center and the bright yellow Pointy Dudes represent individual good deeds. It culminates in a bright, shining star of freedom, surrounded by the patriotism of America, represented in the red and white outer border that features the 10,000 pyramids design. Freezer paper foundation piecing and machine quilting by Gail Garber.


Something Fishy  © 2016

Whimsy, inspired by the birth of my grandson! These fanciful fishies includes flying geese, flying diamonds, and pointy dudes, complete with racing stripes.  The original quilt, below, and its younger sister, above, were a blast to make!  The pattern for the above quilt and pattern are featured in the March 2017 issue of American Quilter magazine. Stitched by Gail Garber and Afton Warrick. Quilted by Tisha Cavanaugh.  The quilt below is in a private collection.


Something Fishy



Quadrille  © 2014

Geese galore, fading from bright to dark gives Quadrille a three-dimensional appearance. The brights are from a rainbow pack of hand-dyed gradations by Starr Design Fabrics, while the backgrounds are hand-painted by Mickey Lawler of Skydyes. Donna worked magic as she quilted this one.



Kimberlites I

Kimberlites I

Kimberlites I © 2011

Designed for the Pilgrim/Roy challenge, a fundraiser for the National Quilt Museum. It traveled for one year with the exhibit and then was auctioned to raise funds for the museum.  Pieced and quilted by Gail Garber.



Kimberlites II

Kimberlites II © 2012

Inspired by a trip to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, where I learned about diamond mining and the kimberlite pipes in which diamonds are found. The fabrics were inspired by the wonderful Australian border fabric featuring their national flower, truly an international themed quilt.A four-block repeat of an asymmetrical design, complete with the dashing sunrays filler, asymmetrical stars, and a flying geese border. By Gail Garber and Donna Barnitz.



Cartwheel Constellation

Cartwheel Constellation © 2014

Inspired by a packet of 20 hand-dyed gradations in rainbow shades, this is simply a happy quilt. A twist on tradition with gently curving geese that are interwoven. I selected hand-dyed rainbow gradations from Starr Designs Fabrics for the geese and a hand-dyed border fabric by Frieda Anderson. By Gail Garber, Michele Hymel, and Donna Barnitz. Experimenting with different designs to fill circular borders, I decided on Picket Fence and Flying Geese. The overall design happened in response to Donna’s suggestion that I design a star with quilt blocks inside of it – hence the pineapple blocks. By Gail Garber and Donna Barnitz.



Galactic Tango


Galactic Tango © 2003

Galactic Tango began as a classroom drawing. I wanted to see what it would look like if three rows of geese passed through a doughnut. This is the happy result.  Pieced and quilted by Gail Garber.