Gail Garber Designs

Logo: Gail Garber Designs

Gail's Quilting Blog

Quilts by Gail


Tote bags

Tote bags are the perfect way to express yourself in a small project! I just finished these two bags for my friends, Ruth and Charles, who both participated in my November birding trip to New Zealand. We had a blast. Each bag features a hand-screened print of one of the native species. For Charles, I selected the Kiwi because we watched a Kiwi foraging in broad daylight for over 20 minutes. It was a thrill. I wanted his bag to be more masculine so I put the funky New Zealand fabric on the inside of the bag. For Ruth, I selected the Kereru, or Wood Pigeon a beautiful large bird that we saw often.

I hope they like them!

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Viva Las Vegas!

Karen Garth sent me this photo of the logo quilt that she made, based on the material she learned in my class in Las Vegas in April 2012. I cannot believe that she has already finished this masterpiece.

Here’s what Karen has to say:

Thank you for your classes in Las Vegas!

Hi Gail.

I enjoyed your classes last April in Las Vegas very much. I wanted to share a photograph of the quilt I made after that for our guild logo contest. Your workshops in drafting and constructing mariner’s stars and curved flying geese were timed perfectly for this project.

The guild voted at their meeting last night for the new logo, and mine was the winner. Thank you for providing me the tools to do it! 🙂

Karen Garth

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A Little Trip to Northern New Mexico

I had a great time  in Farmington New Mexico last week for the San Juan Quilter’s Guild Meeting and to teach the Sensational Stars class. Here’s some photos from show and tell:

Donna Schmitt
Donna Schmitt showed this quilt at the guild meeting. The blocks were made by her mother-in-law from fabrics that belonged to her mother and mother-in-law some 60-70 years ago. She decided it was time to sew them together! A very special quilt!

The guild had been doing Round Robins and this was one of those displayed.  A truly beautiful example of a round robin quilt.

They also had a project to teach young people to quilt. Two girls were at the meeting and showed off their quilt tops.  Here is a photo of one of the students and one of the student quilts.

Made as a gift for the groom

Made as a gift for the groom

Made as a gift for the bride

Made as a gift for the bride

And these beautiful bride and groom quilts were made by a woman for her daughter and son-in-law to be.

Susan Wood
Susan Wood designed and stitched this circular star in one day in the Sensational Stars class. Way to go, Susan!

Diane Mattern

One last image from my trip to Farmington, NM: Here’s a star that Diane Mattern designed in a class that I taught in Durango, CO the year before. I love it!

I’ll be back in Farmington at the end of August to teach again for the San Juan Quilter’s Guild. I’ll be teaching a two day Flying Colors workshop. Hope to see some of you wonderful ladies again!

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Cartwheel Constellation

I just found out that my design, Cartwheel Constellation will be  going on Appalachian Design – a furniture and craftsman shop in Burnsville, in western North Carolina as part of the Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina. The man who requested it has hung almost all of their big quilt blocks since 2006. He could choose any block he wanted. According to the organizers, it will be the most sensational block on the NC Quilt Trail. I’m so excited!

Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina has over 200 quilt blocks, the highest concentration anywhere in the USA!

Cartwheel  Constellation

And, here’s a photo of Cartwheel Constellation which was featured on the cover of American Quilter magazine in January 2011.  I can’t wait to see how it is interpreted

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Friendship Quilt

Friendship Quilt

Here’s the friendship quilt we made for my friend Michele. She was diagnosed with cancer in May and we put the word out! Blocks came in from all over the country. Some people had sewing days to make blocks for non-sewers. Donna and I put it together a couple of weeks ago, Margaret E. got it all quilted and Anita McSorley put the binding on! We wanted to get it done before her second round of chemo.

Friendship Quilt

And here’s a photo of the whole quilt! Ironically, Michele sewed the two big blocks that make up the top row so I would have samples to demonstrate on when I taught for the Allure of Paper Foundation Piecing Cruise. It was a blast to make. The hardest part was not letting it slip so it would be a surprise! I even finagled an invitation to her July 4th barbecue — very clever! She didn’t suspect a thing!

Here’s a close-up photo of the top row. This quilt will be a great comfort to Michele as she continues treatment.

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Where the Wild Things Are


Here’s where I found myself a couple of days ago.  It’s a nondescript little place, right on the side of U.S. 550 just before the village of San Ysidro in north-central New Mexico, known as the Perea Nature Trail, or the San Ysidro Marsh. With the drought we’ve had the last few years and water diversions upstream, it’s not much of a marsh any longer. For the past 15 years, we at Hawks Aloft have monitored this site for the Bureau of Land Management as it was once one of their riparian restoration sites and may soon be again. I arrive before the sun crests over the Jemez Mountains.

Willow Flycatcher

However dry the marsh may be, it still hosts a number of birds, including this Willow Flycatcher. We have had consistent sightings of this flycatcher during the early season throughout the years.

Yellow Breasted Chat

The most numerous and noisy resident is the Yellow-breasted Chat. They are everywhere! Watching their song and display flight with the breast and belly pushed out is always a treat. It seems as if it would not be possible to fly like that.

Black chinned Hummer

Another very common bird is the Black-chinned Hummingbird. They love the Russian olive thickets that make such good bird habitat.

Blue Grosbeak

Not to be outdone is the Blue Grosbeak who sings his bubbly song from atop at high perch on a juniper or Russian olive.

Gray Catbird

Recently, we have noted a considerable increase in Gray Catbird. For many years, seeing or hearing one of these secretive birds would have been unusual but, now they are present in good numbers. But, because they tend to remain low in the vegetation, they can be very hard to see. If you hear a cat mewing in the thicket, it is probably one of these guys.

Lazuli Bunting

One of the most difficult birds to find regularly in New Mexico is the Lazuli Bunting.  This little fellow sings with exuberance, but sits pretty darn still while he’s singing.


Lastly, coyotes call this place home too. I took this image on July 3, 2012 when I came upon a coyote sniffing something. I stood very still and was able to snap off a few images. It seemed that he/she was as interested in me as I was in him. Once I began moving forward, he ran off, but soon returned with his friends. While standing at the designated point, I was treated to a coyote chorus from the pack that now surrounded me.

Thanks to David Powell and Doug Brown for the use of some of the bird images above.

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Birthday Birdies

Mary's Apron

My friend Mary loves birds. While I was in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, I found an artist, Julian, who painted the design I wanted onto a canvas apron. The panting was great, but the apron was boring! So, I spiffed it up with special trim and some prairie points. Happy Bird-day Mary!

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Last Day in North Carolina

I’m enjoying my last day of teaching in North Carolina at the Quilt Symposium.  We’ve had so much fun and the ladies here are so creative!

Karen Barger


Karen Barger finished all of the sections of her Tutti Frutti pattern in the Scrumptious Stars class at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium.


3-D Star


Look at the great 3-D effect Karen got with the use of the wavy print in the center of the star!  Good job, Karen!  (Hmmm, I’m pretty sure I have some of that Y2K fabric in my stash! )

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