Gail Garber Designs

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Gail's Quilting Blog

Quilts by Gail

A Big Howdy from Texas

A big hello from Kerrville Texas! I’m so excited to be spending the whole week teaching at Quilting Adventures in the Hill Country of Texas.  I really enjoy teaching for a whole week.  In a multi-day class, students are able to get so much done, and I can introduce new lessons in a leisurely way, when the time is right to learn the new-to-them technique.  The students are just amazing! Here’s a group photo from when I last taught here in 2009.


TX 2009 group photo


This Heart Quilt was designed and stitched by Janice Schindeler, of Houston, TX in my 2009 class. She made it for her husband, Harry, to whom she’s been married 40 years. A wonderful tribute to their marriage!


Janice Schindeler - Heart Quilt


We are staying at the T-Bar-M Resort and Conference Center. It’s an absolutely wonderful faciility. Beautiful scenery and very comfortable with totally wonderful food!


T Bar M Retreat

Here’s the view from my classroom.


View From Classroom
My fellow teachers are a great bunch! Here’s Paula Nadelstern whose kaleidoscope quilts are just awesome.
Paula Nadelstern
And here’s Katie Pasquini-Masopust, whose art quilts just get more amazing all the time. I took her class, Painted and Stitched Quilts, a couple of year ago and loved the technique.  Katie is now offering an online class — check it out!
Katie Pasquini-Masopust
And here are Katie and Paula goofing around beneath a Paula N. designed umbrella.  If you ever have a chance to take a class from either of theise wonderful ladies, I highly recommend it.
Katie and Paula


When the week is over I’ll post more photos to show you what amazing quilts my students have been creating this week.

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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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Exciting News – I’m teaching at MISA!

MISA Workshop

MISA Workshop

Exciting News!

I will be teaching at the Madeline Island School of the Arts on Lake Superior in Wisconsin May 20-24. 2013!!

I will be teaching a 5-day workshop of Flying Colors. I love the opportunity to teach at this unique and beautiful venue. I also appreciate the opportunity to teach a week-long class! It’s so inspiring to see what students can accomplish in a week, compared to shorter classes. Plus, we will have so much fun in this pastoral setting! I also plan to give some evening bird programs and maybe even some morning walks on the island. Here is a link to my class information.

Madeline Island School of the Arts is a premier art and craft school located on a uniquely restored Wisconsin dairy farm surrounded by Lake Superior and the other twenty-one Apostle Islands. The Island has an art and craft tradition that dates back more than three hundred years. It is easy to reach; just fly into the Duluth, MN airport and take MISA’s round trip shuttle service. Or rent a car and take the Madeline Island Ferry Line.

Plus they have Bernina sewing machines to rent if you don’t want to bring your own!

MISA’s on-sight lodging is designed to mirror the “Mission Cottage” style which characterized summer homes on Madeline Island in the late 1800s. Nestled on the edge of the forest, with views of the meadow, the rooms are a short stroll away from the workshop and dining areas. Each cottage has four rooms with their own private entry and bath, furnished with two twin beds, mini-fridge, coffee pot, and microwave. All rooms are climate controlled with paintings by local artists and Wi-Fi throughout.

Breakfast and lunch are served every day–a wonderful buffet every morning with waffles, fresh fruit, bagels, oatmeal, coffee, tea, and cider from Bayfield’s orchards. For lunch, they cater a wonderful selection from Island restaurants. Choose from a variety of salads, soups, gourmet sandwiches and wraps. There are vegetarian and gluten free options and they can cater to special dietary needs. As for dinner, what better way to get more acquainted with the Island and each other! Choose one of the five different restaurants each night, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Madeline Island. The restaurants are only a few minutes from the school.

Please join me for this unique and exciting workshop opportunity!!
For more information please go to the MISA website.

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Happy Holidays from Gail!

Cabin in the Jemez Mountains NM

Happy Holidays from Gail Garber Designs!

As you get this I am on a birding tour of Africa! Its been a lifelong dream of mine and I am sharing this wonderful experience with my sister and two very good friends. We have seen some amazing sights, birds and other creatures.

I hope you have enjoyed following my adventures this year. It was a very busy year, with a lot of teaching, working and creating. I enjoyed every minute of it, especially getting to meet some of you wonderful quilters out there. I look forward to moeeting more of you next year and maybe seeing some old friends, as my teaching schedule is busy again.

The photo above is a picture postcard view of my cabin in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico in winter. The cabin is my refuge from the craziness of “real Life” and a wonderful haven for creating, relaxing and sharing time with friends. We will be there in January to work on the 2013 Hawks Aloft raffle quilt.

May each and every one of you enjoy very happy holidays and a great year in 2013!


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Rainbow Crow

Rainbow Crow is one of my favorite children’s stories:  Once upon a time Rainbow Crow was the most beautiful bird in the animal kingdom, kind and generous too!  One day the kingdom fell into darkness and all the animals were afraid.  Rainbow Crow, who was very strong and very brave, volunteered to fly to the Creator to ask him to return the sun.   The Creator granted his wish and gave him a lighted torch to carry the new light back to the animals huddled in the darkness.   As Crow flew home, the smoke from the torch singed his beautiful feathers.   His beautiful voice was made hoarse by the smoke that he breathed.  By the time, Crow returned the light to the animal kingdom, he was completely black and his voice was only a croak.   However, when you look closely at a crow or raven you can still see the stunning colors of the rainbow hidden among the blackness.

I just finished this 24″ circular quilt top.  It has gone off to Kris Vierra, of Lincoln, Nebraska, for quilting.  I can’t wait to see what magic she works on my version of Rainbow Crow.


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Azimuth, an Oldie but a Goodie!

It all began with a love of all things Jinny Beyer back in 1983.  I fell in love with her quilt, Ray of Light Medallion, and wanted a quilt like that more than anything in the world.  Now, I knew full well that I could not buy her quilt, so I set about learning to design my own.  I signed up for a work study group called Medallion, where Ruby Chick, at age 80, was my teacher.  She taught me how to design and draft.  Using Jinny’s Blocks and Borders book, which was my bible at the time, I designed what was to be my masterpiece quilt.  Of course, back then, quilts were ‘supposed to be’ hand stitched.  So, Azimuth, following in the tradition of quilters of the time is entirely hand stitched.  It measures 110″ x 110″ and was completed between 1984 and 1989.


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And, the Winner is . . .

Hawks Aloft 2012 Raffle Quilt

Jamie Sculley of Herndon, VA.  Jamie bought $5 in tickets from me at my lecture in Vienna, VA in October 2012.  Congratulations Jamie!

We will begin stitching the 2013 raffle quilt the weekend of January 19-20, our 20th fundraising quilt for Hawks Aloft.  Many thanks to all of you who purchased raffle tickets for our very good cause.  These funds are used to buy food for our educational raptors!


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Fire and Ice, A Quilt Exhibit

Fire and Ice, © 2012, by Cynthia Figueroa-McInteer

There’s nothing quite like a challenge to inspire one to be creative.  My small quilt group, Designing Women, has an exhibit at the Esther Bone Library in Rio Rancho, New Mexico through December 31, 2012.  The library is located at 950 Pinetree Road SE Rio Rancho, NM 87124,  (505) 891-5012.  Members of our group include  Debbie Caffrey, Mary Chappelle, Cathy Combs, Pat Drennan, Cynthia Figueroa-McInteer, Michele Hymel, Harriet Smith, Lisa Stewart, and myself.

Debbie Caffrey created “Fire Sticks”, the smallest quilt in the exhibit.  Time was short for the traveling quilt teacher, but she wanted to participate in the exhibit.

Michele Hymel’s quilt is called “Spiral Lone Star”. It was made from a pattern, but I love the way the colors interact with each other in this intense quilt.

Complementary Colors, © 2012 by Gail Garber, quilted by Kris Vierra

And, here is my contribution to the exhibit.  It is the second in a series using the same graphic design but with different fabric choices.  It is intensively quilted by Kris Vierra of Lincoln, NE.  She does magnificent longarm quilting. Below is a detail shot:

Complementary Colors, detail view.

If you are in the neighborhood, stop by and check out all of the quilts in the exhibit.  You will be glad you did!




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