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Empty Spools Seminars – 2012

Asilomar Conference Grounds

I spent the last week teaching at the Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California. The conference grounds are unbelivably beautiful. So inspirational for quilters.

And it’s just about the finest teaching experience anywhere! Five full days with a small group of students. What great fun we had –and now I have 11 new friends. Here’s a photo of our class.

Class Photo

Click here to see the full photo album.

Watch for more blog posts about our week!

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Indiana Heritage Quilt Show and the Caribbean!

Having the best time! I’m in the middle of an almost two week long trip. First, I went to Bloomington, Indiana for the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show. The show was wonderful and my classes were very fun – full of great ladies!

Diana Reutter Mahrenholz took my Goose is Loose class two years ago at the IHQS show. This is her stunning quilt, started in the class. Way to go Diana!

This is a reversible T-shirt Quilt by Linda Kelsey of Bloomington, IN. One side is feminist and the other political. I love it!

This quilt is called Cordoba, and it’s by Claudia Pfeil, of Krefeld, Germany. Fascinated by mosaics, Claudia created the center of her quilt from a photo of the Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba. The building is famous for its horseshoe shaped arches. It is now the home of the Roman Catholic Cathedral. The corners symbolize sunshine and the four corners of the compass.

In Bloomington, where I was teaching, the terrible weekend storms went around the city. But much of Indiana and the surrounding region was not so lucky. With all of today’s technology there is little that can be done in the face of Mother Nature at her worst. So sad for the good folks of Indiana and Kentucky.

The second part of my trip is – a quilting cruise in the Caribbean! Packing, first for Indiana and then for the cruise, was challenging, to say the least. The cruise is “The Allure of Paper Piecing Cruise” and I’m teaching with Carol Doak, & Eileen Sullivan on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas 7-night Eastern Caribbean Cruise. Internet access is limited, so I will update you when I return from this fabulous trip.

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Prize Winning Quilt!

This image just arrived, from Sharon Dickerson, who won a 2nd place ribbon in the Art Quilt Category at the Folsom, CA Quilt Show, 2012. Congratulations!

Sharon Dickerson's Prize Winning Quilt

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More Student Quilts

Well, I’m finally home after three wonderful weeks in New Zealand. It was a great trip, but it’s always nice to be back home. And I’m looking forward to being home over the holidays and maybe doing a little sewing.

My teaching schedule was fairly hectic right before my trip, so I was really pleased to get two e-mails this week from students who took my classes and finished projects that they started.

Here is a photo of the beautiful quilt that Donna James made.

Goose is Loose Design - Donna James

And here is a photo of the right corner, showing her lovely quilting.

Goose is Loose design - Donna James - right corner

In her note to me, Donna says:

Hi Gail,
I completed this design in your The Goose is Loose class at MQX West in Portland. I really enjoyed the class and learned so much from you. I am so glad that I purchased your book and was able to use it as a reference when I was paper-piecing. It will be a great reference in the future, too. The longer flexible curve worked like a charm to replicate the curves in the upper background.
I have finished quilting my project, using a faced binding, and thought that you would like to see it.
Thanks for a great learning experience.

I also heard from Linda Talley of New Braufels Texas this week. Here is the beautiful quilt that she made.

Flying Colors Sampler - Linda Talley - Houston 2011

And here is a close-up of her quilt.

Flying Colors Sampler - close up

Here’a what Linda has to say about her quilt:

Hi Gail,
I enjoyed your class at Houston so much – I actually finished something I started there!!!
Two photos are attached of the table runner I made with 6 of the “geese”. I quilted leaves as you did, but added bling.
Thank you again,
Linda Talley
New Braunfels, TX

It’s so gratifying to hear from students who took one of my classes and send me photos of the quilts they made. Thank you Donna and Linda!

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Facing the Sun

Mary Grass of Florida sent me this photo of her lovely quilt, Facing the Sun.

Facing the Sun by Mary Grass

Here’s what Mary has to say about her quilt:

Hi Gail……..I called you earlier this year and told you that I was making the “Facing the Sun” project from your book, “FLYING COLORS”. I mentioned that I was making it as my entry into my Guild’s Challenge competition for this year.

The Challenge (my Guild’s name is “Citrus Friendship Quilters’ Guild) theme was Fall/Autumn so I used fabrics that fit that color scheme whenever possible. I’m attaching two pictures herewith as you said you would like to see the finished project. I won the “Viewers’ Choice” award and one picture is a full view with the winning ribbon and the other is a close up showing more detail.

I am planning to do another project from this book as it is fascinating to me. Keep up the great work in your designs.

Mary Grass

This is the close-up photo of her beautiful quilt.

Facing the Sun by Mary Grass

Thank you, Mary, for sending me the photos. If anyone else has photos of a quilt they made from my book or while taking a class from me, please send them to me. I’d love to publish them here.

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“Sailing Away” by Jeanette Funk

Jeanette Funk of Grand Juncion, CO sent in this image of a terrific adaption of my “Sailing Away” pattern, published recently by Quiltmaker Magazine.

Hi Gail,

We did a challenge in out quilt guild that involved taking a printed panel and turning it into a quilt. I was having trouble figuring out what to do with it when I saw “Sailing Away” in Quiltmaker and thought maybe I could somehow incorporate my lighthouse panel in that design.  When I read that you had published the “Flying Colors” book I ordered it right away. Nothing would gel in my mind until I finally started working on the panel while I kept looking at your “Flying Colors”  book.  The final result is below. I won third place in our challenge but the most fun was the stretching I had to do to make the quilt come together.

Your book was so helpful and I would like to say thank-you for making it available to all of us quilters. Working on the quilt has given me more confidence to try different designs and move out of my comfort zone…slowly, of course!   Thanks again for your inspiring book and quilts.


Jeanette Funk


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Kaikoura - Justine at A Patch of Country Quilter

Kaikoura - Justine at A Patch of Country Quilter

Next Stop — Kaikoura, where we had a bit of tea and cookies at Patch Of Country Quilt Shop. Here, Justine found a new-to-us “kiwiana” print that featured native New Zealand birds

Kaikoura - Betty and Dave

Kaikoura - Betty and Dave

Dave and Betty enjoyed the brilliant sunshine on this warm day as our snacks were set up outdoors. Quite a charming little shop.

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Wellington Quilter’s Guild

Sheryl Anicich and her quilt, "New York Garden"

Sheryl Anicich and her quilt, "New York Garden"

The Wellington Quilter’s Guild hosted a pot luck dinner for our group and what a spread they provided. We really enjoyed their hospitality and the “show and tell” they had arranged. Sadly, I forgot my camera that night so don’t have any pix, but as it turned out we seemed to run in the Wellington girls quite a bit in Queenstown, so I was able to snap this image of Sheryl Anicich and her quilt, “New York Garden”. The quilt was part of the traveling exhibit and book, “Made in New Zealand II“.

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