Gail Garber Designs

Logo: Gail Garber Designs

Gail's Quilting Blog

Quilts by Others

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!


Add your comment!

What Goes Around, Comes Around: Dorry Emmer’s Round Robin

Dorry’s Round Robin Quilt, circa 1999.

Imagine my surprise when Dorry Emmer walked up to me before my lecture in Vienna, VA last month.  She had taken my class waaaaay back in 1997, at the National Quilt Symposium in Hamilton, New Zealand.  It was there that she began a  two-year Round Robin project.  Two years later, at the 1999 Symposium in Queeenstown, her group exchanged the completed tops.  Here’s what Dorry has to say about her quilt.

“I am sorry to have taken so long in getting this photo to you – but then again it was last century that I took the class where I made the center!! (It was at the NZ Quilt Symposium in Hamilton in 1997).   My block became the center of a round robin quilt that we started soon after that event. Originally we were a group of six quilters with four living in the Hamilton area of New Zealand and two in Melbourne Australia. We take two years to make our round robin quilts and then all meet up at the next New Zealand Quilt Symposium to show the finished tops and plan to begin the next round robin. Believe it or not we are still going although we have had some changes to the group – three from the original six remain, others have come and gone and we are currently a group of seven (3 from Melbourne, 1 from NZ, 1 from Canada and 2 from here in the USA – some of us have moved!)

This quilt is named The TransTasman Frequent Flyer. Members of the group who made it (in the order they worked on it) were: Dorry Emmer, Kerry Payne, Kirsty Duncan, Judy Hammersla, Renchia Clark, Meryl Caudwell and then, as a Christmas gift Kerry (my sister) arranged for Donna Ward to quilt it for me.

When I was listening to your presentation on October 14 in Vienna, VA for Quilters Unlimited I realized that your idea of the curved flying geese would work well for the current round I am working on in this round robin when I need to make sashing units. What goes round, comes round and back again!   I hope you enjoyed your “tour” in Virginia.

Thanks,  Dorry Emmer

I certainly did enjoy that trip, Dorry!  Meeting you was one of the highlights!

Add your comment!

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!




Add your comment!

The Full Circle.

Save Our Eagles © 1991 by Gail Garber and friends. Image by Mary Elkins.

Have you ever had one of those experiences that completely changes the direction of your life?  “Save Our Eagles” did just that for me.  Back in 1989, my friends and I offered to make a fund-raising raffle quilt for a local conservation organization.  Other than a love of the outdoors, I was not particularly interested in birds of any kind and had only a passing knowledge of raptors.  But, as we hand-stitched our quilt (like many quilts of that era), I met and fell in love with the group’s first educational raptor, a Red-tailed Hawk, named Red.  It had never occurred to me that being that close to a once wild bird was possible.  More than anything, I wanted to work with her.

Big Red (1989 – 2006). Image by Jerry Hobart.

So, I became a volunteer and eventually became an employee of the organization.  Big Red came to live in a large flight cage that we built for her behind my house.  Each day that she was part of my life was a blessing.  In 1994, we started Hawks Aloft, the non-profit that I continue to direct to this day.  We have a cadre of about 26 non-releasable educational raptors that we use to spread our conservation message.  The presence of the hawk, owl or falcon never fails to entrance children and adults alike.  I know, from personal experience, that a close up encounter with one of these magnificent creatures can change lives.

Hawks Aloft 2012 Raffle Quilt

Because I had been a quilter long before I started Hawks Aloft, we immediately set about making an annual raffle quilt to help raise funds.  Above is our 2012 quilt, stitched by 15 volunteers in one weekend at the cabin!  It was a blast and men, women and children help in its creation each year.  The winning raffle ticket will be drawn on December 1, 2012 at our annual holiday party!  If you would like to purchase a ticket, they are $1 each or 6 for $5.  You can purchase them on the Hawks Aloft website.  Just click on the icon for either single or multiple tickets.

Another occurrence in 2012 affected the lives of not only myself, but also many of my friends.   My friend and colleague in Gail Garber – the company, Michele Hymel, was diagnosed with lung cancer.  It was a huge surprise to all since Michele had never smoked and had always been physically active and fit.  As she was going through chemotherapy, we did what quilters do — we made a friendship quilt for her.  We put the word out and began collecting blocks.   Several of Michele’s friends from her work at the local utility company, PNM, contributed blocks.  We presented the quilt just as she was beginning the treatments.

Michele’s Friendship Quilt – 2012

And then, a funny thing happened.  A coworker of Michele’s contacted Ed Chappelle, who helped to organize the collection of blocks, to say that she had won a quilt a LONG time ago and wanted to donate it to Hawks Aloft for a fundraiser.  The quilt had a pair of eagles and a chick.   As I read his e-mail message, tears ran down my face, for I realized that it might very well be that very first quilt, the one that led me down this avenue of life.  Indeed, it WAS the quilt, the one that started it all, without which there might never have been a Hawks Aloft.

It is now part of my personal quilt collection and Hawks Aloft is $1,000 richer.  These funds will be used for well-deserved staff bonuses at year’s end, as approved by the Board of Directors.  Many thanks to Carol Palmer for this incredible donation!  And, to Ed Chappelle for making the right connections at the right time!  And, to all of you who have worked on the raffle quilts over our 18 year history.  It’s a small world, after all.


Add your comment!

Little House on the Prairie

Untitled © 2012, By Myra Phillips, Joplin, MO

Myra took my five-day workshop at Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar Conference Center on the Monterrey Peninsula in April 2012.   She has this to say about her little quilt:

Hi Gail!  Just wanted to tell you again how much I enjoyed your class at the Empty Spools Seminar this spring.  I wanted to do a small piece so that I would indeed get it finished!   My daughter did the machine quilting and I wish you could see the detail she put into that.  Her quilting really made my quilt!   So thanks again for all of the time and work you put in to make your class so enjoyable and informative!  I am anxious to see all of the other projects as they get finished—you all hear that class?

Myra Phillips, Joplin, MO

Add your comment!

Quilting Adventures in the Texas Hill Country – 2013

Quilting Adventures, Class of 2009

Speaking of the San Antonio Area, did you know that I will be teaching a five-day workshop for Quilting Adventures in Kerrville, TX, March 3-8, 2013?  I firmly believe that students learn and retain much more when they take a multi-day class because the information can be presented more slowly at a rate where it can be absorbed.  In addition, students  make really good progress toward the completion of their own original design.

Work in progress by Ann Gehin, Netherlands

Work in progress by Janice Schindeler, Houston, TX

Above are two works in progress from the class.  Because students have ample sewing time and can sew all day and all night, if desired, with all meals dished up by the resort (fantastic food!), they get a lot done!

Whimsical Hearts by Janice Schindeler

Janice designed and stitched this whimsical quilt for her husband, Harry, to whom she has been married for 40 years!  I love it!

Cupcake, by Janice Schindeler

And, Janice stitched this one up using the techniques taught in class.  It was for her daughter, who is a “cupcake”.   Are you interested in joining me in the Hill Country in March 2013?  I would love to spend a few days with you. Contact Quilting Adventures.

Add your comment!

I’ll Fly Away

I’ll Fly Away, © 2012, by Karen Thornton

Here’s another great student quilt!  I’ll Fly Away was designed by Karen Thornton of Tyler, TX.  She took my one-day class in mid-September and, less than one month later, this was the result.   Great quilt, Karen!

Add your comment!

A Visit to Jinny Beyer Studio

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Virginia was a Sunday morning visit to Jinny Beyer’s Studio in Great Falls, Virginia.  The visit was possible thanks to Diane Kirkhart, my hostess, who works at the studio.

Autumn leaves at Jinny Beyer Studio

My new friends, Diane and Betty Osweiler, welcomed me to the studio.

The interior of the shop is filled with special treats and ALL of the fabric is  Jinny’s line of fabrics produced by RJR Fabrics.  So I as thrilled to see . . .

One whole wall of fabric

And . .  .

Another whole wall of border prints!

Everything you could ever ask for in borders!

“DaVinci”, one of Jinny’s patterns.

A wide variety of finished quilts and quilt tops graced the walls of the old building.  In addition to the quilts, fabrics and notions, Jinny carries some of her favorite gift items, like hand made wooden boxes with beautiful inlaid quilt patterns, exquisite embroidery scissors, and other trinkets that she hand selects.

Jinny’s hand stitching

Diane showed me several quilt tops in progress, including this one that is hand stitched by Jinny.

Unnamed new quit by Jinny Beyer

Here’s the front of the quilt top that Jinny hand stitched.

Many thanks to Diane for making this visit possible!  Next time you are in the Washington, DC area, be sure to make the Jinny Beyer Studio a destination!


Add your comment!