Showing posts with label Debra Gabel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Debra Gabel. Show all posts

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Best of Butterfly Quilts

For the past two weeks we've been chasing butterflies (quilts, that is).  Out of dozens of butterfly quilt patterns, here are the ones we've picked as our favorites.  As a bonus, we're including photos of two lovely butterfly quilts we've spotted at quilt shows.  Perhaps you'll be inspired to create a butterfly for your own collection !


Above: Row 1:  Butterflies for Amy pattern and variations by Barbara Bieraugel at Barbara Bieraugel Designs. Row 2: Butterfly patterns by Diane McGregor at Castilleja Cotton. Row 3: Butterfly patterns by Sheril Drummond at Serendipity. Row 4: Butterfly patterns by Debra Gabel at Zebra Patterns.


Above:  Butterfly quilts by Nanette Merrill at Freda's Hive, Lisa Cox at A Spoonful of Sugar Designs, Michele Lancaster at Nostalgic Cafe and Kumiko Fujita.  For details and links to the original posts, see Quilt Inspiration:  Butterfly Quilts (and free block patterns!)

Flying Flower, 46 x 37, by Nancy Swanson, photo by Quilt Inspiration


We spotted this quilt at the 2011 Arizona Quilter's Guild show. Nancy Swanson's own photo from a butterfly house inspired her original design. The butterfly is more than 12" wide, allowing for the detailed treatment of the wings with raw-edged applique and thread painting.  The subtly textured background seems just right; it provides the textures of bark and leaves without detracting from the butterfly.  An embroidered spider and painted web enhance the interest of the design.

Swallowtail at Red Flowers, 68 x 60.5, by Deborah Theresa Bailey, photo by Quilt Inspiration


This original quilt by Deborah Theresa Bailey was exhibited at the 2010 Pacific International Quilt Festival. The quilt was machine pieced, hand appliqued, and machine quilted. With this ethereal image, Deborah invites us to escape into the world of a butterfly indulging on the nectar of life.

Close-up, Swallowtail at Red Flowers by Deborah Theresa Bailey
 

The intricate detail of the large butterfly can be seen in this close-up photo. Hand dyed and commercial fabrics were embellished with fabric and glimmer paints over 30% of the quilt. On a domestic machine, free motion organic echo quilting was done to compliment the curved piecing.

Image credits:  Quilts by Debra Gabel, Diane McGregor, Sheril Drummond, Barbara Bieraugel, Nanette Merrill, Lisa Cox and Michele Lancaster are shown with the generous permission of the artists. The close-up of the Japanese butterfly quilt with applique is shown with the permission of Kathryn Krentz.  The other quilt show photos are by Quilt Inspiration.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Butterfly Quilts by Debra Gabel

Fiber artist, teacher, author, prolific designer, and owner and founder of Zebra Patterns, Debra Gabel has created a stunning series of vibrant butterfly blocks. Graceful and elegant, these butterflies can be sewn as an individual block, or combined with 12 other butterflies into a dazzling Butterfly Quilt, size 64 x 80.

Blue Swallowtail, 20 x 20, by Debra Gabel at Zebra Patterns
 

Debra began sewing in early childhood, began quilting as a teenager, and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts as a Graphic Design major at the State University of New York. You can see the result of Debra's talent and her formal training in her hundreds of patterns, including the Blue Swallowtail butterfly above. We love the perfect proportions of this very eye-pleasing layout and the sprightly, cheerful flowers which are different on each block.

Flying Handkerchief, 20 x 20,by Debra Gabel at Zebra Patterns


Debra has designed blocks for the butterflies with their descriptive, exotic names, such as the "Green Congo", "White Angel", and "Flying Handkerchief" shown here. The use of black and white and the fine lines of the butterfly's wings give a sophisticated, almost Tiffany stained glass or Art Deco style effect to this block.  Like all butterflies, this block is created using the fusible web applique process. However, you can alter this pattern for hand-turned applique by adding an outside seam allowance to these pieces.

The butterflies shown here are available online in kit form, containing laser-cut pieces with attached fusible web, plus background and border fabric, from Quilter's Paradise.

Monarch Butterfly, 20 x20, by Debra Gabel at Zebra Patterns


Here's one of our favorite butterfly blocks, the dazzling Monarch. This beautiful insect is designed to look so life-like, that it seems to float right off the block. The paper patterns for the butterflies are very clear, sharp, computer-drawn in full size, and professionally printed. You will really appreciate Debra's easy to follow, well written instructions, with careful attention to detail.

In addition to Debra's website, Zebra Patterns, she also publishes her excellent Zebra Patterns Weblog, which is full of useful advice for aspiring fiber artists and pattern designers. We love all of Debra's work, and in a previous Quilt Inspiration article, we featured her wonderful travel-themed Stamp Quilt patterns.

Note: Deborah has very generously donated two of her butterfly patterns, the Purple Spotted and the Monarch, for our Giant September Giveaway, coming up here in 7 weeks. One lucky reader will win these fabulous designs, so stay tuned to Quilt Inspiration for more information !

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stamp quilts (pick a destination and go!)

Traditionally, a “postage stamp quilt” is made up of hundreds or thousands of tiny blocks that are all the same size- about the size of a postage stamp. But have you ever seen quilts that look like real postage stamps, commemorating cities, states and other places in glorious detail?  The designs, by Debra Gabel at Zebra Patterns, reflect not only Debra's creative vision but also her background in graphic art and design. Looking exactly like a stamp, there is even a serrated edge on the inner border of these quilts.  We’re so enamored of these little quilts!

The patterns use raw-edge applique, and make a 24 x 30” finished wall hanging. And here’s the latest cool development: fabric panels, with the identical images pre-printed on the panels. Simply sandwich a panel with batting and backing, then quilt!   A set of three would be a great way to brighten up a hallway. Right now the CityStamp™ and StateStamp™ collections include New York, Washington DC, Baltimore, Chicago, California, Texas, and more (the entire catalog can be seen at Zebra Patterns). Let’s say you live in Alaska or Hawaii, though... is your home state available? Read on for our direct interview with Debra Gabel, and some very exciting news.

New York CityStamp™ quilt, by Zebra Patterns


The New York CityStamp™ quilt, shown above, has the Big Apple, of course, and the Statue of Liberty, set against the magnificent skyline of the city.

California StateStamp™ quilt, by Zebra Patterns


The colorful California StateStamp™  features the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay, the state bird (quail) and flower (poppy), a mining pick and a mound of gold, and plenty of golden sunshine. Debra Gabel has also designed a Beach GetAwayStamp™, below, which perfectly captures the serenity of the sand, water and sky.

Beach GetAwayStamp™, by Zebra Patterns


 A Quilt Inspiration Interview with Debra Gabel, Zebra Patterns

Q.I.: Why is it called Zebra Patterns?

Debra Gabel: My name is Debra. I am also a graphic Designer as well as a professional quilter. I love black and white stripes and often include them in my work, hence the "zebra" connection. I did not want a common company name like... Debra's Patterns. So I dropped the "D" and added a "Z" to the "ebra" and got Zebra!  It is catchy and it is usually the last listing in the large trade show magazines - which is a good thing! It is easy for customers to find me - at last! (excuse the pun!)

Q.I.: The stamp quilts look very detailed.  Are they complicated to make?

Debra Gabel: The stamps are detailed and that is why they are so recognizable. However, everything is raw edge appliqued. That means every piece is a simple cut out with scissors using a pattern. Detailed work does not mean "hard". There are a lot of pieces. In my case - my patterns take some time - but are not hard. You cut the pieces and fuse them in place. Some patterns have relatively few pieces and some have many. All patterns are done in the same manner. I have had some quilters love the stamp but feel much to intimidated to even try what they feel is a complex piece. I heard those quilters.  I came up with the idea of printed panels of every state that I have a stamp for. They are fat quarter size and the quilter only needs to sandwich the quilt and quilt the top to the back on the lines and the stamp looks great! Stitching on the lines gives the appearance of pieced fabric to most non-quilters. It is also a great way to practice quilting and end up with a great project! Those were so successful that I spun it off into another product - a mini panel. The mini is great for mailable quilted postcards, featured as a focus fabric, pockets on a tote or for mini quilts.

Q.I.: We also noticed your wonderful art quilts.  What is your favorite part of quilting: designing patterns, or making original art quilts... or are you torn between the two?

Debra Gabel: I really love it all! I am really enjoying seeing my business blossom. This past market in Houston I have been approached by so many large manufacturers it has been great! I find it so rewarding to listen to what quilters want and design things for them in my style to meet their needs. My intention is to create timeless patterns. Flowers, butterflies and state landscapes certainly fit that profile. These designs come to me easily and flow nicely. My art quilts are made for one of a few reasons. When I feel I need to "say" something and work through inner turmoil I create. My "Aqua Aurora" was the first art quilt I did after having a bone marrow transplant for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma which is imagery of a tree girl with her roots in chemo that flushes through her system and cleanses her. I enter many challenges as I love to compete and the defined subject matter makes me think out of the box. Lastly I quilt as gifts. I try to really go above and beyond with my gift quilts. See my chuppahs.

Q.I.: Are you planning more designs in the various "stamps" series? (We have some ideas!)

Debra Gabel: Yes - I am planning to continue with the states and the cities. I get satisfaction by providing the customer with something the customer can really relate to. Quilters are passionate about their home state and or cities. They get so excited when they see all the familiar state symbols/landmarks arranged just for their state or city! Many collect several stamps and make a large sheet of stamps into a larger throw quilt or even a bed quilt. I would love to hear your ideas.

Q.I.: Your stamp quilts remind us so much of travel posters, like the great airline and railroad posters with their gorgeous scenery. Soooo… we’d love to see stamp quilts for the great travel destinations of the world - cities and countries (London, Paris and Venice come to mind!) But first: we understand you have a new book coming out with C&T publishing late fall 2010.  We'd love to know more about it - what can you share about the book?

Debra Gabel: I do! I was approached by C&T publishing after fall market in Houston to do a book about my stamps. It just so happened that I was in the process of writing my first book! Based on all the requests at market for various states - I decided I would make a book of 50 patterns - one for each state so that quilters could make quilts with particular states of meaning. That was discussed and we turned the book around in record time. It will be released in catalogs in Oct 2010 at market in Houston and be shipping in December. It is all very exciting! My intention is to make this one of those books that most quilters must have! It is a plethora of designs - even if the consumer does not make the blocks. There are hundreds of graphic images to use in quilts. The book will have a specially designed lay flat binding so that quilters can copy images. It has a NEW pattern technique of translucent patterning! It will also come with a CD!!!! It is all so reasonably priced (can't say price yet) that everyone will want one and each design will cost less than 50-60 cents! Most patterns cost 9.00! Most books have 8-10 projects! Mine has 51! It is so exciting!

Q.I.: We can hardly wait to see the book! Thanks so much for your time and for your inspiring designs.

Image credits and trademarks:
CityStamp™, GetAwayStamp™, StateStamp™ and NationStamp™ are trademarks of Debra Gabel/Zebra Patterns. Images are shown with the generous permission of Debra Gabel.  Patterns, fabric panels and other products are available at the Zebra Patterns website.
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