Sue McCarty – Master Long-arm Quilter

Today I’m highlighting Sue McCarty, whom I consider the master of all master long-arm quilters! She is the one that I would bow down in front of while murmuring, “I am not worthy!” She lives about 15 minutes from me, in Roy, UT, and is the most quiet, unassuming person you could ever meet, but she is amazing! Not only that, she shares a love of mine, which is the subject of some of her quilts, The Lord of the Rings. She has won numerous national awards with her quilting, and it is well deserved!

Now, I usually ask permission before highlighting someone and using their images, but I have no idea how to get hold of her, so, Sue, if you see this, I hope its okay.

What you need to understand before I get to the quilts is that other than some small pieces of appliquéd fabric, most of what you see is done in thread. I’m not smart enough to figure out how she plans out her quilts, but I’m sure they take 100’s of hours each. Sue, and many others, do what I call “show quilting.” It is meant to be judged and win awards. I don’t do that kind of quilting, I do quilting for bed quilts. These are definitely art quilts.

First is one of my favorites. (Like most of the others!) My fellow long-arm quilting friend, Mary, and I have often gone to HMQS quilting show here in Salt Lake City, and Mary is also my Lord of the Rings friend. But, for some reason, she wasn’t with me when I saw this quilt. I was gasping in awe and wanting to share that moment with her! Because only she could understand both the quilting and the Lord of the Rings connection! It is called Tribute to Tolkein and was my first introduction to “the master!” I know Sue won tons of awards that year, (2010, I think) with this quilt. Take time to notice all the dark characters and creatures in the black, and the light characters in the center.

Sue McCarty quilts

Tribute to Tolkein quilt by Sue McCarty.

And, some close-ups, so you can see how amazing this really is.

Sue McCarty Quilts

Detail of Tribute to Tolkein by Sue McCarty.

Sue McCarty quilts

Detail of Tribute to Tolkein by Sue McCarty.

The next year, Sue branched out to an Oriental theme with Harmony Within. I remember at HMQS they had this quilt displayed so that you could view the back, also, and it was incredible. I love all the gold thread on this one, and how it gives it all the more of an oriental feel.

Sue McCarty quilts

Harmony Within quilt by Sue McCarty.

Again, some close-ups. (Notice: all the gold is actually thread!)

Sue McCarty quilts

Detail of Harmony Within by Sue McCarty.

Sue McCarty quilts

Detail of Harmony Within by Sue McCarty.

This last one returns to my love of hobbits! It is in honor of Tolkein’s book, The Hobbit, and is titled Adventure Awaits. I love, love, love this quilt! The use of color is gorgeous and, in Sue McCarty fashion, it is amazing! (I know, I used that word a lot in this post, but I don’t know what else you can say about these!) I love the little Gollum in the center, and Bilbo and Gandalf by the round door. Too wonderful!

Sue McCarty quilts

Adventure Awaits quilt by Sue McCarty.

One close-up for this one.

Sue McCarty quilts

Detail from Adventure Awaits by Sue McCarty.

Last are some close-ups of some of  Sue’s other work.

Sue McCarty quilts

Detail of Aphrodite’s Despair by Sue McCarty.

Sue McCarty quilts

Detail of Unleashed by Lea M. Hardee and quilted by Sue McCarty.

I love the Celtic motifs in this last one!

Sue McCarty quilts

Detail of Gordon’s Glory and Triumph by Barbara Gordon and quilted by Sue McCarty.

Hope you enjoyed this walk through long-arm heaven! I can only appreciate the skill and hours involved in this kind of quilting! I’m looking forward to 2014 HMQS, where I get to see a lot more of these kinds of quilts! It’s May 8-10, 2014 at the South Towne Expo Center in Salt Lake City, UT.

 

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