QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT


Monday, February 20, 2017

Past Perfect: Sue Garman

Detail from Borrowed Roses by Sue Garman

This month's Past Perfect Quiltmaker is Sue Garman. I'd been thinking about showing Sue's quilts and then she passed away last month, much to the sorrow of her friends, family and fellow classical quilters. Here's a tribute to an important quiltmaker and designer of our time.

Borrowed Roses was inspired by Rose Kretsinger's 1929 quilt
in the collection of the Spencer Museum of Art.

See the original Rose Tree quilt here:


Sue Garman with one of her non-traditional quilts
From the Quilt Show.

On her webpage Sue said she had been making quilts for 40 years and that's why she had so many great ones to show.  That is not all of it---or even half of it. She had a real gift for interpreting quilts from the past, occasionally exact copies like the Borrowed Roses, often clever interpretations.

Twirly Balls & Pinwheels

Lily Rosenberry
In recent years she'd inspired many with her applique quilts.
She certainly knew how to fill a square block.

Baltimore Squared

Pennsylvania Star

Her color sense was enviable too. She could capture 19th-century shades and go out on a limb by pushing them too.

Tucker's Tulips

My Old Kentucky Beau

Postage Due


Sleeping Beauty

The Washingtonian

My Country Tis of Thee

Detail of Sue's Borrowed Roses

Sue in Texas was a lot like Rose Kretsinger of Emporia, Kansas, who inspired a small revival of classic applique in the 1930s.  Like Rose, Sue was innovative, generous and just a touch competitive.

People wonder why so many masterpiece quilts came out of Emporia, Kansas. In the future they may wonder why so many classics came out of Houston, Texas.

Patricia Meyer's Texas Two Step used  Sue's Lily Rosenberry block for the corners.

Sue through exhibiting her quilts, teaching, publishing  patterns and blogging and inspired a larger revival of classic applique in her own time. 
Georgann Wrinkle's Little Lily from Sue's blog.

We can envy the friends in her small bee who seem to have received periodic patterns and challenges from Sue.

Student's work in a class. Rebecca's Stars.

Sue's daughters are maintaining her webpage, blog and the pattern business. The webpage Come Quilt has lots to see under patterns and gallery.

The blog (quite a lonely place without Sue) is worth scrolling backwards through the monthly posts for insight into her designing and her recording of the things she saw that impressed her.

Halo Medallion

The 2017 Block of the Month on the Quilt Show is a Sue Garman design, pieced by Carolyn Hock
and quilted by Angela Walters.


There's an Instagram page for Sue's quilts. Click here and add some with the tag #suegarmanquilt

Any ideas for a traditional quiltmaker I can feature on a Past Perfect post here?


8 comments:

Barbara Black said...

Lovely tribute to a wonderful friend and mentor--thank you! Her blog can still provide hours of delight, education and inspiration.

Wendy Caton Reed said...

Fabulous tribute to a true treasure. She was a shining star in the quilt world and beyond. We will all miss her, but her quilts and her talent will live forever.

Deb G. in VA said...

I love Sue Garmin's quilts, she was incredibly talented. Have you featured Susan McCord's quilts previously?

Barbara Brackman said...

Deb I have done a couple of posts on Susan McCord
http://barbarabrackman.blogspot.com/2012/06/newly-discovered-susan-mccord-quilt.html
But I was thinking for this series of people who do reproduction quilts. particularly now or recently. Susan McCord is one of my favorite quiltmakers however.

TxGal said...

Barbara, what a tribute to an incredibly talented quilter! I didn't know Sue personally but have long admired her designs and beautiful work. I first saw her quilts at Quakertown Quilts in Friendswood, TX years ago.
Many people may not know that not only was Sue a prolific quilter and designer, she also had an amazing career here with NASA, working her way up the ladder to become a Director with the agency.

Susie Q said...

I am sad to hear that Sue Garman is no longer with us. I did a block of the month years and years ago as mentioned above - Quakertown Quilts in Friendswood.... one that you did not show..... Ladies of the Sea...... thank you ever so much for all the links.... many hours of special reading ahead....

momto1 said...

Thank you so much for this article. Sue was a hero to me, and I so wish I'd had a chance to take a class with her.

Susan said...

Thank you for the tribute to a lovely lady and extraordinary quilter.

Elly Sienkiewicz (sp?) is certainly representative of a "Past Perfect" quilter and designer.