Kathy MacClury – April 2013 Featured Quilt Maker

Kathy Maccleary of Payson, Arizona
Kathy Maccleary of Payson, Arizona

I am so honored to be included in the list of featured artists. For a plain farm girl from Michigan, this is a much unexpected and a real thrill.

When I look back at my life, it seems to be divided into 3 phases and careers. I was a young wife and mother and hairdresser. Remember the big hairdos of the 60’s and 70’s? Now that was art! In my 30’s I became a single mother of 3 boys, moved to Arizona, and went back to school to fulfill my dream of becoming an architectural designer and draftsman. For the next 30 yrs. I enjoyed working with people to design their dream homes. I established my own home business, so I could be more available to my boys and later on to care for my parents.

Through my whole life there was one constant. I loved to sew. I was blessed with creativity and imagination. When I wasn’t drawing I was sewing, usually by hand.

When it came time to think about retirement the choice was easy. I loved the Payson area and the active quilting groups in the Rim Country. I decided in the 3rd phase of my life I would be quilting full time. I moved to Payson in 2005 and joined the Strawberry Patchers, a chapter of the Arizona Quilters Guild.

The Rim Country is home to a large amount of wonderful and talented quilters and fiber artists. I have made so many close friends. We work together every year to produce 2 well known quilt shows, The Patchers’ show in June, and the Rim Country Quilt Round Up in October, also the Threadplayers’ fiber art show semi-annually, the next one to be in May 2014.

I am a scrap quilter and fiber artist. Several of my early traditional hand pieced and hand quilted works are on display now through May in the Gilbert Historical Museum in Gilbert, Az. Also on display are some of my more recent art quilts. I hope to see you there or at our shows here in our beautiful Rim Country.


Kathy MacClury Quilt Gallery


Blue Bowl of Flowers – The background was an experiment using 4 ombre fabrics and the “fractured” technique. It hung on my design wall for quite a while asking for inspiration. On the side of the design wall there were several fabric flowers I made years ago. Finally one day they both talked to me and became this dimensional still life.


Homespun Sampler – I am a scrap quilter. If I have to repeat the same block and fabric I will never get past 4 blocks because it is so monotonous to me. Woven homespun fabrics present a challenge because the plaids are seldom symmetrical, and thus are directional. Keeping all these wovens in the right direction and matching wherever possible was a real challenge. It is hand quilted.When I was nearly done I found myself in the hospital with a small stroke that took my right hand. I finished it in time for the Rim Country Quilt Roundup, but that last 6 inches of quilting on 3 sides was not up to the judge’s standards. I didn’t care because I had my hand back. Quilting is great therapy.


Scrap Happy #3(confetti) in progress. There are nearly 9000 1″by 11/2″pieces of tiny prints, sewn together by hand, and set on point. The outer edge fades out to white giving it the look of confetti. It was started in August 2012,and will be done for the Patchers’ show in June. I am hand quilting it in a continuous line of close meander. At this point I don’t think I will ever do this again.


Arizona Centenial by Kathy MacClury

Award ribbons made for the Strawberry Quilt show, 2012.
Award ribbons made for the Strawberry Quilt show,

Ribbons I have been making the award ribbons for the Strawberry Patchers’ June quilt show. These are the ribbon tops for the 2012 show. They are different each year I make them.

Pink Collage by Kathy MacCleary
Pink Collage by Kathy MacCleary

Pink Collage – This piece was inspired by a class with Susan Vassilo. It is about 18″ square and is made up of orphan blocks and fabric bits and pieces raw edge appliqué, it was my first attempt at machine quilting, and probably my last.

200_DimesandBagsofScraps Close-up_200Dimes

Dimes and a bag of scraps – This is a reproduction of the quilt that was on my bed as a child. I traced the pattern from the original and hand quilted it with the original design. The name of this quilt comes from the price my mom paid the neighbor ladies to make it in the early 1940s.



Fall Leaves – This wall hanging was a gift to the Payson fire department and paramedics to thank them for their wonderful work. The batik leaves are appliquéd with narrow fusible satin ribbon.


Kathy with her quilt display.
Kathy with her quilt display.
Kathy's quilt display.
Kathy’s quilt display.


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