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Thursday, October 20, 2011

The last lost quilt

Mom liked Sunbonnet Sue quilts.  These are appliquéd doll figures, generally popularized by Kate Greenaway in the late 19th and early 20th century.  Sue’s round figure and bonnet encompassed head became a popular redwork figure, too, together with equally rolly overall boys.  There are so many Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Boy variations that a Death of Sunbonnet Sue movement had patterns featuring her bizarre death.  Entered in a Kansas show, they were hung face to the wall in protest.  They were a part of an exhibition at the Regan Library, but removed after protest.

Mom’s earliest Sunbonnet Sue wasn’t Greenaway’s round little cherub, but a slightly more mature little girl with a watering can.   This quilt came out of the metal box and Jan attributes it to mom because of the motif, which we came to know well in her later quilts, and all the embroidery detail defining the little girl.


Mom went on to make many, many Sunbonnet Sue’s.  But, these young ladies had slender waists and pantaloons and embroidery detail of watering cans and flowers.  They remind me of the parasol ladies, another variation of appliqué dolls.  I’ve not located a watering can teenage Sunbonnet Sue pattern on the internet, but she existed once, in my mother’s pattern book.  Remember Dick and Jane, Down the River Road?  It was a large cardboard bound primer we used in first grade.  For reading and math.  Mom used mine to file all her clipped out patterns and her tiny waisted Sunbonnet Sue resided there for years.

She made a yellow Sunbonnet Sue for my friend Carol when Carol was married.  Mom made a Sunbonnet Sue for each of her granddaughters.



Beth’s is purple,


Shelly’s is green. 
Michelle’s is blue.  It's in Atlanta, and I don't have a picture of it.
Mom left a set of blocks in a box.  Enough for a quilt for another granddaughter.  Always prepared.

6 comments:

  1. You have quite the textile history book in your possession now.

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  2. You lucky lady. I 'rescued' a sunbonnet sue quilt at a garage sale, for a quarter. they were going to put it in the dog's bed, if it didn't sell.

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  3. Thank you. How rude of them. My sister rescues quilt tops, quilts them and donates them to women’s shelter. She says someone’s grandma is smiling in heaven because their quilt top was finished and is being used.

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  4. I am trying to find this pattern. I have a quilt of this pattern made by my great grandmother. A second cousin recently 'found' me on Facebook. I happened to post a picture of my quilt with my cat. (mine was set with pink) My second cousin told me she had the same quilt made by her grandmother. So that grandmother was the daughter-in-law of my great grandmother. Her quilt was stored, forgotten in a camper. The camper was sold and the quilt went with it. I'd love to make her a wall hanging. So, I'm looking for a pattern. I think I can trace it off mine, but I think it would be better with a regular pattern. Thanks.

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  5. I am trying to find this pattern. I have a quilt of this pattern made by my great grandmother. A second cousin recently 'found' me on Facebook. I happened to post a picture of my quilt with my cat. (mine was set with pink) My second cousin told me she had the same quilt made by her grandmother. So that grandmother was the daughter-in-law of my great grandmother. Her quilt was stored, forgotten in a camper. The camper was sold and the quilt went with it. I'd love to make her a wall hanging. So, I'm looking for a pattern. I think I can trace it off mine, but I think it would be better with a regular pattern. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Hello, Brenda
      If you contact me with a return email address, we can help you with the pattern.

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