You know, "that little girl with the bonnet". Oh, I'm sure you've at least heard of her, since she's most known by the quilt blocks that are created by her design.
The Sunbonnet Sue block is one of the most widely recognized quilt block patterns. You'll find the block made into nursery quilts, appliquéd onto clothing and decorated with ribbons and lace. The Sue figure has been depicted working, playing, and getting into mischief.
The design of a playful little girl with a big bonnet can be traced back to illustrators who worked in the late 1800s and early 20th century. The first of these is Kate Greenaway.
Kate (Catherine) Greenaway (1846 - 1901) is credited with popularizing depictions of young children. She was a British Book editor who is best known for the sweet pictures of little children and girls in bonnets.
I could soooo easily get side-tracked just by that picture alone! Just look at the fashion designs in those garments and bonnets!!! I'll save that distraction for another day, because I want to tell you all about Miss Sue today!
Did you know that Miss Sue resides at my house? Ohh, she's very faded and worn with age, but still just as cute as the day she was created! This is probably one of my favorite vintage quilts in my collection. Like many of my other vintage quilts, this little quilt was made by a family member of another generation.
My Sunbonnet Sue is a nursery-size quilt and I can only let my imagination run wild as to how many babies & toddlers were kept warm under her cover! It must have been a very loved quilt, based on the amount of wear within the design.
There are six Sunbonnet Sue blocks on my quilt, each in the same design as shown above, but each in a different color, with no two alike. Each block is on white fabric and framed in a light blue that has almost faded completely to white. The outer borders of the quilt have a deeper blue square in each corner, but like the rest of the quilt, it is very faded and worn with age.
Each of the six Sunbonnet Sue's have hand embroidery on the bonnet and arm. Each bonnet is edged on the brim with the blanket stitch worked entirely by hand. Oh how I would love to know more history on this little quilt, who it was made for and more importantly who made it. I would love to know what occasion it was made for, perhaps the birth of the quilter's first-born child or grand-child.
One of my projects for 2011 is to try to gather the family history on all my vintage quilts, and make an index card for each quilt so that it's available to generations to come.
Thank you for visiting my Sewing Journal - please leave a comment and let me know that you were here! Please feel free to leave a link to your blog if you have one - I love to go blog-hopping and read what others are doing!
P.S. Here's a link to some patterns for those who might be inspired to make a Sunbonnet Sue quilt of your very own!