Friday, March 27, 2015

Vintage Sunbonnet Sue Blocks

I inherited sixteen vintage Sunbonnet Sue blocks that were made by Myrtle Hattie Guier McDaniel, who was Larry's Grandma Vivian's mother-in-law.  Myrtle died at 80 in 1963, so I am guessing these blocks were made in the 1940s or 50s.  There are an even number of left and right facings "Sues", all with their hats embroidered.  Each block is completely unique.

I just love them, especially this pretty yellow girl.  The backgrounds are yellowed with age, though not stained.  Another chance for Retro-Clean to work its magic?  The blocks seem very strong yet, so I think they would hold up to being made into a quilt or wall hanging.

I am not sure what the protocol is for blocks of this vintage.  They are not terribly old.  I know it is recommended that antique blocks be preserved as is, but I cannot help thinking that Great Grandma Myrtle would have loved to see the blocks actually made into a quilt.  I love the little pink doggies in this dress.

The blocks are each 8.75" x 11", so sixteen of them with sashing and a border would make a nice child sized quilt or, more likely, a wall hanging.  I noticed each block of muslin has a line of holes from machine stitching all the way around the border, which I have learned is needed to prove they started out their lives as feedsacks.

I'll have to study the backs a little more closely because it looks as if the applique was embroidered down all the way along the edge with a visible outline around each appliqued piece.  I have never seen Sunbonnet Sues constructed in this fashion before.  

In addition to the sixteen completed blocks, there are sixteen sets of Sunbonnet Sue pieces all cut out and sewn together neatly in order.  Grandma Myrtle was a tidy worker.  I wonder how long they have been basted together like that!?

How fun would it be to put these together in their own quilt someday?

I finally finished Clue 3 of Grand Illusion last night.  My next task is doing the second paper-piecing section on Harlequin Johnnie.  After working on all those Clue 3 units, it will be nice to do some simple paper-piecing for a change.


Terry said...

Oh Susan, those are beautiful. I would have to put them in a quilt too.

Deanna Hansen said...

My Sunbonnet Sue pieces were created by my Grandmother Rachel Rowlan, born in 1875 and passed away in 1957. Her design seems to be somewhat different because the little girl has two feet and no hands. Pictured is the finished wall hanging done by my friend in 2018. I don't know how to attach a jpg file.