So you were cleaning out great grandmas attic and you found a quilt. Several family members remember sleeping under it as kids and would love to have it for their won homes. Wonderful. What isn’t so great is the condition of the quilt. How did she ever let it get this badly damaged?? So you are faced with this problem. It is just so far gone, but the pattern is recognizable and there is just enough left to see the fabrics she chose, possibly from her aprons and house dresses, possibly bought and traded with her friends for variety. It looks like no two of these Sunbonnet Sue are the same. How fun. You can see the original warm yellow where the seam allowances that were protected for decades are now exposed. When viewed from the back you can see that she quilted a star pattern in the yellow rectangles, and in the ditch in the blocks plus a little extra, and used a diagonal grid in the backgrounds. Lots of information. The black embroidery was done by hand and in a couple places is all that is left of the block design. The applique was not turned under. So you start seeing Sunbonnet Sue in all sorts of places you didn’t notice before. None of the ones you see are just exactly like the ones on the quilt. After a while you come to the conclusion that she must have drawn it herself based on the popular design. There is one small corner that is a bit better than the rest, but not enough to salvage a piece for everyone who wants. And even this needs massive restoration in order to be a usable textile again. So in the end the original is done for. This is a perfect example of a quilt that deserves to be replicated. Thanks to the black handwork, tracing the pattern pieces is super easy, she made it with raw edge, which means you don’t even need to add seam allowances. With contemporary fusibles and machines to do the embroidery if desired, you can remake it.
We are going to do a workshop that will replicate a 3 x 3 segment of this quilt. It will be two sessions and the materials lists will be on the Showcase page by the end of today. It is your choice how closely you want to stay within the time period. Typical alternate colors would have been this classic yellow, a bubblegum pink, or an apple green. Sue herself can use any variety of fabrics you choose. Sizes of large scraps needed for each part are listed with the materials. Since this original quilt was made Sue has celebrated every holiday you can think of, had multiple careers, and been on many adventures, all by how she is dressed and accessorized. I do believe she has even been to Quilt Jail for touching the quilts at a quilt show. Our workshop is on the schedule for August 29, and Sept 5. 10:30 am, registration fee is $60.00 I will provide the pattern that I have reverse engineered from this quilt. It makes a commemorative sized wallhanging, but you can simply make more blocks if you want something bigger. She is a classic because she is so much fun, and with modern techniques at our fingertips we can really let her be all that she can be.
Tuesday is Crazy Quilt Club, and next Friday and Saturday I will be closed to take Liz back to College. Boy did that summer go quickly!! – Don’t forget that you only have a little more time to register for the tote bag workshop at he discounted price!!!