Sunday, February 8, 2009


In May of 2003, Traditional Quiltworks Magazine offered an article to it's readers about the Quilt Code of the Civil War. In it, it explains how traditional quiltblocks were used to relay messages to slaves trying to escape from the South to Northern Freedom. The Sunbonnet Sue block is mentioned explaining that the block used must have been what we call Colonial Girl, Umbrella Girl or Southern Bell patterns. This issue is controversial, but if it is true, would of course mean that the pattern has been in exsistence since the 1860s. Visit this site to read more on this subject. It is very intriging and the site has links to many more sites of interest.
I did find on this site that the first known applique SBS was made by Marie Webster, was called Sunbonnet Lassies, and was published in the Ladies Home Journal Magazine in 1911.

Southern Belle embroidery was popular from 1920 until 1950s. Here is an example of stamped embroidery pattern typical of the time.

Below are photos of typical patterns used during this time.

Below is my Mom's embroidered SBS done when she was 16----in 1942.

Kellie, over at There's No Place Like Home is a SBS lover and collector. She has several quilts and I have permission to post two of them here to show you. The first is an Umbrella Sue---

The second one is a pattern that I have never seen--A SBS Profile--it was purchased in Canada.

I have one Colonial Girl quilt in my collection. It was made by my Great Grandmother Lamberth. My mother had it quilted for me in the first years of my marriage.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks post.

Have a great week.



Mickie said...

Thanks for the SBS posting! It has become a fix for me! I love the Marie Webster quilt too! Thanks for posting the other blog as well, the SBS silouette rocks!

Julia said...

Hi Molly, thank you for coming by my blog..
I LOVE your SBS's...
How lovely to have quilt from your Great grandma.
I love all things vintage especially crinoline ladies and SBS..
Julia ♥

frank said...

I love your blog with all the vintage patterns and information. I have especially enjoyed the SBS pages and patterns, although the links to vintage embroidery patterns are great too. I don't actually embroider, but I might want to give it try someday :) I am a quilter and cross-stitcher, and I love Sunbonnet Sue. Thanks for all your work. I hope all the personal issues in your life that have caused you pain and anguish will be resolved in a way that will ease your mind and spirit. Thanks again.

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