Saturday, April 6, 2013

Yiayia's Sunbonnet Sue Quilt ... A Christmas Present

When I was 12 the girls all received Sunbonnet Sue quilts from Papou and Yiayia for Christmas.  Papou didn't have much to do with the quilts of course, except maybe taking Yiayia to Newberry's to get batting or more thread.  Yiayia never did learn how to drive.

Papou was 16 when he immigrated by himself to the US from Greece.  He worked laying railroad tracks in Idaho, got 2 nickels to rub together and opened a shoe shine stand, then got a couple more nickels and bought a small hotel and tavern.

Yiayia's family made the trip west by covered wagon in the late 1800's to homestead in Davenport, WA where they raised wheat.

They met when Yiayia stopped to have her shoes shined at Papou's shoe shine stand during one of her infrequent trips to the city.  I love their story.

Papou and Yiayia and The Cousins

I am top row middle ... the little devil child
who didn't want her picture taken

I love that each Sue is set a wee bit different ...

Some Sue's wear their hats brim up ...

... and some brim down

Some Sue's slouch ...

... and some Sue's have
I-practice-with-books-on-my-head posture

I love the old fabrics ... many are much older than the quilt.
The quilts were made in the early 60's but this bird fabric
I will guess is 30's or 40's.

But most of all, I love the little free hand embroideries on the bonnets.

Daisy ...

And how sweet is this?

A bouquet of violets ...

And a blue butterfly ... on chartreuse!

I would give anything to see Papou and Yiayia gain ... just one more day.

Update .... July 11, 2014

I added a picture of the back for Sandra ....
who wondered what the back looked like.

Very sweet to see the Sue outlines.
And this diamond quilting is what Yiayia usually
did on her quilts ... it goes fast, looks nice.


  1. Oh this was a precious story and the quilt looks like a new one; it's obvious you have taken very good care of it. I made quilts like this for two of my granddaughters, one machine appliqued and the other by hand. Always love "Sue" quilts!

    1. The quilt has spent most of it's life in my Hope Chest (or as grandma called it, my Hopeless Chest). Now it is displayed on a quilt rack and only occasionally makes it onto a bed. I am very cautious with the things that Yiayia made. I have a set of embroidered flour sack dish towels that she did that are 40+ years later, still unused. She would want me to use them I'm sure, but then, I am very much like her ... she too 'saved' her nice things to the point they were never used.

  2. You are very fortunate to have such a lovely quilt. I love the colors and the design. I'm wondering what the back looks like.

    1. I added a picture of the back for you .... very simple quilting with the Sue's outlined.

      And the binding is the the back fabric, folded over to the front. I like doing bindings this way ... takes a bit o' time to trim the edges as you have to do it by hand with scissors, it is way too easy to nick the back with a rotary cutter - learned the hard way, augh!

  3. It's a beautiful quilt and a lovely story. I love Sunbonnet Sue, too. And I have some of my grandmother, Ruby's, quilts. Please come by and visit us at Prairie Cottage Corner. We have lots of Sues and grandmother stories. Thanks for letting us see your family and hear their story. Kathie, in Odessa, WA.

  4. Hi Kathie, so nice to have you stop by my Lincoln County friend! My great grandmother (mother of the grandma who made this quilt) had a sister named Ruby ... Ruby Eunice Hopkins Daugherty.

    One day I'll post the Farmer Sam blocks that I have from Yiayia too. There were a twin size quilts worth of UFO blocks ... I made my dad a lap quilt with some and have yet to use the rest.

    Looking forward to spending some time on your blog!

  5. What a neat story and what a blessed legacy. I've never seen on done like that but I like it.

    1. I'm glad you like it ... I love seeing what each quilter does because each puts their own little touch on their projects. Thank you for stopping by!

  6. Oh, love this quilt! I inherited two blocks from my grandmother, one is a sunbonnet sue and the other is the little boy in overalls. Can't wait to add my own blocks and hope to have my niece make a block too. It will be a four generation quilt. I have 20+ parasol girl blocks to put together that my aunts maid in the 30's. Looking forward to putting that quilt together too.

    1. I love your 4 generation idea ... that will be a wonderful remembrance and tribute to your grandmother. There are some Farmer Sam blocks in my grandmothers UFO suitcase, as well as some parasol ladies. I think our grandmother's were two of a kind! Have fun with your project.

  7. What a wonderful gift and memory. Your story moved me to tears~and the quilt is in such good shape! The embroidery is so precious! Thank you for sharing~it made my day!

    1. So nice to have you stop by Diana .... I have't been into my blog in a long time! I'm glad you liked Yiayia's Sunbonnet quilt, it is one of my treasures for sure.