Revisiting My Sunbonnet Sue Quilts

I have shared the following quilts in the past here on my blog. I wanted to revisit them and show them all in one place!

I have a Pfaff embroidery machine that is able to stitch out some Sunbonnet Sue blocks. I made these almost 20 years ago. I used reproduction 1930s fabrics to go with the blocks and then the border is an authentic feedsack print from the 30s. This was published in one of our quilting magazines.

These are machine embroidered Sunbonnets. A LOT OF THREAD!
The quilt above uses authentic feedsack in the border. The blocks are embroidered with a bazillion stitches each (maybe 14,000). But I truly love this little quilt.

I used to work for Quilt Magazine (1993-2007) as the Special Projects Editor. I came across all sorts of patterns. We loved featuring Sunbonnet Sue quilts. Here's a bed quilt I made for publication using a public domain pattern. All the Sues are the same; just dressed differently. I wish I owned this, but alas not. I'm sure someone is enjoying it. It's a queen size quilt! 

Sunbonnet Sue bed quilt. 14" Block. 104 x 114" quilt

Then I designed a single block that I shared with my students in Atlanta back in 2005 or so.

Sunbonnet Sue. 10" block
My editor gave me two little, tiny blocks I have had here for at least 20 years. I decided to make one into a tiny pillow for my granddaughter (back in 2014). These were hand stitched, as you can see! I featured this in a blog hop that was supposed to include ruffles.

Tiny Sunbonnet Sue block, 3-1/2" square!
I wanted a ruffle on the pillow. I cut some strips from a 1930s reproduction print in lavender. I had to stitch them together to get the length I needed. See the pic below.

Cut two strips about 2-1/2" wide and joined them along the diagonal
Trim away the excess. The diagonal line makes for less bulk when it's folded

Note that I pressed this seam open
See how the diagonal seam makes for less bulk
Time to gather this double-fold strip. Love those 1930s prints!

Long basting stitch by machine
Now I ease the ruffle onto the four sides of the pillow front.

Yes, this is messy, but it will be covered by a backing and stuffed with polyfil
And now you can see how she looks from the front. So sweet!

Isn't she the cutest? Please don't look at the corners. I really struggled with this tiny thing!
 And how does she look stuffed?

Tiny little Sunbonnet Sue pillow
Then I put the single block Sue with the pillow!
Appliqué Sunbonnet Sue from at least 15 years ago
And my last Sunbonnet Sue includes Overall Sam. I made this quilt two years ago and it was featured as a kit in the Keepsake Quilting catalog. I incorporated some log cabin blocks I had been making with no plan in mind. Windham Fabrics asked me to work with them (their 1930s reproduction fabrics) and I pulled out all my Sue and Sam patterns from those years working with Quilt Magazine. What do you think of this newer Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam quilt? I now have it as a pattern with full size templates and all instructions for making those log cabin blocks. I think it's at least 15 pages long.

Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam quilt. Block Size: 16". Quilt Size (no borders): 48" x 48"
Hope you enjoyed seeing all of these. I have the quilt in the above picture hanging in my living room. I'm surprised my oldest daughter hasn't claimed it for her daughter (my only granddaughter) yet. I know she will!


  1. Hi Debby,
    Sunbonnet Sue was one of the very first mini wall hangings I made sometime back in the 80s. I always smile when I see a pattern highlighting her, and I always equate her with 30s fabrics. Thanks for sharing your special pieces this morning. It leaves me with a nice smile to start my day. ~smile~ Roseanne

  2. Sunbonnet Sue has always been my favorite. I have really enjoyed seeing all the projects this morning. I have several books and magazines of Sue and Sam that I have collected over the years so I think it is time to start my own quilt. Thank you for sharing all of yours.

  3. I've not made a log cabin nor made a Sunbonnet Sue/Overall Sam wall hanging but am seriously thinking now of putting the two together.

  4. I love Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam. My grandmother made a Sue quilt for my girls' bed when they were small, I made a Sue quilt for one of my granddaughters, it is still one of the favorite quilts I ever made. And I made an Overall Sam quilt for a grandson..Now I'm getting Great grandkids so maybe another Sue or Sam quilt should be in the making!! I think we should have a Sue and Sam virtual quilt show, what do you think???


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