Sunbonnet Sue and Sam Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns

We all know Sunbonnet Sue. Some of us love her, some of us have appliqued or quilted her and some even remember her from childhood days.

Whether you know the pattern as the Sunbonnet Sue, or the Dutch doll, Bonnie Bonnet, or as the Sun Bonnet Babies....she's been made into quilts, painted on nursery walls, appliqued onto clothing and goes back to our grandmother's or even great-grandmother's time.

Many of the illustrators of the late 1800's and the early 20th century drew playful children with big hats or bonnets, but only a few are recognized as being Sue's earliest illustrators. The first is Kate (Catherine)Greenaway (1846-1901) who as a British book editor who often drew pictures of children, especially sweet girls in bonnets on her greeting cards. Many of her designs were used on the patches of fine Victorian crazy quilts or appeared in early editions of Smithsonian magazine. These were probably Sue's very first appearance in quilts.

But it is another illustrator, Bertha Corbett Melcher, who is officially regarded as the "Mother of Sunbonnet Babies." Bertha illustrated children's Primer books in the early 1900's and her books depicted girls with their faces hidden by their bonnets. Her drawings caught the eye of a Primer illustrator Eulalie Osgood Grover, and the two women began a collaboration what would last for many year, through many different Primer books.

An early Housekeeper magazine reprint of that article describes this time of her life. Although most of her time was spent on her Sunbonnet Babies, she was a recognized artist in her own right and worked in water colors, oil, and ivory miniatures.

0, we are the Sun-bonnet Babies.
Good morning, and how do you do? We came all the way the other day,
From a bottle of ink for you.

We all are so very polite,
We never so much as look,
But laugh away about our play,
All through this wonderful book....

A little girl that once I knew
Read this book completely through;
Read it every word, and then
Read it all right through again!
by Bertha Corbett Melcher
Merry Sue by Joanne Kost..this takes you to her site and also adds:

Sue & Sam Paper Pieced Block

Sunbonnet Farm Girl

Windblown Sue

Machine trimmed Embroidery Sue

October Sue with Kitty

Sue with flowers on her sunbonnet.

Sue Anonymous - A series about violence
turkeysam.jpg (18605 bytes)

Where the boys are - Sunbonnet Sam gets a page!

Free NYFD Block Pattern

Pattern6 (4173 bytes)

Oriental Sue pattern

Sunbonnet Sue Doll

Sunbonnet Sue Gardens
Sunbonnet Sue and Overalls Sam Quilt - Here's My Heart Quilt ...

Sunbonnet Sue's

Umbrella Lady Quilt

Free Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Pattern

Shown below...a Sunbonnet (shaped like a bonnet) Sewing Case...a Vintage Pattern!
Sunbonnet Sewing Case - Vintage Pattern
This pattern is quite the charmer, it’s a unique Sunbonnet Sewing Case which has the brim of the bonnet holding needles while the bonnet itself is a small drawstring pouch to hold sewing supplies (like threads, a thimble, small pair of scissors, etc.). This pattern is from 1936.
Fabric: Use gingham, cotton print, silk or velvet.
Cutting Instructions:
Picture of Pattern Pieces - Click For Larger -
  • Cut section (1) on fold of material.
  • From section (2) cut 1 pair for outside and another pair for inside facing.
  • From section (2) also cut 2 cardboard pieces for stiffening and 2 white flannel pieces (for inside needle section) omitting the 1/4 inch seam allowance.
  • Join each section (2) to facing leaving long straight side free, insert cardboard. Repeat for other side.
  • Sew tape to form casing on underside of section (1) finish lower edge with narrow hem and draw gathers at other edge into 6-1/2 inches. Join the gathered edge to one edge of section (2).
  • Buttonhole the curved and short side of each white flannel section (detail 2) using 2 threads six strand cotton. Turn in seam allowance of facing and slipstitch to position over the raw edge of each flannelette section.
  • Slip ribbon through casing, draw together and tie a bow.

Pattern Download

Both the image file and a pdf are available below
JPG Pattern Download (First save to your desktop before printing; Don’t check “Fit To Page” and it should print out true to size.)
Sunbonnet Sewing Case PDF Pattern Download. The pattern won’t print off true to size so you’ll need to enlarge it (measurement details are included in the pdf).

Here is a link to a great set of patterns of Sunbonnet Sue paper dolls

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska. Sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join in her Liberated Quilting Challenge for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Help us change the world, one little quilt at a time!