Birth of a Sunbonnet Sue
Morning comes early in the country. The chickens begin calling before the first light. I hurried to get my chores done, which included going under the house to gather eggs, and take them down the street to the market. After my “cat bath” I was ready to visit my pressed cloth pieces. We sat in our rockers, Grandmother and I. The pieces were positioned in the prepared hoop of drab background cloth and pinned in place. From the sewing basket I withdrew the package of black, pleated, paper, pierced with needles of assorted sizes. “Which one, Granny?” Her thin fingers indicated one of the medium needles. I cut off a portion of thread and ran it through the eye. I was experienced at button replacement, so needle threading was not new. What followed, however, was a new application.
First, pieces needed to be basted into place. Ouch! I wanted thimbles for each of my fingers. As I basted, the pins made their way from the pieces of Sue into the strawberry pincushion. Then, the real birth of Sue began. Blanket stitches, feather stitches, turkey tracks, daisy chains, probably more, after all, it was many, many, many years ago. Days passed. I kept working. Every stitch had to be perfect. Not too far apart. Not too short. I set standards. But my fingers got tired, and the summer grass and good books were calling too.
I finished all of the sewing. I learned a new word, applique, and I had done it, all by myself. I didn’t have time to do anything with my Sunbonnet Sue. She was still in the hoop when I had to go home. I was assured that she’d be waiting for me when I returned at Thanksgiving. I put her in a safe place in the linen room, then turned out the light.
. . . to be continued next Monday
episode #1 http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-89325-1.htm
episode #2 http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-91439-1.htm