If you’ve ever looked into applique quilts, chances are you’ve seen the recognizable and adorable sunbonnet Sue quilt pattern.
This beginner-friendly applique pattern has only a few pieces that are easy to cut and stitch.
In this post, we will look at the history of Sunbonnet Sue quilts and learn why she’s so special.
We’ll also check out examples of this timeless quilt design, hopefully inspiring you to try your hand at appliqueing this cute little girl on your next quilting project.
What Is a Sunbonnet Sue Quilt?
A sunbonnet Sue quilt is any quilt that features a sunbonnet Sue applique piece. You can add these adorable applique pieces to any quilt pattern to transform it into a sunbonnet Sue quilt.
There are a few renditions of the sunbonnet Sue design, but for the most part, they all include key features. These features include the following.
- A side view of Sue, though she can face either left or right.
- An oversized bonnet
- An adorable prairie dress
- A simple armpiece
- Small feet
Many quilters like to make the design their own so that they may add an umbrella, balloons, an animal, or other additional design elements.
How Old is the Sunbonnet Sue Pattern?
The sunbonnet Sue motif has been around since the early 1800s, but it didn’t become popular in folk art quilting till the early 1900s.
Depending on the region of the United States you lived in, you would know this pattern by a particular name. Some names include Sunbonnet Babies, Dutch Doll, Bonnie Bonnet, and the more widely known Sunbonnet Sue.
The pattern was prevalent during the Great Depression. Perhaps because, during that time, mothers had babies and needed blankets to keep their little ones warm. Money was tight, so mothers had to make do with what they had.
15 Adorable Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Patterns
Now, look at some beautiful examples of the sunbonnet Sue design. Use your imagination and figure out how to implement this design in your upcoming quilt projects.
This genius design features 12 beautiful sunbonnet Sue and overall sam quilt blocks. Each block represents one of the 12 months of the year.
This would be a fun project to work on throughout the year with your friends as a quilt-along, don’t you think? The finished quilt size is 50” x 64”.
Here is a fantastic tutorial that walks you through the steps to create this adorable sunbonnet Sue quilt block. This is a free tutorial from All People Quilt, and it includes printable templates and instructions for how to stitch this cutie.
You could use this pattern in conjunction with another quilt pattern to create a one-of-a-kind design.
This is another free sunbonnet Sue template that is perfect for a beginner. The tutorial with the template is straightforward, but if you have a basic knowledge of sewing, you should make this with no trouble. The instructions are for an 8” quilt block.
How adorable is this quilt pattern? This pattern features several different renditions of the sunbonnet Sue design and the boy counterpart, “sunbonnet Sam.” The instructions will help you make a 64” x 78” throw-size quilt.
This pattern book is the “ultimate sunbonnet Sue collection” with 24 quilt block options inside. Mix and match the blocks to create your custom design and make any size quilt you desire by using this pattern. This would make a wonderful gift for any quilter who loves applique.
This precious vintage sunbonnet Sue quilt pattern is perfect for creating this timeless quilt pattern. This pattern includes all the instructions and templates you need to make this sweet quilt. Check out the adorable detail of the ribbons in the sashing.
Here is a fun project you can make in just a few hours that features an adorable sunbonnet Sue holding a flower.
You can use this pattern to make a small 14” x 17” mini quilt, or if you prefer, you can use the instructions to create a larger quilt. This specific block was designed to look like an Amish girl.
This beautiful quilt pattern features an adorable sunbonnet Sue, flowers, a pinwheel, and a cat friend for Sue. This vintage pattern includes many extras, such as tips and tricks for piecing and quilting the quilt. The finished size of the quilt will be 92 ¾” x 87”.
Here’s a more grown-up version of the typical little girl, sunbonnet Sue. This pattern features a beautiful Sue wearing a parasol and a “southern belle” style dress. The finished quilt will fit a twin bed.
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Isn’t this example quilt perfectly folksy and primitive? Primitive-style quilts are super popular in some regions of the country, and this little wall-hanging quilt would be the perfect addition to someone’s home. The finished mini quilt measures 16” x 22”.
Here is a simple template you can download and print for a sunbonnet Sue quilt block. This free sunbonnet Sue pattern is an excellent start if you want to try your hand at applique. You can either stitch the pieces down by hand or with a zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine.
Here is a super fun option if you prefer not to do applique piecing. With this stencil, you can trace with chalk or a water-soluble marking pen and use this stencil for quilting sunbonnet Sue onto an existing quilt.
This is an excellent option for anyone who wants to play around with quilting stencils and loves the sunbonnet Sue silhouette.
13. Sunbonnet Babies
Here is another unique option if you prefer to do something other than applique. With this kit, you receive 12 blocks that have these adorable designs printed on them.
You then cross-stitch and hand-stitch the designs onto the 9” blocks. This sunbonnet baby quilt pattern is perfect for those who love to hand stitch or want to get into it.
14. Strawbonnet Sue
Here is a beautiful pattern with 12 sunbonnet Sue blocks surrounded by sashing and a wide border. The instructions include ways to add little 3D details to the design, like a ribbon for the hat and dress and little ribbon flowers for the bouquet Sue is holding.
This will be a fun project for any skill level.
This is a unique sunbonnet Sue block pieced together using Foundation Paper Piecing. The designer took inspiration from the traditional applique version but modernized it with this quilt block technique. The pattern includes instructions to make a 16” square mini quilt.
I hope this has been a walk down memory lane for some of you, and for others, it has ignited a desire to try this beautiful and fun classic quilt block.
Sunbonnet Sue has been around for centuries, and I have a feeling she’s not going anywhere.