Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Vintage Thursday Thingie: Embroidered Bonnet Girl Quilt

I purchased this outline embroidered Bonnet Girl summer coverlet on E-bay a few years ago…yes, it was a bargain-it cost me all of $10.00! I’m not sure when its from but I would guess the 1960s, mainly because of the brown fabric…course the orange could mean the 1970s. Its technically not a quilt as there is no batting.

Bonnet Girl quilts became very popular in the 1920s and have lots of different names...there's Umbrella Girl (my girl has both an umbrella and a bonnet!), Southern Belle , and Crinoline Lady !

I wish I could have photographed it better but here's a close-up of one of the blocks from the center row. The center row of blocks are the lightest and were done with orange to yellow graduated floss. This row also shows the most wear and there is even one block with half the umbrella/parasol missing.
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The outer rows are partially done with the graduated floss and then finished with brown.


( Wondering about what's peaking through? I'll get to that soon.)

This coverlet is tied-another one of the reasons that I love owning it! The ties were done with 100% wool so when the "quilt" was washed the yarn shrank up and formed these balls. The only quilty memory I have from childhood is sleeping at my Aunt Anne's and she had covers with these wonderful little balls on them!



This entire coverlet is made from sugar sacks! She used the best parts-with no printing-for the front.
The back is made up with sugar sacks turned so that the writing is inside the coverlet but it is still noticeable. Since there is no batting, it is quite easy to read. All of the sacks were 10 lbs. and were from two companies: The Amalgamated Sugar Company and the Utah Idaho Company.
With a little time spent with Google I discovered some fascinating things. These were both sugar beet companies. The Ogden, Utah plant was founded in 1898 and merged with other plants to become the Amalgamated Sugar Co. in 1915. A sugar beet processing plant was built in Garland in 1903 by the LDS Church and was merged with others from Idaho to form the Utah Idaho Sugar Company in 1907.

One of the bags says Chinook, Montana…a little research here informed me that there had been a large sugar beet processing plant serving the area, a large sugar beet growing center until “business collapsed among manipulations of the commodities market back in the early 1950’s”!
You can read here about sugar hoarding (over 5 million pounds!) in this NY Times article from 1919… I’m telling you the sugar business was not sweet!






I really love the back of this quilt-I love these sugar sacks! I love that they say “ A Product of American Farms” and “Pure Granulated” and “Fine Granulated Table and Preserving Sugar”.






I love this quilt…I love the woman who made it! She took sugar sacks and a bit of floss and made a summer spread-I like to think- to dress up her daughter’s bedroom.
I like this Bonnet Girl so much that I have traced the design and started embroidering my own blocks-I’ll show you two later this week and I’ll share the tracing so if you like Bonnet Girls as much as me-stop back!

Be sure to hop on over to Coloradolady and see all the other vintage treasures being shared today on Vintage Thursday Thingie!!




24 comments:

JEWELGIRL said...

Your love for this sweet quilt is
everywhere in this sugary wonderful post. I am happy I am not the only
person who enjoys researching my
treasures. It's so much fun right?
Happy VTT! :)

karenfae said...

We lived in Idaho for 3 years back in the late 1970's and there were sugar beet farms all over the place! Potatoes too. I remember seeing a lot of the sugar sacks - like the flour sacks from the 1880's and early 1900's.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

LV said...

Thanks for the interesting history about the sacks. Back then, you used whatever you had. Times wee hard.

viridian said...

Lovely! thanks for sharing. "manipulations in the commodities markets".... I guess this has been happening for awhile!

Elizabeth said...

What a great quilt, with so many interesting things! I love the little pop-ups from when the wool shrinks, my mom had something that did that when we were kids.

Postcardy said...

Both sides of the quilt are interesting.

A Collector At Heart said...

I just love your quilt and what a great e-bay buy! The history of it is just wonderful!

Dawn said...

The 'back' story is fascinating and the coverlet is amazing and my word verification is 'patcha' appropriate for a quilt post, huh!

marianedwardsdreamweaver said...

i loved reading your post, Miri, i was totally engrossed..i love those sweet little sugar sacks!..what a sweet quilt/coverlet..i love the design and i look forward to seeing your stitchery :)

Patty said...

What a neat quilt and a great post, Miri. I had no idea the yarn ties would turn into balls after washing. I love how the quilter used what she had to make this. There is an old building along the 55 (freeway) and I'm pretty sure it used to be a sugar beet factory. Instead of tearing it down like they do nearly every old building here, I think they turned it into a hotel. I'll have to google it and see what ic an find out.

Maureen said...

Ingenuity! Gotta love it!

greenhoneyhive said...

Funny that you posted your beautiful, homey, warming quilt this week, since I posted old transfer patterns I found...Great vintage Thingie lovers think alike.. I live on property in Salt Lake City that use to be some the Mormon churches sugar beet farms located west of downtown..

Roslyn said...

Your quilt is a treasure I have not seen the like of it Miri.

Muddling Through said...

What a wonderful coverlet! I love that she used what she had to make something beautiful.

Ulla said...

A truly sweet quilt. Your background information made it so much more interesting.

Keetha Broyles said...

Love the quilt.

I bet it's OLDER than the 70's. I don't think sugar was still coming in cloth sacks then - - - in fact I KNOW it wasn't since I graduated from HS in '72 and started housekeeping in '75.

Bea said...

I love those little girls. I have patterns for them somewhere but just never got around to making them. Better find them, that would be a good winter project. :)Bea

Pink Roses and Teacups said...

what a sweet quilt. Made from sugar sacks. That is so cool!


Debbie

henny said...

Interesting story behind your treasure...thanks for sharing:)

Coloradolady said...

What a cute quilt, and what a great informative post. I really enjoyed this one! Have a great VTT and a wonderful weekend.

Annemariesquilt said...

You are very lucky to own such a wonderful quilt and it must be fun to "copy" the stitchery..
Have fun.

mannequin said...

Sugar sacks. How beautiful. It's so much more precious than anything one could possibly buy today.
I love it :)

Becky said...

I love a treasure with a history and a history lesson! Thanks!

Carrie P. said...

What an awesome deal you got on your a neat quilt. Thanks for sharing.