Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vintage Thursday Thingie: Embroidered Bonnet Girl Coverlet

I'm reposting this from September 2009-Bonnet Girls are just grown up Sunbonnet Sues. I'm sure CC would have liked this coverlet.
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-a summer coverlet.

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.

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'm linking to VTT at sure to stop by and see all the wonderful vintage treasures.


Ulla said...

This is such a sweet (!) Bonnet Girl coverlet, and a beautiful tribute to CC.

Unknown said...

A lovely embroidered coverlet...I love all bonnet gals! A lovely tribute to a sweet friend :)


beth said...

That was a fun informative post! Love those sugar sacks. Makes me want to read more about them!

LV said...

I enjoyed your post today very much. Yes, CC would have liked your coverlet. I found the information you provided most interesting.

Coloradolady said...

I love this...and seem to remember it because of the sugar sacks...this is a real gem!! I still shake my head at the price you were able to get this for! Amazing. Happy VTT!

V A N I A said...

i love it too. it's so beautifull....
bey vania

Postcardy said...

That's a really interesting quilt or coverlet. I think it was interesting too that you said the bonnet girls were grown-up Sunbonnet Sues. Most people seem to use the names interchangeably.

Deborah Kay at The Paint Splash said...

What a special treasure! Love the fact that whoever had made it used sugar sacks. Wonder if you can find the date using the sack pattern? Have a blessed week. Debbie

Sally Annie Magundy said...

Such a lovely tribute to CC, Miri!

I adore your quilt. I don't think I've ever seen one with a parasol before, so charming. Thank you so much for going in to such detail about it - I love tied quilts too and it was such fun to read about the feed sacks.

Happy VTT,

Unknown said...

What a beautiful heirloom! :)

HaPpY vInTaGe ThInGiE ThUrSdAy!


Michelle said...

What a fabulous and interesting coverlet! The embroidery is so pretty. The use of sugar sacks and the history you found about the origins of the sacks is just fascinating. Thanks for sharing this unique piece. I'm sure CC would heartily approve.

Anonymous said...

That is amazing. What a great post and such an interesting quilt. TFS. Happy VTT!

Anonymous said...

what an interesting post! I enjoyed reading about that coverlet.
i'm fascinated by the wool little balls :-)

Barb said...

What a piece of history in your home, so beautiful!

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

That is so cool! And I love the variegated threads. :-)

Lady and Librarian said...

What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing!

Roslyn said...

This is a very cool quilt you got a bargain there Miri! I have a set of 40-5-'s sunbonnet Sue's that I bought from ebay, I need to sash them.

Paulette said...

Wow, that is such a lovely coverlet, but the back story is equally as interesting as the stitching to me. I love it when you can uncover a bit of history as told in a quilt!