Last night I had HGTV on tv as I usually do when I am getting ready to sleep. A new show was on called "The Laundry Guy" about a man who apparently has a business cleaning all different kinds of textiles. Last night he cleaned a Sunbonnet Sue quilt that the client's grandmother made. He said, "the sunbonnet sue quilt pattern goes back to the mid 19th century but only became popular in the 20th century after the "Sunbonnet Babies" book was published. He said it with great authority. He was wrong.
The majority--but not all of you--may know that I collect Sunbonnet quilts. In fact, my program on the history of the sunbonnet quilt pattern has been my most popular program. Sunbonnet Sue or (Babies) quilts can be traced back to the book, first published in 1900. A few years later embroidery transfers and all different kinds of quilt patterns were created like Marie Webster's Keepsake Quilt that we just discussed on Monday's post.
Quilt history is exciting because it is always evolving as new scholarship arrives and so let's talk about Crazy Quilts...
I was sent an email after yesterday's post about the origins of Crazy quilts here. The article follows a common theory that the quilts were inspired by the 1876 Centennial when Americans viewed and admired Japanese crazed pottery. I have read this in many books on quilt history as well. There are some good blog posts on the subject by reputable scholars but the truth is...we just don't know. Frustrating isn't it?