Monday, May 7, 2012

Sunbonnet Sue joins the Foreign Service...

... and visits 60 countries!  For real.  Except that the real adventure belongs to Mona Kuntz, who is a member of the U.S. Foreign Service.  Mona's blog, Sunny Sue Applique and Quilting, is both a quilting journal and a travelogue.  She explains:  "While Debra Kimball’s Sunbonnet Sue book will be the basis of my quilt, the quilt will be the story of my nomadic life…well, in a Sunbonnet Sue kind of way…. In any case, it looks like I’ll have to draft many of my own Sunbonnets for the countries I’ve visited – I guess that will be the tricky part." 

Sunbonnet Sue plucks the harp in Paraguay, by Mona Kuntz at at Sunny Sue Applique and Quilting

This is Mona's first original Sunbonnet Sue pattern! In this lovely block, Sunny Sue represents Paraguay,  wearing a well-known version of folkloric dress. Mona explains that the skirt has two deep ruffles marked by tiny vintage rickrack, and her hair is full of broderie perse flowers.  The Paraguayan harp is a cultural icon;  it represents Paraguayan pride in their country and in their people. You can read the fascinating story of Paraguay, and see the photo that inspired the block, at this post.

Sunbonnet Sue potters around in Honduras, by Mona Kuntz at Sunny Sue Applique and Quilting

In another delightful block by Mona Kuntz, Sunbonnet Sue embodies one of Honduras’ native peoples, a Lenca woman holding a hand sculpted Lenca pottery rooster. She’s wearing what amounts to as the current Lenca style, a dress with a pleated skirt and minor decoration at the cuff and collar.  A colorful headscarf protects her head from the heat and keeps her hair out of the way.  You can read about the Lenca people, who live in the high mountains of Honduras, at this post.

Sunbonnet Sue dances 'La Vaquita' in Nicaragua, by Mona Kuntz at Sunny Sue Applique and Quilting

Sunbonnet Sue looks very festive in her bright red dress trimmed with vintage pink rickrack and wearing a red hat covered in flowers. In this original design by Mona Kuntz, the dancer carrying "La Vaquita" is wearing a red huipil or dress and the dancer’s clothing and hair are bedecked in masses of flowers. To read about the festivities and their significance, see this blog post.

Sunbonnet Sue Squeezes Grapes in Greece, by Mona Kuntz at Sunny Sue Applique and Quilting.  Pattern by Debra Kimball

In this block, Sunbonnet Sue wears a toga and honors Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and revelry. The lazy Susan stitches add texture and dimension to the grapes, and the embroidered stars on the toga add another interesting element. In the post about Greece you can even find Mona's tips on the best quilt shops in Athens.  Mona says: "I hope I’ve inspired you to quilt, to embroider, to applique, to travel to Greece and see the sights, or simply to drink more wine and occasionally behave like a wild woman!"  Read the whole story here.

Sunbonnet Sue visits the Great Wall of China, by Mona Kuntz at Sunny Sue Applique and Quilting . Pattern by Debra Kimball.

Sunbonnet Sue is having a real adventure in the Far East, but luckily she’s taken along her red Chinese lantern to light her way!  Mona says:  "Beijing is a fabulous city — I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the area where we stayed was sleek and modern, but with unexpected twists — like Snack Street, where we watched tourists chomp on scorpions, snakes, crickets, grasshoppers, and other tasty 'snacks' that I can’t name."  To read more about China and the Great Wall, click here

Mona's original Sunbonnet Sue blocks include El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, America, and Paraguay (so far), and she has created many adorable blocks inspired by Debra Kimball's International Sunbonnet Sue (below).  To see them all, check out Sunny Sue Applique and Quilting

Image credits:  Images of Sunbonnet Sue blocks are shown with the generous permission of Mona Kuntz.

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