Sunbonnet Sue Goes to the Fair

The following is the Spotlight feature from the Quiltmaker January/February 2019 issue.

Suzanne Lacey of Novato, California was inspired, as many quilters are, to make a quilt as she awaited the birth of her first granddaughter. The quilt she decided to make was Sunday-Best Sunbonnet Fancy Sue by Bea Yurkerwich from Quiltmaker March/April 1997. As many quilters can relate, however, Suzanne was delayed in finishing the quilt. “I started this quilt about six years ago. I got as far as quilting the first two blocks and then got distracted. The quilt came with us when we moved 3 years ago, but sat in the closet,” she writes.

Sunday-Best Sunbonnet Fancy Sue by Bea Yurkerwich from Quiltmaker March/April 1997.

“This Spring, when my granddaughter, now 5, was preparing her entries for the Marin County Fair, I thought ‘this would be a good time and a reasonable deadline to get this thing done’.” And get the quilt done, she did. She hand quilted the entire top—a first for Suzanne. “I’ve never completely hand quilted a quilt before. I like it!” This is saying something, considering that she got to the last block in the quilting process and realized that the Sue in that block was missing the satin-stitching around her blouse!

Suzanne Lacey’s version of Sunday-Best Sunbonnet Fancy Sue won 1st place at the Marin County Fair.

All delays and deadlines aside, Suzanne did indeed get it done in time to enter in the fair. And twenty-one years after this pattern was initially published, she took 1st Place! But the burning question is, did her granddaughter like the quilt? “It doesn’t have ponies or princesses on it, so she isn’t terribly impressed… but when she asks ‘did you make this, Grandma?’ as she points to paintings or rugs, I can say “Well, no, but I finished this quilt.”

Editor’s Note: We invite you to send us photos of quilts you have made using Quiltmaker patterns. Your quilt could be the next Spotlight! Send digital images to

Comment (1)


    I loved all your articles on Sunbonnet Sue quilts today! Especially the zoo animals with sunbonnets! What do I think Sunbonnet Sue should be wearing & doing in the area where I live? Well, I live in southeastern Washington state where the mighty Columbia River merges with the Snake and Yakima Rivers before it turns and makes its way to the Pacific Ocean. The area is famous for hot, dry summers and mild winters. The Columbia plays a major part in recreation, so I imagine Sunbonnet Sue waterskiing! Of course, she would wear her sunbonnet, but would she wear a dress or a swimming suit?

    January 11, 2019 at 3:57 am

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