A detail photo of this top showed that the applique and embroidery were both done with a fine stitch and the quilt top in general looked pretty clean. When the top arrived, it was very much as presented, but it still needed a lot of work. I knew it would be worth the time and work to rescue.
The appliqued blocks had been set together with wide pink sashing and white cornerstones. There was also a row of sashing across the top edge, but not on the sides or bottom. I considered this top row of fabric might be useful for replacing other sashings - one that was pieced, one that had faded, and one with several holes in it.
But, I really felt that the 3" hot pink sashing was too wide, overwhelming the delicate blocks in both size and color. Cutting it smaller was an option and would have kept it closer to the original but even if I had kept the pink, there didn’t seem to be another fabric in this world that would work with it for a border. My solution was to take the top all apart and reset the blocks with a narrower green sashing. I also added a narrow stop border of the same green fabric all around. A 1930s reproduction pink and green plaid fabric and a muslin back completed this piece.
As I was working on the top, I found that the embroidery was not finished on one of the blocks. I used a light box to trace the details from a completed block, chose floss colors to match the originals, and added the missing details. I also found basting stitches remaining in a few places and those were easy to remove.
Even though I was machine quilting, I wanted to keep the quilting style as close to period as I could. I quilted a plaid grid behind the girls and added some custom details in the appliqued dresses. I chose a daisy pattern for the sashes, a classic cable for the stop border, and then repeated the daisy motif in the borders. A curved edge and green binding were the finishing touches.
This Sunbonnet girl not only found new life as a finished quilt, but she also became the logo for the Southern Belle Statler Retreats that Joan Knight and I host twice a year. We love our Belle.