Sunbonnet Sue dances flamenco in sunny Spain!

With the clicking of her castanets, Sunbonnet Sue is dancing the flamenco while she visits the sun-washed Andalusian plains of Spain.   She’s outfitted in colorful clothing and has put on her bright green dancing shoes just for the occasion.   With a flower and mantilla in her hair, she’s ready to stomp her feet to the soulful sounds of flamenco.  This Sunbonnet Sue brings all the passion, romance, and color of flamenco to life…is she dancing to urge the  matador to use his cape and sword to vanquish the bull with the same fire and skill that she uses to vanquish the dance?  Or perhaps she’s dancing to celebrate his successful bullfight, drawing his amorous attention with her flashing eyes, coquettishly hidden behind her hand-painted fan, and swirling her colorful skirts to give him flashes of her well-toned legs?   Well, we’ll never know because this Sunbonnet Sue is certainly not talking, but it is fun to think about…

If you visit Madrid, you’ll find ample opportunities to see a flamenco tablao.  Flamenco is the baile (the dance), the cante (the song), and the toque (the acoustic guitar music) of Andalusia.   The women wear brightly colored, full-skirted dresses that swirl and flash around their feet as they stomp out the flamenco rhythms.   Behind them, a guitarist plays  to the accompaniment of rhythmic stomping feet, finger clicking and clapping, while a craggy faced cantador sings soulfully and colorfully.   Flamenco is sometimes called the “gypsy blues” or the “European blues” in comparison with American blues, and it has its roots in the musical influences of the Romany gypsies, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Eygptians, and Moors.  When you listen to it, you can hear the voices of these ancestors calling to you.   If you’d like to hear some wonderful Spanish flamenco guitar music, I suggest that you check out Paco Peña — lovely lovely music.   And of course, always follow your flamenco evening with tasty churros dunked in sweet hot chocolate.  Yummm.

So I hope I’ve left you inspired to listen to flamenco music, to get up and dance, or to embroider or applique your own flamenco dancer.   Here’s a photo of pink hydrangeas from my front yard.  So pretty….

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Happy 4th of July! Sunbonnet Sue Goes to Brazil!

I’m just so excited about this blog!  I know that I need to do some more work on my blog’s appearance, but it’s a learn-as-you-go experience for me. My son is helping me, but only when I can tear him away from his own computer!    But he’s a good kid and doesn’t mind lending his expertise….

So, this posting I though I’d take Sunbonnet Sue across the ocean to Brazil.  The pattern is taken from the International Sunbonnet Sue book by Debra Kimball, MD.   My last visit to Brazil was to visit Iguazu Falls, which is located at the crossroads of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay.   Iguazu Falls are magnificent with tons of water from the Iguazu River pounding down over the cliffs.  It’s well worth a visit if you’re ever in that vicinity.   The name “Iguazu” comes from the language of the Guarani natives.   Literally, it means “big water”, which is a bit of an understatement.   There is a Guarani legend that a great god planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipi.  But Naipi refused her godly suitor, and fled with her mortal lover, Taroba, in a small canoe down the Iguazu River.   As he raged over his loss, the god slice the river with his giant sword, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall into the rocky waters below.     Who knows, maybe this Sunbonnet Sue is hiding her face because she’s really Naipi?
This time around, Sunbonnet Sue has a colorful and exotic tropical bird on her arm and embroidery embellished flowers in her hair.   Lots of fun, bright colors!   If you’ve noticed that Sunny Sue has two pink streaks in her hair, that’s in honor of my daughter, who had her hair streaked on the day I was finishing this embroidery!    I hope you’ve been inspired to start your own project today.   Here’s a photo of flowers from my own garden – don’t you just love that deep pink color?!

Sunny Sue Applique & Quilting Starts A Blog!

Welcome to this first posting on my new blog!   I decided to create this blog in order to motivate myself to create an appliqued/embroidered quilt.  My quilt is going to be based on this book, International Sunbonnet Sue, by Debra Kimball, MD, from AQS Publishing.     I’ve been a member of the U.S. Foreign Service for more than 20 years, living in more than 9 countries and visiting more than 60 other countries during this same period.  So while Ms. Kimball’s book will be the basis of my quilt (her designs are very cute, by the way!), 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.  I look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions.

>Let me show you my first square, which is Sunbonnet Sue in England (see book for pattern).<

I think she turned out cute, although I used a fancy satin fabric for the spy glass and shoes, and it shredded a bit (I’ve trimmed it up a bit so it looks better).  The pattern pieces are fused and then embroidered.   I have a few of these Sunny Sue blocks already finished, so I’ll be sharing them over the coming days.  I hope you join me on this trip around the world.