Sunbonnet Sue parties with peacocks in India

Applique Quilt -- Sunbonnet Sue joins the Foreign Service -- visits India (original design by Mona A Kuntz, April 2014, Sari with Peacock) xHey people!  I’m back after a long absence.  Sorry about that, but I have a busy job and once I fall out of the habit of doing something, I truly do fall out.   But I’m back and you have my sincere apologies.

I’m back with Sunny Sue visiting India, wearing a richly colored sari, loaded down with bangles and earrings, and holding the national bird of India, the Indian Peacock.   Although I adore the International Sunbonnet Sue patterns, I did not believe the Indian version of Sunbonnet Sue in the book really captured the Indian woman in my mind.  So I drew my own — the  above photograph is my own version of Sunny Sue visiting India.   I didn’t do it justice, but I really wanted to celebrate the beauty of the saris that I see Indian women wearing.  They are gorgeous, and often made from lovely silks in the brightest of colors, often beaded or with other fancy borders.  The sari is usually a long length of silk or other fine fabric.  It can be up to 9 yards long and 2-4 feet wide, and wrapped around the waist, with one end draped over the shoulder.   However, Indian women find many ways to drape and pleat the fabric into individual styles — I learned that there are more than 50 recognized sari draping methods.  That’s a lot from one length of fabric.  The draping leaves the midriff bare to one extent or another, and an undergarment or petticoat is found under the bottom half of the sari.  On top, the cropped fitted blouse with short sleeves is known as the choli.   The sari takes a lot of grace and style to wear, in my opinion, and it is widely regarded as a symbol of Indian culture and grace.   I know that if it were me wearing the sari, I’d be a walking disaster.  I can imagine my drapery slipping, the whole shebang sliding down my body at some inopportune moment, or me walking around with it tied in a big bow with a knot somewhere.  I doubt that I could manage to wear a sari, but saris are ingrained in the culture and history of India, and I admire the Indian women who can wear all that fabric and make it look easy.

I’m also a bit fascinated by the Indian peacock, I must say.  Although they are some of the most beautiful birds in the world with their iridescent blue and green body and tail feathers, they are also some pretty testy birds, and I suggest not getting too close to them.   But beautiful they are, indeed.  They use their long graceful train of feathers in their mating rituals and courtship displays, spreading them out into a shimmering fan of feathers that is something fantastic to see.   I’ve read that the peahens choose their mates according to the size, color, and quality of those fans…well, hey, don’t we all go for beauty over substance?  Girls will be girls.   Like many bird species, the peacocks gather a harem to their side — and a group of peafowl are called “parties” or sometimes “musters”.  So the next time you get invited to a peacock party….well, you know what’s in store!!!  Peacocks have been kept as pets for thousands of years, but if you’re planning on keeping a “party” of peafowl, think twice.  They are easily startled, and scream out a loud warning to their fellow peafowl.  But if you’re startled out of your sleep by a scream that sounds like someone being murdered, first check on the peafowl….it might just have been them.

So folk — I’m glad to be back.  I hope you wear a sari sometime or maybe just any old thing that makes you happy and proud as a…ahem…peacock (couldn’t resist!), and I hope you enjoy my own version of the peahen below, in the form of a Nicaraguan pottery chicken that I picked up a few years ago.  It’s much quieter….

Nicaraguan pottery chicken