Sunday, June 10, 2012

Depression Era Feedsack Quilts Continued

Grandma remembers the first time she saw feedsacks that were printed in pretty patterns. She was simply tickled! They purchased several of the same print, and Grandma planned and plotted all the way home. There was enough to make much needed dresses for the 3 girls (very young at this time) so she picked a conservative blue and white check. The leftovers would be used with her stash of white feedsacks (that had been soaked in lye water to remove the names of the seed/feed companies) to make a new quilt. She just needed the leftover bits and pieces to fashion a beauty of a quilt!

Grandpa became used to a much longer trip to the feedstore. Grandma would look behind the front ones to see what the back patterns were, and many a time, the whole stash would have to be moved to find the perfect fabrics. She said "It was just like picking out new fabric at the general store, it took a lot of thought and preparation!"

A bit of sunshine in a life that was hard. New fabric was out of the question, but they had to feed the chickens and the hogs! So there it was, beautiful new fabric for free.  After the sack was emptied, the thick string would be removed from the side and put aside (this would end up either as a little crochet doily or added to a ball of string that would be hardened and used for a baseball)  She would then wash and iron the cotton, then carefully place her pattern to get the very most out of it. It was simply a blessing to have, and she appreciated every inch of it.

She remembers that her neighbors would ask if she had a piece of this or that, as they were just a bit short to make something, and she would share what she had.

She doesn't remember taking many of the darling children's they were too specific and couldn't be used for all the projects she had in mind. First was the dresses that were so badly needed, then aprons, table linens, and sun bonnets. Every tiny scrap was saved for the quilting pile. The more thrifty you were, the tinier the pieces in your quilt was.

Now when I look at these marvelous quilts from the depression era, I give thanks to God for all he has bestowed upon our family, and for the strength and determination that the women of the depression era had.

An American story, thru and thru.

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