Friday, 3 June 2011

Quilting and feedsacks

Help!  I'm having to tear myself away from looking at American vintage feedsack fabric for sale on the internet!  The prints are so wonderful, so evocative of the 1930's and 40's.  I want some!

Why the feedsack obsession?  Well, I'm planning to make a patchwork quilt.  I thought a simple pattern, probably just a combination of squares, and it would be really relaxing to handstitch them together whilst I'm listening to the radio.  I'm keen on making the quilt from re-purposed fabric rather than buying new, but don't have any old clothes that are suitable.  I tried the charity shops yesterday but there was nothing at a price I wanted to pay.  Never mind, I'll keep looking because it'll take a while to accumulate enough fabric when I'm only considering second hand.

Then I came across some American photos and patterns for vintage quilts, some of which were made from feedsacks.  I'd never heard of these before, but apparantly all dried goods came in these fabric sacks which eventually became made from highly patterned material.  During the depression and afterwards, these were collected by poor families as 'free fabric' from which to make clothing and quilts.  I'm loving the small sprigged flower patterns I've seen and would dearly love to make my quilt from them.  They just take me back to simpler - albeit, harder - times.

But, back to reality, I cannot afford to make my quilt from feedsacks so I will just have to want.  Ironic though, that fabric that was once used by poorer people because it was free is now too expensive for me to buy!


  1. Hi Denise - from another Denise, and a downsizer too! And a neighbour! Great stuff! If you are thinking about quilting I have some fabric. xxx

  2. Yes Denise I agree the feedsacks look great. I have often admired them on various blogs out of the USA, that have used them for quilting and indeed other crafts. Like you I like to do my quilting using pre loved fabrics which can be hard to find.

  3. Hello to Denise and purplepear - lovely to read your comments.
    Denise - yes please, I would be intersted in any fabrics you have. Just had a quick look at your blog and will check out your website this afternoon. What a co-incidence you were in Sunderland last weekend - two of my friends were at the Saturday Take That concert and I would have been there too if I'd had the money when the tickets went on sale!
    Purplepear - I think I might buy just one feedsack (or piece) and maybe make it a focal point of my quilt. I think the small amount of money spent would be worth it for the pleasure it would bring me, but I can't afford to make a whole quilt out of feedsacks unfortunately! I'm also going on the scrounge amongst family and friends to see what old clothes they're disgarding as I thought it would be nice to have a little bit of everyone in the quilt.