Friday, September 19, 2008

Feedsack Fabric

I love where I live. I really do. It's really beautiful here, just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We are about 15 miles from the closest big town, Waynesboro, and about 30 miles from Charlottesville. Sometimes I get tired of driving, but then I look at those mountains!

Okay, why am I telling you this? Because, being out here means that I don't have access to high speed internet service. I do have something called cellular broadband which uses a modem to access a signal from a cell phone tower. Usually, this works pretty well. It's kind of fast, but not the real deal. The biggest issue I have is that it takes FOREVER to load a photo to blogspot. It can take anywhere from 3 minutes to overnight to never. This is not a lie. I have tried to make sure the files are small (they say they can load pictures that are up to 4 MB, and mine are generally about 600 kbs). Thus, sometimes blogging can seem like a bit of a chore. But enough of that!!!

I have had an obsession with feedsacks for quite awhile. They are becoming more and more collectible, which means more and more expensive,  so that means I don't get to buy them. That makes me sad, but such is life. If you don't know what feedsacks are, they are the cotton bags that feed, flour, sugar, etc. used to come packaged in from about 1840 to about 1950. Originally, the sacks were plain white in color with a company's logo on it (the logo's were originally round, because barrels were used before cotton sacks. The logos would be on top of the barrel, which was round). Gradually, around, the 1920's, companies began to use colors and patterns on their feedsacks. As women had been using the feedsacks for quilting and undergarments, manufacturers realized there was a huge marketing opportunity to be had. If they could make their feedsacks prettier than the next guy's, the ladies would be more likely to buy their sack of flour rather than the competitor's. Pretty smart! So, there became a big industry in designing lovely prints on these double duty sacks.

Feedsacks died out in the 1950's as the manufacturing of paper became less expensive. Now you can find them at quilt shows, antique shows, ebay, junk shops etc. Or maybe in your grandma's attic! I have only a few large pieces of feedsack fabric, as they are quite pricey.

I really love the colors they used.

This is a neat one, with the gray and orange.

I love the gold tones mixed with the turquoise.

Again, gray and orange.  This is one of my favorites.

Some companies are reviving the feedsack type of pattern, but I have yet to see them in larger prints.  Mostly they are small, calico type prints.  This color is too gorgeous.

I haven't done anything with these, as I am waiting for the perfect project.  I might make some coasters with them.  Just simple squares, but then they will be scattered around the house, and we can all admire their beauty.

I got this information from She has lots of great information if you are interested in quilting and history.

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