One of the programs Mom always wanted to do for the Cuesta Doll & Study Club was on feedsacks, their history and use as fabrics by frugal homemakers of the 1930s and 1940s. I’m sitting here next to an old cardboard box labeled “Quilt Pieces for January Program”, getting myself ready to present that Feedsack program to both my doll clubs in the next month or so.
For me, part of the charm of feedsacks has long been because my Grandad Buffington (Mom’s step-dad who helped raise her) was a salesman for Capital Feed and Seed in Phoenix, Arizona. I didn’t know until very recently that after starting out as a salesman, Grandad Buffington ended up buying Capital Feed and Seed outright. Mom and Aunt Betty have shared stories about picking out their favorite prints and finding enough of the same bag to make dresses from…quite a challenge sometimes!
As well as the box full of quilt pieces and 1930s fabrics (including lots of yo-yos and cardboard piecing templates), I am fortunate to own a number of beautiful quilts made by my precious mother-in-law, Lois Carriker, during the Depression years and given to me before her death. I also have the baby quilt she made for Grant and the one Mom made for me, each containing feedsack fabrics.
Today is a “hunting and gathering” day for me. I will be looking through boxes of old family photographs for feedsack clothing (I know there is a lot), as well as heading back to Storage to pull quilts out of my cedar chest. And if the thought of my cedar chest full of nearly-antique family quilts living in rented storage gives you pause, rest assured that it does me, too, but there is no space for it here. I’ve tried.
Somewhere between here and Mom and Dad’s is a wonderful book called Vintage Feed Sacks: Fabric from the Farm that I hope to re-discover and use. Just in case I don’t, however, I’ve ordered Feedsack Secrets from Amazon Prime, and it will be here in a couple of days.