Friday, March 14, 2008

Show and Tell {Flour Sack Quilts}

Flour Sack Quilts @
 Last week, I found this poem on Suzy's blog and it went so well with something I had planned to do for a Show & Tell, so I borrowed it!    First, here is the poem:

In that long ago time when things were saved,
When roads were graveled and barrels were staved,
When worn-out clothing was used as rags,
And there were no plastic wrap or bags,
And the well and the pump were way out back,
A versatile item, was the flour sack.

Pillsbury's Best, Mother's and Gold Medal, too
Stamped their names proudly in purple and blue.

The string sewn on top was pulled and kept;
The flour emptied and spills were swept.
The bag was folded and stored in a sack
That durable, practical flour sack.

The sack could be filled with feathers and down,
For a pillow, or t'would make a nice sleeping gown.
It could carry a book and be a school bag,
Or become a mail sack slung over a nag.
It made a very convenient pack,
That adaptable, cotton flour sack.

Bleached and sewn, it was dutifully worn
As bibs, diapers, or kerchief adorned.
It was made into skirts, blouses and slips.
And mom braided rugs from one hundred strips
She made ruffled curtains for the house or shack,
From that humble but treasured flour sack!

As a strainer for milk or apple juice,
To wave men in, it was a very good use,
As a sling for a sprained wrist or a break,
To help mother roll up a jelly cake,
As a window shade or to stuff a crack,
We used a sturdy, common flour sack!

As dish towels, embroidered or not,
They covered up dough, helped pass pans so hot,
Tied up dishes for neighbors in need,
And for men out in the field to seed.
They dried dishes from pan, not rack
That absorbent, handy flour sack!

We polished and cleaned stove and table,
Scoured and scrubbed from cellar to gable,
We dusted the bureau and oak bed post,
Made costumes for October (a scary ghost)
And a parachute for a cat named jack.
From that lowly, useful old flour sack!

So now my friends, when they ask you
As curious youngsters often do,

“Before plastic wrap, Elmer’s glue
And paper towels, what did you do?”
Tell them loudly and with pride don't lack,

“We used that wonderful old flour sack!”
--author unknown

Well, here's what I had planned for Show & Tell - two flour sack quilts that my aunts made for me!  I did an IRL show & tell with them a couple weeks ago when missionaries were visiting our church and I found that the wife was a quilt enthusiast.  So I wanted to show them to my online friends as well. 
Flour Sack Quilts @
This one was my birthday present this past year.  The "points" on the stars are scraps cut from flour sacks:
Flour Sack Quilts @

Flour Sack Quilts @
Those are a couple of the more interesting prints.  This quilt was designed especially for me, because my aunts knew that although I am fascinated by the FLOUR sack prints, I am not really a FLOWER person, so here's the backing fabric they chose:
Flour Sack Quilts @
And you can't see it in the picture, but they embroidered a panel on the back of that quilt explaining its history.  I'm told this increases the value of a quilt to a collector.  Interesting! Although I sure don't plan on parting with these!!  Here is the other quilt I have:
Flour Sack Quilts @
In 2001 we had a family reunion of sorts, and my aunts had several sample quilt squares made up, with different designs.  My sister and brothers and I each got to pick a design for our flour sack quilt - although I'm not a flower person, tulips are one of my favorite flowers, so I chose this one.  Here are a couple close-ups of the squares:
Flour Sack Quilts @

Flour Sack Quilts @ Flour Sack Quilts @
Do you know, I remembered some of the prints from aprons that my Grandma wore - but when I was a young girl I didn't realize they were made of flour sacks!  My Grandma had flour sack aprons right up until her final visit to the hospital.  My aunts tell stories of wearing dresses made of flour sacks!  Here is the history panel from the back of the tulip quilt - it is printed so it will show up in the picture better (but I removed the last names for the purpose of showing the picture here!)
Flour Sack Quilts @
Designed & Quilted by Alice and Linda D. 2005-2006
For Kym F. T.
Prints are feed sacks used in 1930s and 1940s, collected by our
mother, Elisabeth T. D.

I'm so blessed to have these beautiful history lessons to remind me of my Grandma!

Thanks for visting my (long) Show & Tell today!!  Show & Tell is hosted by Mary aka CanadaGirl - please head over to visit her and find the links to many other Show & Tells around the blogworld!

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drewsfamilytx said...

Beautifully done!

What a treasured family heirloom you have there.

MayTheyBeMightyMen said...

That is beautiful! I love quilts! I have one that was made by most of the women in our church when my DH and I got married. It's a cross pattern. It was signed by most of the people in our church back then. . .all 75 of them? *lol*

I need to figure out how to clean mine. *sigh*

blessedwith2angels said...

Those quilts are so beautiful. I have a couple that were made by my grandmother and my husband's grandmother. They are beautiful heirlooms. Have a wonderful day,


Canadagirl said...

WOW ! What BEAUTIFUL quilts. I am a very beginner quilter. I hope to be doing something this year. I just love flour sack quilts. What a neat poem to go with your pics ! [0= Thank you soooooo much for sharing these heirlooms.

Blessings and ((hugs)) my SSiC<><

SuzyScribbles said...

I can't visit hardly anybody since I was gone all day yesterday, but when I read your comment I HAD to come over and see these quilts. ALL the prints are from flour sacks (like the Tulip prints, too?).

How incredible. I had NO idea that they made flour sacks out of such cute fabric. Where have I been all these years not to know that fact? LOL

And I think my relative in PA would be tickled that the poem she sent me by e-mail is making it's way around Bloggerland.

Oh, and I can't take credit for any of those pictures, either, as I just Google-imaged them and copied them onto my post, so it wouldn't be just a long poem with no pics! :-)

CrossView said...

Wow! What treausres they are! =D

Pure and Sensible said...

How SPECIAL! Thank you for sharing the poem - really neat. I love that cute little dress. And the quilts are lovely and very special! Oh, I love quilts! Grace and peace, Leinani

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