Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The fabric of our lives

(Dusk in an Illinois farm field) As you might have expected, I bought a lot of fabric items. Aprons galore, a handful of tablecloths, and a few pieces of fabric. There is something about fabric that draws me to it, that calls out my name from a 100 yards away. I think that I quite literally touch every piece I see, even if it doesn't come home with me.
These 3 pieces are old feedsacks. I had really hoped to find more. The two on the left were a surprise in a plastic bag full of fabric that I knew I had to have even though I didn't know what was really in there. (Too darn hot to dig through smelly fabric bags.)

I bought the purple and yellow one in a field filled with vendors. After I had paid for it ($5), the woman selling it came over to ask me if I was sure I couldn't use the others. (I didn't care for the prints.) And then she shared a lovely story with me, which is really the best part of the 127 sale, the stories.
(Super cute candy fabric, also from the mystery bag.) Here is her story:

"I will share a story with you that my husband always tells. Back when he was a little boy, you know times were hard then, his mama saved her feedsacks until she had 3 that were the same. Then she used her old treadle sewing machine and made him a western style shirt. Once he had that shirt, he says he felt rich."

His story gives me a little lump in my throat. The love between a mother and her son, his joy over his new shirt, the appreciation of the small things. I feel rich myself just from knowing their story.
And then there are the aprons. With their beautiful fabrics, and carefully chosen trims. Aprons that saw Wednesday lunches and Sunday suppers and sunny days on the washing line. I cannot resist their charms.
This is a pretty patchwork sheet. Not from Kentucky, but too pretty not to share. It is calling me to quilt it.

I wonder what the fabrics of *my* life will say to those who stumble on it when it is no longer mine.

P.S.The tablecloths are still hanging on the line, so they are not photographed yet, but hopefully by the end of the week I will have them done also. (Things are still far from normal over here.) I will put the rest of the apron photos on Flickr in the 127 set. If you have a minute you should pop over and click on all sizes so you can admire their lovely fabrics.

22 comments:

  1. Thanks for stopping by today. Lovely website!

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  2. Sarah M.12:21 PM

    LOVELY FABRIC!!! All of it. Made me verklempt just reading it. Thanks for sharing.

    xo

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  3. I read your blog from time to time and was excited to open it today and see the great picture of the sunset over the IL fields! Brought back such memories and made me homesick! I lived in IL for 40 years and have been away for 10...I really miss it! Thanks!!
    Jan

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  4. Love it all but especially that wonderful patchwork sheet. Love it!

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  5. oooh I love that patchwork sheet! How fun!!

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  6. The feedsack fabrics are so cute! Can't wait to see what you do with that patchwork sheet.

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  7. My fave is the candy fabric - you have such a knack for finding good stuff!

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  8. The feedsacks are great! Don't you just love the stories people tell? The history makes things so much more meaningful.

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  9. Love it all, but that patchwork sheet is amazing! :)

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  10. Oh, what a bittersweet story from your husband's childhood. Those feedsacks are pretty indeed.

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  11. I love feedsacks!

    I also love having old stuff around because of the stories they hold. I love thinking about the 50s kitchen that my canisters might have been in and the other mother that used them...things like that.

    :) thanks for sharing your fabulous finds!

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  12. I think it is just those kind of stories that tie my emotional bond to fabrics, linen, aprons and housewares from that era. I love the idea that everything has a purpose even the packaging, as was the case with the feed sacks. Even though it was a hot tiring expedition and things are difficult right now, I am glad you got to do a little treasure hunting.

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  13. Glad to see you found some treasures! I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather and family troubles. Hope things get better! cherry

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  14. Wonderful selection of fabrics! I love that story! SO SWEET; thanks for sharing.

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  15. i love how the fabric we use reflects who we are. you are so write on. amazing story.

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  16. Sarah, I'm really enjoying reading your blog. We have very similar tastes and find our treasures in much the same way.

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  17. Loving the fabric as for that sunset it is fab
    Suzie Sews

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  18. Lovely fabrics and treasures! Is that patchwork sheet a "cheater" cloth, or pieced? It is cute either way!

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  19. Love everything here! Especially the super cute patchwork.

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  20. Great finds as always, hope things are improving with your Grandfather.

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  21. Sometimes I feel the children are too spoiled. Partially because I bring something to them each Saturday from a sale. Yesterday it was a box of crafts for my daughter for $1.00 and a ukulele (.50)for my son. They don't really know the feeling of not having something. I don't know if this is good or bad but it reminds me of the beauty of not having so that when you do have it can mean the world to you. I love the story about the wife collecting the matching feedsacks for her husband. Really beautiful. And I love the candy fabric. Really sweet.

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  22. Anonymous8:07 PM

    oh, your husband's feedsack/ western shirt story made me choke up.
    my aunt just gave me a stack of feedsacks-very excited :).
    Kristin @ernamarie
    "random bits..."
    ps can't get my google account to work

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