Friday, 12 February 2010

FaB FrIDaY~CoS ShE's BaCk iN ToTnEs !!! ;-)

Bet you can't guess where I've been ! ;-)

After yesterday, (glad the history lesson went down well!) I'm being a woman of few words today... I'll let the pictures do the talking!

(Amanda will have a fit...this pile of tablecloths , above, is out of place because 'you know who' had just rifled through them! Sorry!!!)

(Note the postcards for the next V&H Fair ! Totnes knows all about it! ;~)

It was lovely to see Amanda and Barbara , back at Totnes market, after a few weeks off.

I came home with a colourful tablecloth ( cos I have so few in my house !!) and a pretty Liberty hanky)

And.... I didn't even have coffee early in the morning I had baked... Cheese Scones, Melting Moments and a Victoria Sponge.

I decided to leave my Cheese Scone as one round...less handling and no cutting until after it came out of the oven!


What a fab Friday...I wonder what Saturday will bring!!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!


Thursday, 11 February 2010

Pay attention now! ;-)

Your history lesson for today...


During the years between 1840 and 1890, in the USA, cotton feedsacks started to replace barrels, boxes and tins as food packaging for foodstuffs such as flour, sugar, salt and grain .

In 1846, a Mr Hurd, of New York, invented a stitching machine, that could stitch a really strong seam into sacks.
Thus the sacks were strong enough to take the weight of the food.

At first, feedsacks came in plain unbleached cotton and were printed with the suppliers mill name or logo.

Women of the time repurposed these cotton sacks, for their household needs. Money was little, families had to be clothed and other household items had to be made. The women often soaked the feedsacks in bleach, to get rid of the labels.

By the 1920s, manufacturers realised that women were re-using the feedsacks for their sewing projects and so they started printing patterns on the sacks. They also printed their labels on paper, making them easy for women to remove.


By the 1930s, feedsacks really were 'in'! ;-)


The feedsack manufacturers realised that, in the sacks themselves, they had a wonderful sales tool!

By the late 1930s, there was big competition to produce the most attractive prints.

Designers were hired to design these prints.(What a fabby job!)

This turned out to be a great marketing ploy as women picked out flour, sugar, beans, rice, cornmeal and even the feed and fertilizer for the family farm based on which fabrics they fancied. Some sacks had lovely border prints for pillowcases . Some manufacturers even made printed patterns for dolls, stuffed animals, appliqué and quilt blocks etc.

(Here's a 'full feedsack' below, which has not been cut or repurposed..this arrived at my place this week!)


Here are some more which have been cut open but not used...

Designs were varied and could be floral, patterned or even everyday scenes etc... and the thrifty and imaginative woman could make colourful, family clothes and many other household items to boot.

This really was ab fab for these thrifty women, who up until then had not had much access to a variety of pretty fabrics!

And so the sacks now had a dual purpose:

Not only would the sacks transport the goods but they could be put to such good use!

(Recycling at its very best eh?!!)

Feedsacks continued to grab the attention of women during the Depression and World War II.
Indeed it was the Depression which created a real demand for bags, as frugal housewives discovered they could reuse and recycle them. Empty bags were turned into boys underpants, children’s clothing, aprons, dresses and everything else imaginable!!

Women even traded feedsacks with each other in order to get a variety of swapping just like us bloggers do at times!

But, alas all good things come to an end. ;-(

In the 1950s, cheaper paper sacks became available, and thus the gradual decline for these bright, beautiful and functional fabrics began. Shame eh?


(Well they have been for a while!)

Patchwork and quilting has taken a new interest in fabrics of the past, and feed sacks are back in fashion.

(And of course there are the 'reproductions'..but in my opinion you can't beat the real thing with its history!)

You can still find original gorgeous prints, in a wealth of colours and designs... and even though the fabrics are often worn and well washed, they are soft to touch, and, if occasionally they are a little worn, shabby and frayed, we do not mind as it only adds to their story...and us vintage lovers adore worn, shabby and frayed , don't we?

(Big cheers now please!)
My own collection of feedsacks is small ...but growing!
There are some fabulous designs and if I can use these in my crafting then I am well pleased as that's a little piece of history included in my work.
One can only guess from whence my feedsacks have come and in whose hands they have been before mine...but I know they have travelled a few miles to get to me!
And no doubt they would have a fine tale to tell... if they could only talk!
And that is your history lesson for today!
Hope you enjoyed it!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Little treasures ;-)

As you can see, I'm in 50s mode today!
Little pieces of 50s barkcloth have lovely designs on them and I just happened to find these recently.
And so...(or should that be sew)...

I thought I'd team them up with some dotty fabric from an older Amy Butler range and make some small items for the V&H fair.

I'm intrigued by some of these designs.

There really are some gorgeous fabrics around just takes time to search!
Moving on..

There really are some very kind people around too...
Take, for instance, my writer pal Margaret (met through blogging), who kept me provided with her lovely collages when I was too ill to do much on my blog, last year.
She sent me this collage on my b/day
My photographing skills are a bit naff just lately and so no way can I do this justice but
what a cheery card to receive.
And then...another very sweet blogger whom I have never met...
...posted this to me.
She had found a vintage hanky and it reminded her of me, she said... packed into a pretty, little box, along with some soaps and other little goodies..

The motto on the heart says:
''Where there's a woman , there's a way '
I shall treasure that heart!

I shall treasure this as well...

It's 1930s feedsack fabric and I found it on Etsy.
Feedsacks (and their history), fascinate me and so I think that'll be my next blog post
along with a few little vintage pretties which have ended up in my possession!
Hope everyone is having a happy Tuesday!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Bath time! ;-)

'For how long are you actually going to drag out this birthday and when did the EU actually issue a directive that birthdays should last a fortnight ?!!'

LOL...words which made me laugh as we headed for the railway station yesterday morning, at some ridiculous hour!!

As you can see, we ended up in Bath !

It was a very last minute, spur of the moment decision, when I realised that we could get FGW first class train tickets at a very reasonable cost!

And it was well worth it too!

The train was on time both ways, the journey was pleasurable, the hot drinks were free (!) and the carriage was almost empty!

So well done First Great Western, for once you came up trumps!

The journey took two hours and, of course, once we arrived, we dived into Sally Lunns for one of their famous buns!

Oh she is, baking them fresh, just for us!

Like me, this Sally had all the mod cons of the day in her kitchen!

It was a glorious day and once out in the open air, we were able to potter around with no time pressures placed upon us.

Bath Abbey.

I tried to take a pic of the angels climbing up the front but it was no good..all I got was fuzziness!

It began to busy up and so we decided to walk...

... up to The Circus and The Royal Crescent.

After that, a pub lunch ....with a bit of footy and rugby thrown in..and prizes for guessing where next!

;-) ;-) ;-)

I was 'deposited' here, for a while and Mr S found himself another little watering hole.

And this is where I had to be sneaky...out with the the photos are not quite as sharp...but you get the idea!

I had 30 minutes to savour the flavour and that 30 minutes whizzed by! In no time at all, Mr S was back to collect me!!

I knew what I wanted (more or less)!

I bought a new ironing board cover in the Prairie design, along with some new oven gloves.

Both of mine being in a terrible needs must!

I bought three very pretty hankies and some fabric ..Prairie in cotton duck

and Provence Rose thinner cotton fabric. (Not keen on the china in this design but the fabric was nicer than I thought! )

And finally..and this is what I like about CK shops..the vintage bits dotted around the place...
I spied...

I doubt I would normally have splashed out... but this was birthday money and so..

a very lovely, vintage, cotton barkcloth bag met my eyes.

In fact there were two..another in a more autumnal design.

But I thought this would be ideal for the summer..and very me!

We had a great day...the only downside was that dear Mr S missed the England rugby match and I do feel a bit bad about that! So I have to make it up to him... somehow!! ;-)

Now then...about that EU directive!!

Hope you had a great weekend! ;-)