Sunday, October 23, 2011

Recycling, Repeating or Remembering~

One day-somewhere- someone stood over mounds of wool,cotton and other fibers and made thread,yarn and fabrics. With those raw materials they envisioned things of beauty and functionality for everyday life. 
They didn't just stand there and think about it-they carded the raw fibers,refined it ,spun,weaved and sewed with it until those beauties materialized.
True art!!
In our modern age we are so far removed from these
 processes that we don't really understand how they did it. 
Maybe thats why I am sooo taken with the Vintage and Antique needlework that I find and collect.

I always imagine the beginning of the piece I hold in my hand and wonder what the farm was 
like on the day THIS cotton (or other fiber)was picked,hauled,cleaned and carded? Who did it?
How the fiber  affected their life-were they slaves,or free people?
Did they loathe the cotton sack or appreciate it?

It was hard work no matter who it was and because I so admire
 honest labor and good workmanship I appreciate the person that picked that tiny fluffy ball of fiber or sheared that sheep and  stuffed that wool into a bag ready for the next step of the process.
I equally admire the person who took the fine threads or rough hemp and fashioned a beautiful crochet edging for a pillowcase or a tough but beautiful grain sack to use time and time again to haul valuable grain from the farm to its next destination. 

 These timeless pieces are OUR history-they are tactile reminders of working hands whether free or forced and workmanship that has stood the test of time.
 Maybe that's why I am so drawn to the textiles of the years when people REALLY did things rather than observed things done.
 Busy hands- creating beauty even in work. I just love it!
When I first learned the history of the German grain sacks I was amazed at the durability and beauty in such a functional little item! This was the time when folks didn't throw everything away after one use-it was expected to be used and used and used and then maybe reused for another purpose until there was no practical use left in it.
I'll admit upfront that I am not as "green" as I should be-I don't recycle everything and I do my part in filling up the world's landfills- but I'd like to do better-if I could find a way to do it without driving myself crazy.
( It leads me very close to hoarding to try to recycle much more than I do right now.LOL! )

I purchase what seemed like a huge amount(at the time) of German Grain Sack fabric on our recent trip to Texas- perhaps it seemed so huge because I was SOOOOO tired and my arms were full of equally good finds.
I knew what I wanted to make and I could hardly wait to get started!~

I love these fantastic Market Bags with long straps  for wearing cross-body. Each bag is unique with a large button closure and a vintage textile inside pocket. 
These bags were too beautiful to line-I wanted every inch of the linen to be visible. 

For all my thriftiness I only made 5 bags ~ and the only bit of fabric I'm holding back is for my very own bag just like these!!! 
Please visit a few of these sites to read about the use and construction of this" piece of the past textile"!

*Please visit Mettamarie on facebook for purchase info


  1. Thank you ,dear! How are you? Busily sewing yet???

  2. When I spin up wool into yarn, then use to knit or crochet a piece, I'm actually just doing part of the equation. Somebody raised those sheep & sheared them, cleaned the fiber, carded, dyed, and processed into roving for me to take from there. Fiber goes through such a laborious process before it becomes the finished project. I'm with you wholeheartedly on being fascinated with the time consuming steps a finished product represents, that most take for granted. :)

  3. Well,I have to take my hat off to you Bonne! I cannot get spinning to work for me- but still it amazes me. You did see that I bought an OLD spinning wheel? Ill likely resell it ,someday, but first I want to spin at least a little of the wool I have here. Its just something I want to do once in my life.