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Thread: The 1930s Flour Sack

  1. #1
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    The 1930s Flour Sack
    by Colleen B. Hubert

    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 VERSITILE 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,
    "GRANDMOTHER HAD THAT WONDERFUL OLD FLOUR SACK!"

  2. #2
    Senior Member CindyBee's Avatar
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    That was fun. Thanks for sharing.

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    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    My Mom remembers going to the feed store with her dad back when feed came in pretty sacks. He would always patiently sort the stacks to find enough of the colored sacks she wanted for her new dress. She says the brand of feed they bought came in red, blue or yellow patterened sacks. Mom always got blue.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for sharing I wish I lived back then. I actually try to live life as it was from 1930 and back. I actually am doing a good job at it too.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ai731's Avatar
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    We buy feed for our chickens and I'm always sad that it now comes in woven plastic sacs that I have to throw out. The feed company can't re-used them, I've asked, and I can't think of another use for them - we don't grow that many potatoes! I wish feed still came in cotton sacks, I would use them for everything in the poem (maybe excepting the parachute for the cat!) and quilting besides. Modern feed sacks are still sewn up with string, however, and I do save the string.

    Jan

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    Quote Originally Posted by ai731
    We buy feed for our chickens and I'm always sad that it now comes in woven plastic sacs that I have to throw out. The feed company can't re-used them, I've asked, and I can't think of another use for them - we don't grow that many potatoes! I wish feed still came in cotton sacks, I would use them for everything in the poem (maybe excepting the parachute for the cat!) and quilting besides. Modern feed sacks are still sewn up with string, however, and I do save the string.

    Jan
    I bet you could make braided rugs with them to use outside by your doors.

  7. #7
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Cute, thanks for sharing.

  8. #8
    Super Member Pzazz's Avatar
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    I love it!!! And I agree with ai731....we have raised rabbits, chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys....and the bags are either heavy plastic or several layers of heavy paper. We also have a dog and a couple of cats..their food also comes in either plastic-like or heavy paper bags. Too bad they couldn't bring back the cloth sacks. Maybe if the "green" movement takes it on!!!!!! :D

  9. #9
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for sharing. I wish cottons weren't so pricey so that companies would use them instead of that dreaded plastic that will out live all of us and probably our children, too.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ai731's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trupeach
    Quote Originally Posted by ai731
    We buy feed for our chickens and I'm always sad that it now comes in woven plastic sacs that I have to throw out. The feed company can't re-used them, I've asked, and I can't think of another use for them - we don't grow that many potatoes! I wish feed still came in cotton sacks, I would use them for everything in the poem (maybe excepting the parachute for the cat!) and quilting besides. Modern feed sacks are still sewn up with string, however, and I do save the string.
    I bet you could make braided rugs with them to use outside by your doors.
    That's a great idea! I've seen placemats made out of woven strips of plastic grocery bags, but I never thought of trying to use the feed bags that way. I'm going to cut one into strips to see what happens.

    Jan

  11. #11
    Senior Member PuffinGin's Avatar
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    Thank you for the great poem. My mother saved them from flour and feed (we had a cow and chickens when I was young) and they served as my stash for my sewing projects.

  12. #12
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    Trupeach, my mother used to crochet rugs from the palstic sacks that come from grocery and department stores, etc. Those things wore almost like iron! To clean'em, we'd toss them in the washer and then let them drip the rest of the way dry on the clothesline. I wish I knew what became of that huge crochet hook she used; I would try making some of those rugs myself.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for sharing...I can remember several things Mom made for me when she had pretty flour sacks. I can also remember some of the darker colored ones being made into dish towels, and those were used to dry the 'cooking dishes'..i.e. the cast-iron fry pans, etc....Didn't want left-over grease on the white ones!

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