Thursday, May 14, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday - Feedsack Tablecloth

Yesterday while babbling about my love of feedsack fabric reproductions, I mentioned a tablecloth my great-grandma Alice had made. My great-grandparents, Charlie and Alice, lived on a farm south of Chadron, Nebraska. It was homesteaded in the mid-1800's by Alice's family, the Summers, and is still 25 miles from the nearest town. When the stock markets crashed in 1929, Charlie and Alice had two sons, ages 15 & 13, and Alice was pregnant with my grandma, who was born in January 1930.

My great-uncle Faye has told me that if it hadn't been for his mom, they may not have survived the Depression as well as they did. When she first started her veggie garden, she put it right next to the windmill and horse trough by the barn. Those vegetables provided much needed food for themselves and their neighbors. Alice was also a very frugal and crafty lady. My mom has a hankie she made from a white feedsack with red stripes. With some white ric rac, she made the letter "A". A lady should always have a personalized hankie, no matter what state the economy is in!

She also made this tablecloth that I have fallen in love with. Four feedsacks joined together with some ric rac.

It has a few worn spots in it...

...and a few of the edges are a little frayed...

...and the ric rac has come loose in a few places...

but I think I'll hang onto it for a while! I've never used it, but seeing how good it looks on my kitchen table has me thinking about it.

Every time I look at things like this tablecloth, I feel humbled and realize that things aren't so bad. It also reminds me, especially in today's economy, to be less wasteful and that even the simplest things can bring beauty.

For more vintage treasures, be sure to check out Coloradolady's blog!


  1. I can imagine that garden was a treasure for them--and simple things like tablecloths could brighten their days. How lovely to use ric-rac to join the seams and how wonderful that you now have this.

  2. VTT is one of my favorite post. I enjoyed yours because of the family history.

  3. What a fabulous post! My family has always had a vegetable garden and hung our laundry. With home owners' associations, a lot of these things are not allowed b ecause they are distractions or "tacky". I think it's just good sense. That tablecloth is great. Do you think about re-attaching the rick rack? Just to make it sturdier if you use it.

  4. Thanks for sharing your tablecloth. I love feedsacks too - the real things and the repros.

  5. That's a real Depression idea. I have been seeing recycled Depression ideas lately becuase of the economy. It seems like tablecloths were a lot more popular in that era than they are now.

  6. Such a simple idea, and yet it has elegance about it.
    Love it.

  7. very nice post....I like the post with family history in them

  8. I loved your's a story of love, endurance and togetherness. Don't we all as women, want beautiful things around matter the times. Happy VTT..have a wonderful weekend.

  9. Loved your story as I love your tablecloth. Hold on to it indeed!

  10. I love how cleverly your great-grandmother used the ric rac...making it look like a lace inset! Brilliant!

    Yes, in these times, we can learn alot about "elegant frugality" from our ancestors. Thanks for sharing.

  11. How very clever joining the pieces together like does give it a bit of a lacy look.

  12. Love your tablecoth, and love the ric-rac that was used. This is a great treasure! Thanks for participating in VTT. Sorry, my comment was late, I have been out of town.


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