Museum hours: Tuesday - Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
"Our Quilted Past: An exhibit of Alabama Feedsack Quilts and the cotton bag industry of the mid-20th century" features 19 quilts made between 1930 and 1950 by Leola Heard and Elizabeth Heard Bean in Randolph County, Alabama. The quilts are hand-pieced and hand or machine quilted, using fabric from cotton flour sacks and feed sacks."
During our last SAGA meeting, we learned about this exhibit at the Old Louisiana State Capitol, but since they are closed on Mondays we weren't able to visit last time we were in Baton Rouge. We had a full day Saturday, but made time to stop by and see Our Quilted Past before it moved on. The display was shared by a group of quilters from Alabama.
"Many a poultryman has overstocked mash to please his wife. 'Give me that one in pink,' says she, pointing to a mountain of 100-pound bags. At no extra cost she gets fine-quality, ready-to-sew cotton prints."
My Dad recently shared with us about picking out feed sacks when he was little, knowing it was his turn to have something made from it. He said that when it was his turn, he would look through all of the feed sacks when his family went to purchase animal feed. He told us about making covered buttons with his Grandma who was a seamstress.
My mom shared a wonderful memory of her own childhood with us. Her Grandma and other ladies would come to their house and all sit around the quilt frame, and my mom and the other children would play underneath it as the ladies sewed. She said with all of the animals on the farm (dairy cows and 7000 chickens), they bought a lot of feed sacks.
"They used what they had, so quilts for their families were made from cotton sacks and were created for function. Their creative designs were dictated by the limitations of fabric."
The "Quilt of Gee Whiz" looked well loved.
Copies of old articles were framed around the room sharing the history about feed sack cloth. One made clear just how difficult the words could be to remove from the fabric as evidenced below on the back of a quilt.