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Maria posted on Sat, Jun 16 2012 10:29 AM

I have two sets of embroidered flour sack dishtowels, one from my mother-in-law and most recently

a set that my husband's grandmother had.  I'm sure my mother-in-law embroidered them both.  I was wondering about preserving them in a quilt.  Would flour-sack material be any good, or possibly with a some type of stabelizing with some lightweight iron on interfacing.  I really would like to keep them, but in a treasurable way.  Or anyone have any other ideas of what to do with them.  Thanks

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Maria Talsma:

I have two sets of embroidered flour sack dishtowels, one from my mother-in-law and most recently

a set that my husband's grandmother had.  I'm sure my mother-in-law embroidered them both.  I was wondering about preserving them in a quilt.  Would flour-sack material be any good, or possibly with a some type of stabelizing with some lightweight iron on interfacing.  I really would like to keep them, but in a treasurable way.  Or anyone have any other ideas of what to do with them.  Thanks

 

I recently saw some quilt pieces framed. It looked like an old quilt had been cut up and the intact portions of it framed. They were actually mounted on some kind of board or backing, in a deep frame.  Could you quilt each of the individual dishtowels, perhaps add a border to each?


In the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

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In my opinion, the flour sack dishtowels were really a lot stronger than they appeared.  If you think about using them for years for what they were designed to be used for, making a quilt out of them wouldn't be nearly as stressful on the fabric!  I think I'd make blocks and then put them together with '50's fabrics for sashings and such.  Making a wall hanging or smaller quilt would assure them of many, many years of life, I would think.  My towels wore out in the towel part long before the embroidery part wore out, and I used them as dish towels!

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You could always back the embroidered blocks with blocks of muslin to strengthen.  

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Nana replied on Sat, Jun 16 2012 1:35 PM

At one time the flour sacks and feed sacks were used to make quilts.   That is where some of our ancestors got the fabric needed to make their quilts.   At that time the feed and flour companies used different fabric patterns to make their sacks so the ladies would have variety for their quilting.

Vinton, Virginia

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gini replied on Sat, Jun 16 2012 8:48 PM

Hi Maria, welcome to the group.  I think you could do either, I think they would be better preserved in a frame

gini in north idaho

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Thea replied on Sat, Jun 16 2012 11:05 PM

Maria - depending on how strong they are - you can check that out - I am sure that they are strong enough to put in a quilt - I would use a stabilizer on the back - a wash away while you are working with them  - just to keep them from stretching... I would probably just do a simple sashing on them and sew them together - they sound beautiful.  Do you have pictures you could share with us?  I am sure if we could see them we would be able to help you out more.

As Nana said - the first quilts made out in the midwest were made from feed sacks - women would go in and buy their flour and look for sacks that had the same design on them or different designs.  Everything was used years ago... before flour was put in paper sacks.

 

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