Double Wedding Ring quilt by Hilda Keasey c. 1972. Image Quilt Index
Feed Sacks are Coming
By Marian Ann J. Montgomery, Ph.D. Curator of Clothing and Textiles,
The Museum of Texas Tech University
I’ve been enmeshed in feed sack materials for the past year. The Quilter’s Guild of Dallas, the South Plains Quilt Guild in Lubbock and generous individuals enabled the Museum to acquire the Pat L. Nickols collection of feed sacks a few years ago and in the meantime my team has been cataloguing and photographing the 5612 piece collection. As is typical when a push is made to acquire a certain type of material at a museum, donors with similar materials come forward. Today the collection of feed sack materials at the Museum of Texas Tech University numbers over 6,000 items and is likely the largest collection of these materials in public hands.
At University museums, peer reviewed publications are encouraged and this much material is idea for research. A manuscript is working it’s way through the peer review process and is planned for publication mid 2019 by Texas Tech University Press. Thanks to United Notions/Moda and the CH Foundation 550 color photographs will be included.
Some of the quilts are just wonderful. The Sunbonnet Sue quilt below has a great story. Not only was the maker careful to use the free fabric from feed and flour sacks but she had already used that fabric to make dresses for her twin daughters and when they outgrew their dresses she cut them up to put into this quilt.
Sunbonnet Sue Quilt made from feed sack fabrics by Margaret Dollie Wilson
(B. 1912, m.1928, d. 1968, Mrs. Harry) of Pampa, Texas.
Gift of Linda Fisher (Mrs. Charles), TTU-H2015-084-006.
Margaret Dollie Wilson was born in Pampa, Texas in 1912. At the age of 16 she married Harry Wilson and at the age of 17 gave birth to twin girls. Life in Pampa during the Depression, Dust Bowl and WW II was difficult and money was scare. Mr. Wilson worked as a custodian at the local school and then o the railroad. Margaret supplemented the family’s income by working in the school cafeteria and taking in ironing. She raised chickens for their “egg money,” and the chicken feed sacks provided fabric to make dresses for her twins. When the dresses became too small she cut them up to make quilts. The one pictured here is a twin bed size that one of the twins used on her bed. It was inherited by Margaret’s only female grand child who donated it to the Museum in 2015.
This is just one of several quilts that will be included in the upcoming book to accompany the exhibition planned for June 22-December 20, 2019. The book should be available beginning in June via Amazon and other outlets.
Learn more about the Museum of Texas Tech University Textile Collections.
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