Homestead DIY — 05 October 2013

With the weather starting to cool off I decided to do an anti-reliant project this month that would keep me warm.  Making a homemade blanket seems like a good idea, so I’m going to give it a try.  There are multiple ways to make a blanket.  I’m familiar with traditional quilts that my family made while I was young.  These are made by sandwiching batting between two sheets and then sewing them together.

Homemade Quilt (Source: homemakersdaily.com)

Homemade Quilt (Source: homemakersdaily.com)

These are great since the sheets can be made from scrap material cloth from other projects.

When times were tougher my grandma use to help make these homemade quilts out of chicken feed sacks, which were made out of a cloth material rather than the plastic often found today.

In my childhood home we always had clean sheet and plenty of beautiful hand made quilts on our beds.  We had double beds and slept two or three to the bed.  In the case of my brothers Howard and Elmer, they tried not to touch each other during the night so they tied a rope down the middle of the bed, or maybe slipped the dog in for a divider.  There were no fitted sheets.  our sheets were made of 5 chickenfeed sacks.  it was my job to wash and prepare the sacks.  I learned to take the sewing out by pulling the strings to remove the sewing.  it wasn’t easy to remove the “Arizona Rose” or whatever the brand name was.  It takes five 100lb feed sacks to  make a sheet.  …  Use what you have, enjoy, and be happy.  Bless what you have and be thankful for it.

-My Grandma

It seems that quilts weren’t the only thing made from the chicken feed bags.  It is estimated that  in 1942, some 3 million Americans were wearing garments made from feed sacks.

Chicken Feed Sack (Source: www.etsy.com/)

Chicken Feed Sack (Source: www.etsy.com/)

My grandma and grandpa continued making blankets even when the chicken feed bags stopped being cloth material.  They had developed a habit of frugal living by not only making homemade quilts, but in many many other ways also.

Most of the blankets that my family has in our home now were bought from the store.  We do have a few homemade quilts that were given to us by others.  Last year we made no-sew fleece blankets that we gave the kids for Christmas.

Instead of chicken feed bags I plan to sew together used jeans.  A few years ago I started collecting old pants that got too many holes in them to wear. (Why they sell pre-made holes in pants, I will never understand). So, we now have a stash of material ready to be ripped apart and given new life.

Levi Blue JeansLevi jean blankets are not a new concept.  There are plenty of websites that give patterns for denim blankets.  Denim makes a great choice for an all purpose blanket that can handle a lot of abuse.  They can hold up to the wear of being outside, and they hide stains and dirt well (they clean easily also).

By making a homemade blanket I hope to learn a little bit along the way.  I’ll learn how exactly to go about making a blanket, how to sew it together, and also how difficult it really is.  As we use the blanket in the years to come I hope that it will also serve as a reminder for our family to be frugal, enjoy what we have, and as my grandma says, be happy.

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