Tooting The Horn For Grain Sacks

Ken’s daily trip to our little post office to send and collect mail usually

includes a chat with the Post Mistress and at least one or two neighbors.  

I always look forward to his return, hoping for French magazines and

other intriguing bounty. The most exciting days, though, are when I hear

the tooting horn announcing a truck full of boxes.  Boxes full of grain sacks !

He wheels them onto our front porch. I run out to slice open the tops. I

can’t wait to see what’s inside. I pull out sack after beautiful sack, as dust,

dirt and all manner of things,  remnants of the sack’s contents, fly through

the air.  There is good reason to open them outside.

Two of today’s boxes have linen rolls tucked inside. This is good as my supply

of these has dwindled down quickly.  This linen, used to make grain sacks in

early days, is prized for upholstery and other design projects today.

Every sack is turned inside out and shaken.  Again, stuff is flying.  Enough

down feathers for a small comforter,  plenty of grain and seeds for a loaf,

other items small enough to ruin a washing machine. I know. I’ve already

done that once.

Next is the laundromat.  Ugh  !    11 washers, 11 dryers, 3 hours.  But once 

they come home and are finally inside the house, I can really have fun

spreading them out, discovering the varying weights, weaves, textures and

colors, choosing the ones for upcoming projects.  Happily, there is no dust

or sneezing involved with these freshly-washed sacks.

I also make a pile of the ones that have been pre-purchased and will require

yet another trip to the post office to continue on their journey. I regularly

send photos to the pickers in Germany of furniture and other grain sack items

that I have completed.  They express great pleasure in the idea of the names

of German towns ending up all over the United States.  They agree that this

is an adventure worth tooting about.


  1. Your stock is terrific – as always. Love the furniture and shots in the shop. You are number ONE.

  2. What a wonderful blog! I feel like I am on your porch opening boxes with you. I cannot believe
    how many sacks are packed in a box with all the rolls of linen too. This is almost worth
    ruining a washing machine!! I can see the grainsacks make wonderful covers for your benches
    and pillows and sachets.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this blog and feeling as though I am on your porch searching through
    boxes with you on a spring-like day! Thank you.