Fab Fabrics: Vintage Feed and Seed Bags

Want to add a little kitsch to your next sewing project? We’ve got just the thing!

Pam Knott over at Mad Creek Designs stocks these fabulous feed bags, seed bags, and gunny sacks in all sorts of different patterns. Growing up in Iowa, she remembers her grandmother’s vanity bench covered with one, the kitchen curtains made from a pair of them, a table cloth, and an apron her grandmother wore until it was threadbare.

The Mad Creek Designs shop has a ton of these vintage goodies cleaned, opened up, and ready to sew! Pam says she worried that some of the bags might be a bit scratchy, but after a run through the wash, they are much softer.

On top of all the projects her grandmother used these for, they’d be great backing for some throw pillows! Or maybe a cute tote bag, like the ones to the left there?

Pam is an avid crafter and recycler. She loves working with vintage neckties, buttons, and fabric scraps and she’s passing those values along to her granddaughter just like her grandmother did for her! She and her granddaughter designed a simple shoulder bag: the Shelby Bag. Her granddaughter digs into her scrap bags and stash, playing with all her favorite colors, and they do the sewing together.

[Photos courtesy of Mad Creek Designs. Used with permission.]

Written by Becky Striepe

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .


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  1. Thank you for featuring my farm sacks! I have several of the muslin bags up on Etsy and will get burlap gunny sacks up within the next 24 hours. I have a couple of the Shelby Bags that could go up for sale also.

    The rabbit feed bag that is pictured went to a lady who was going to make sofa pillows out of them. Yep, raw burlap. I have softened some of these by washing them in Woolite and using Downey in my rinse water. Then I hung them to dry so they wouldn’t shrink in my drywe.

    My Grandma used printed FLOUR sacks for her curtains and seat covers. They came in beautiful colored prints and they are at antique stores everywhere for between $9-$12 each. These were used far and wide by quilt makers during the Depression years and are being reproduced today. I have seen the muslin feed sacks used on the back of quilts. Or for a pillow on a sun porch or back porch. If nothing else, they make wonderful dish towels and hand towels.

    Thanks again! ~Pam

  2. I have been Pam’s neighbor for 7 years and did not know what she does as her hobby turned trade! I think Pam is doing a great service and we can learn so much from her in addition to buying some of her wonderful bags and materials to make our own pillows. They are not only more beautiful, they are saving the environment, and they are cozier and more homey than anything you will find at Walmart or Kmart or Target (or any of the more expensive shops, either!) I’m going to Pam’s website today and check her out!
    Thanks, Pam!!!

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