Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spending Tme With Gerry

 Meet Gerry, for Geriatrics, but don't tell him that's what I've named him after. He might become offended and I can't afford that, we've just become friends. You see Gerry here has his own way of doing things and it's the only way he operates. You know the type, his way or the highway.

It took me a while to figure out all his quirks. It was trial and error as the owner's manual had very few pictures and though it was in English, it might as well have been in a foreign language for all I understood of it.
Gerry hasn't been with us long,--about a year. Kirk purchased him with the intention of sewing his knife sheaths on. We barely touched him as we were powerfully confused on how to thread and operate him. It didn't matter that I've been sewing for years, my home sewing machine, Suzy, (you know, Suzy homemaker) is barely related to Gerry. They don't look alike, they don't thread anything a like, and the only similarity you have a pressure foot to lift to put the material under and you don't do that with your hand, you do it with your foot. The bobbins look alike except Gerry's is quite large and it requires a screw driver.

Plus, Gerry's needles cost over 13 dollars - a piece - minus the shipping costs. I know because I accidentally broke one.

Right after we bought Gerry, we had to wait for months for his previous owner to return and clear up these confused minds. The tutorial helped but we were still groping in the dark when he left. But, now that I've sewn nineteen livestock feed bags with him. I've got the basics pretty well down pat. 

With a breaking of a needle, I had to search the Internet for a replacement. Yet, what kind of sewing machine did we have. We knew it sewed leather but the details were sketchy.

I can now tell you that originally, Gerry was built with a cobbler in mind. For those of you who don't remember such folks, they make shoes and repair them. No, cobbler is no longer a common term and to think there use to be one in every town. Makes you realize what a disposable society we now have.

Since Kirk doesn't make too many sheaths, it didn't seem right that for the money he spent, Gerry just sat there most of the time. 
 So my little brain got to whirling. There were all these livestock feed sacks that originally held fifty pounds of grain. That is until the livestock ate it all. The bags are made of heavy woven plastic, brightly colored, and I hated to throw them in the landfill. The old feed sacks helped heat our house since they were made of paper and burned well in the wood/coal stove.

Plastic bags at the grocery store and now at the livestock feed store as well. Doesn't seem right.
 So in one of my "Waste not, want not" moods, I dreamed up making bags from them.

I wanted to make them reminiscent of the feed sacks with similar stitching and seams. The exception is that it isn't string they are stitched together with but a strong heavy thread, equal to sewing work boots or saddle leather.

The handles are double stitched on by my home sewing machine, Suzy, as she is more flexible and turns corners much easier. Something I've not figured out how to do on Gerry, so Suzy handles those.
 The proceeds from selling the bags will go back into buying more sacks of feed for our livestock. With each bag you buy, you will receive a personal thank you note from one of the beneficiaries of your proceeds. Daisy here thinks it is a good idea.
                                                             Chicory, well...
she was no longer impressed with the feed sack even though it is now an attractive bag with handles. It was empty.

Hop on over to Etsy, and keep checking as I'll be putting up more and more bags this week as they are completed.


  1. Those are so cute, and it is a really good idea!

  2. I love these. Great idea! Are you going to do more in the near future? Any more of the goat feed bags? I'm interested. :) Sew Get Gerry going!!! After Easter will be fine- hee hee BTW, Happy Easter to you and your family

  3. Thank you. My family really loves these bags and yes, I will have more up this week afterEaster when my company leaves.