We at Robert Kaufman always appreciate friendly visits. The other day, Darlene Zimmerman decided to stop by after teaching at Vanguard University for Camp Watch-a-Patcher, and we could not have been happier to see her. If you've heard of Darlene's collections but don't know much else about her, here is your chance to learn a bit more.
A valuable part of the quilting industry for over 15 years, Darlene has contributed as a designer, quilter, textile historian, and author. Along the way, she has even become known as the "Feedsack Lady." Why feedsacks, you ask? Well, in the 1930s, companies selling chicken feed, flour, sugar, salt, or cornmeal would package their product in sacks printed with designs meant to attract female customers. Women would then use these feedsacks to make quilts, aprons, housedresses, and apparel for their families. Darlene is reviving this tradition with her vintage collections typical of the feedsack era.
Recently, she has developed some wonderful collections with us, such as Betty Dear and Paper Dolls, so you can imagine how excited we were when she stopped by to discuss some new projects. If you appreciate her work as much as we do, keep your eyes peeled for some new Darlene Zimmerman collections in the future, and also consider joining her Clothesline Club - a program that brings the spirit of the '30s right to your local quilt shop.
This is a sales sample from Darlene's personal collection. If you look closely, you'll notice the date of the sample is 1940!
Once we have a direction, we then work closely with Darlene to design fabrics based on the time-period samples she provides us.
Once repropuced, these feedsack fabricks are perfect for Clothesline Club but work well for tons of applications.
During the last trip to Quilt Market, we were fortunate enough to visit Darlene in Minnesota. We spent the day with her and took some photos of her and her community. It was such an interesting trip. Here is a slideshow of the whole day. Enjoy!