Thursday, September 5, 2013

the g-bag

I just got a g-bag order from Wheatsfield, the natural foods co-op in Ames. Here are some of the g-bags I sewed up today from my over-large stash:

I kind of love this combination of cheesy, autumnal farm print with realistic barn-board fabric:

I started wholesaling these reversible gift bags / lunch sacks 3 years ago, in a very modest way. I had been given some gorgeous Kaffe Fassett fabric, and the fabrics looked beautiful together. The relationship between the fabrics is what keeps me interested. Anyway, I wanted to share the color, to create a kind of reservoir of color and pattern at the co-op to feed the eyes of the art-hungry who might be out shopping for essentials.

Some of the g’s go unspoken on the label. There’s “g” for “green”. The g-bag started as a concept for “green” gift packaging. How many times have I tried to save a paper gift bag, and then found it world-weary and inhabited with dust bunnies long before the opportunity for re-use? it might also be a grub-bag or grab-bag.

I later found out “g-bag” was slang for “gang bag”, the tote used for money, drugs and guns. I could only laugh. Somehow I just knew “g-bag” had caché.
Of course, it has caché for me because I am Greta. On her deathbed, my grandmother Dorothy, the formal, rather intimidating matriarch of our family, asked me about myself. I was in my late twenties. I lamely began to explain the topic of the dissertation I was working on. She got impatient, interrupted and insisted, “Who are you?” I mistook the question for a lapse of memory, and said softly, “I’m Greta.”

“And how are you going to say, I am Greta”? she demanded.
This question has haunted me. Those who know me well will smile and understand. I seem to totter between too much and too little ego. Too little ego to craft a coherent persona. Too much not to care whether or not I am noticed.

This is one of the little dilemmas I hope to address in this blog. I. Must. Practice. Not. Checking. [whether you have looked at or "liked" my blog].
Next post: a make-your-own g-bag tutorial!


  1. I remember talking with you in Meyer Library, and we both said we liked libraries, and you said something like, "Yes, because they are full of BOOKS!" That's an "I-am-Greta" moment for me. :-)

    1. Meyer library, wow I haven't thought of that place in years. Thanks for sharing that; I don't remember that conversation.

  2. I like your blog and the way you write and sew. I think I would've liked your grandmother too! =)