Audio Recordings "I make just as little a binding as I can make it."

Format Audio Recordings
Contributors Johnson, Geraldine Niva
Todd, Zenna
Dates 1978
Location Ennice
North Carolina
United States
Language English
Subjects Aesthetics
Quilt Binding
"I make just as little a binding as I can make it."
Contributor Names
Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
Todd, Zenna, 1916-2012 (Interviewee)
Todd, Zenna, 1916-2012 (Creator)
Created / Published
Ennice, North Carolina
Subject Headings
-  Quilting
-  aesthetics
-  quilt binding
-  Ethnography
-  Interviews
-  United States -- North Carolina -- Ennice
-  Mrs. Todd started making quilts for her family to use when she was 25. She teaches quiltmaking and makes quilts to sell through a local shop to supplement her income. Geraldine Johnson described her as "a bubbly, enthusiastic person who would be a natural à interpreter of Blue Ridge quilts." This interview includes good information on the economics and practice of making quilts to sell, criteria for selection of materials to use in quilts, and how quiltmaking has changed over time.
-  Transcription: GJ: How do you like to finish off your quilts? / ZT: When you get it done? Uh huh. Well, when I get it done, I lay it on the bed and a go around it and trim it. I cut top, padding, the lining, and I'll trim it. Then sometimes I take it to the sewing machine and I stitch it close to the edge to hold, hold it good. And then I take, my bias, if I don't have, the, if I use the unbleached muslin for the lining, I cut me enough of inch, bout a inch, or inch-and-a-fourth or inch-and-a-half, bout a inch-and-a-fourth, I guess. I cut that, and cut it bias. And then I bind it with that. I'll sew it on one side and turn it back on the other, and then I'll do the finishing with my fingers. I'll sew it on the bottom side and do it with my fingers on the top. And I make it just as little, a little binding as I can make it. Makes it look more, looks prettier, looks better. / GJ: Is that the way you've always done it? / ZT: Well, I have, I've done it different ways. If I've, if I'm making it for myself, just to use for, what you'd say, to keep the bed warm, I have just hemmed my lining up over the top, the top back on the lining. And you know. But if I'm make it especially for a real fancy, nice quilt, I, I try to do it, you know, real nice.
-  For rights information please contact the Folklife Reading Room at
Sound tape reel : 7 in.
Call Number
AFC 1982/009: BR8-GJ-R102
Source Collection
Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project Collection (AFC 1982/009)
American Folklife Center

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices and Privacy and Publicity Rights for additional information and restrictions.

The American Folklife Center and the professional fieldworkers who carry out these projects feel a strong ethical responsibility to the people they have visited and who have consented to have their lives documented for the historical record. The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.

This collection includes materials from the "All-American Quilt Contest" sponsored by Coming Home, a division of Lands' End and Good Housekeeping. The quilt contest winning entries from 1992 to 1996 are displayed with the permission of Coming Home which retains its rights.

Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these collection materials should contact the Folklife Reading Room for assistance. 

Credit line

Please cite the source collection title, collection number, and repository, for example:

Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project collection, 1977-1981 (AFC 1982/009), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Lands' End all-American quilt collection, 1992-1997 (AFC 1997/011), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Rights assessment is your responsibility.

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.