Audio Recording "Where did you have your quilting frames?"

About this Item

"Where did you have your quilting frames?"
Contributor Names
Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
Patton, Ila, 1905-2001 (Interviewee)
Patton, Ila, 1905-2001 (Creator)
Created / Published
Galax, Virginia
Subject Headings
-  Quilting
-  quilt frames
-  Ethnography
-  Interviews
-  United States -- Virginia -- Galax
-  Geraldine Johnson described Ila Patton's quilts as "not fancy, but very interesting and well made." They include utility crazy and strip quilts, as well as a recent Cathedral Window, which is a novelty construction popular in the 1970s. The variety of Mrs. Patton's quilts, her recollections of learning to quilt from her grandmother, and her primary interest in making quilts for family rather than to sell are some of the key elements brought out in this "very useful and informative" interview.
-  Transcription: GJ: Where did you have your quilting frames? How did you have those propped up? / IP: Well, we usually swung 'em down from the loft. We'd fasten 'em up with cords, and just hang 'em down, or either we'd set four chairs around, and just lay 'em on it, each corner. We'd do it that way, a lot of the time. Just have a, you know, just a plain chair, and just lay each corner on it, four corners on it? And we'd all just sit around it and quilt. / GJ: So you'd swing 'em, when you'd do it in this house, you'd swing 'em up, from up in the loft? / IP: Yes, most of the time, upstairs. We'd do it up there. / GJ: If you propped it up on chairs, then where would you put it, still up in the loft? / IP: Yes, we'd put it up there a lot of the time. We'd have more room than I would down where they was a, so many a-coming in and out. / GJ: Did you ever leave a quilt up for more than say one day? / IP: Yes, yeah. I put it in a room we didn't use, and I'd leave it up overnight 'til I could get to it the next day to finish / GJ: But you didn't spend much more than two days on it? / IP: No, just most of the time one day and sometimes I'd have to, if I done that by myself, I'd have to work on it two days. I wouldn't get it done and my other work with it. Have to leave it overnight till I could go back, and sometimes I'd work 'til in, you know, bed time, of a night and finish it up, before bed time. / GJ: So you'd piece 'em, would you get a number ready to quilt or would you piece / IP: I'd have maybe several tops, and piece, maybe I'd even quilt or tack three or four, before I'd quit, while I had the frames out, so I wouldn't have to drag 'em back out again. / GJ: How did you determine whether you were going to tack 'em or quilt 'em? / IP: Well, if the tops wasn't too heavy, we'd most all the time quilt 'em, and they was a pretty thick top, we'd quilt uh, tack 'em, so we wouldn't have to take so many stitches. We'd tack 'em and tie 'em, you know, like that.
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Sound tape reel : 7 in.
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1982/009: BR8-GJ-R90
Source Collection
Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project Collection (AFC 1982/009)
American Folklife Center
Online Format

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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

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Chicago citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Ila Patton, and Ila Patton. "Where did you have your quilting frames?". Galax, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, (Accessed October 21, 2017.)

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Patton, I. & Patton, I. (1978) "Where did you have your quilting frames?". Galax, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Ila Patton, and Ila Patton. "Where did you have your quilting frames?". Galax, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.