Audio Recording "I used to use cotton, but polyester works well."

About this Item

"I used to use cotton, but polyester works well."
Contributor Names
Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
Patton, Ila, 1905-2001 (Interviewee)
Patton, Ila, 1905-2001 (Creator)
Created / Published
Galax, Virginia
Subject Headings
-  quilt tops
-  quilt lining
-  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: What kind of fabrics did you use for the tops of your quilts? / IP: Well, I used cotton, used to, all the time, and then I got to using a lot of polyester. It works well, polyester does. Different patterns of it is awful pretty. But it seem like when you use the tops out of polyester, you about got to use the linings out of it, to make 'em, you know, work good. Put the polyester linings. I've fixed several of them, for the grandchildren. / GJ: So you used to do all, almost all cotton. / IP: Yeah, all cotton. / GJ: Why did you do that? / IP: Well, that's just mostly what I'd have, the new scraps and, you know, new pieces would be cotton. And I just used the cotton. I'd have 'em, and I'd just want to piece 'em to get 'em out of the way. / GJ: And then you used cotton backing. / IP: Yeah. / GJ: Now, when did you start using polyester? / IP: Well, about, oh, I guess, six or eight year ago, eight or ten, or something. You know they got to making a lot of it. I got a lot of it to sew, and I had a lot of the pieces left, and I'd just use it. It works good, needle goes through awful good. Works better than cotton, I believe. Goes in the frame good. / GJ: So you like it just as well as, as cotton / IP: Yes, I do.
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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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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

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Ila Patton, and Ila Patton. "I used to use cotton, but polyester works well.". Galax, Virginia, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Patton, I. & Patton, I. (1978) "I used to use cotton, but polyester works well.". Galax, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Ila Patton, and Ila Patton. "I used to use cotton, but polyester works well.". Galax, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.