Audio Recording "I've used cotton batting and old blankets."

About this Item

"I've used cotton batting and old blankets."
Contributor Names
Johnson, Geraldine Niva, 1940- (Interviewer)
Patton, Ila, 1905-2001 (Interviewee)
Patton, Ila, 1905-2001 (Creator)
Created / Published
Galax, Virginia
Subject Headings
-  recycled fabrics
-  batting (textiles)
-  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 kinds of fabric did you use for the filler? For the padding? / IP: I used cotton. Cotton batting, they call it. In big rolls, and you just unfolded it and rolled it through on the lining, and then put the top on it. And then fasten it around the, I usually just pin it around all the way with little stick pins all the way around the end and side. To hold that lining and top together. You see the cotton was in between it, then you had to tack it to hold it all together. Before, you had to get it all tacked before you could take it out of the frames. Ready for hemming. / GJ: Did you used to buy your own cotton batting, then? / IP: Yes. / GJ: You never made any? / IP: No, my grandmother did. She used to, she, uh, worked it in the loom. She wove it herself and fixed it. And a lot of her blankets, wool blankets, she done that way. But I never did. / GJ: She was a weaver, your grandmother? / IP: Yeah, she had a big hand loom. She'd weave some awful pretty blankets, out of yarn. / GJ: So she also made her own cotton batting, but you never did. / IP: No, I never did. Nor I don't remember seeing her either. That's been years ago. It's my grandmother on my mother's side. / GJ: Did you ever fill 'em with old clothes that you basted together? / IP: No, not too much. I may have just a few, maybe, a some. I have used some worn blankets, that would, you know, wear 'till I wouldn't use 'em on the bed, and I'd use that in, in between the lining and the top. You can do it that way, and then you can use a lot of worn clothes that's worn, you know, that you can't use. You can just cut them in big pieces and lay 'em all in there, and wad the quilt with that. / GJ: Did you ever do that? / IP: Yes, I have. / GJ: Did you do it very often or just? / IP: Not too often. I usually used cotton, most of the time. / GJ: You never used wool? / IP: No.
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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've used cotton batting and old blankets.". Galax, Virginia, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Patton, I. & Patton, I. (1978) "I've used cotton batting and old blankets.". Galax, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Ila Patton, and Ila Patton. "I've used cotton batting and old blankets.". Galax, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.