Audio Recordings "I usually quilt in fans, most of the time."

About this Item

"I usually quilt in fans, most of the time."
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 patterns
-  fan quilts
-  quilt marking
-  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 are some of the patterns that you would like to use for quilting? / IP: Well, I usually use the fan, quilt it in fans, most of the time. I'd use a, and then sometimes I would just start at one corner and run a straight, you know, and just go backwards and forwards like that, and piece 'em in, I don't know, kind of oblong, like, through there. I thought they was pretty that way. And then sometimes, I'd just start from one end, go, just straight, there. Most of the time, I usually laid it off in fans. / GJ: How would you do that? / IP: I would take a string and tie it on a piece of chalk and mark it. Just hold it and just run it in a fan shape, 'bout, with chalk. So you could see to sew and go by, the lines. / GJ: How many lines should be in each fan? / IP: Well, I guess about six, or eight. Put 'em about an inch apart. Some you'd put closer, and some you'd put a little further apart. The smaller the fans, the prettier they are. / GJ: Oh, is that right? What do you mean, closer together? / IP: Yeah, close together. It made 'em look a heap prettier and held 'em together. They lasted a lot longer, too. / GJ: Is that right, if they're held together. / IP: Yeah. Holds 'em together good, in case you want to launder 'em. Makes 'em last longer.
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Sound tape reel : 7 in.
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1982/009: BR8-GJ-R91
Source Collection
Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project Collection (AFC 1982/009)
American Folklife Center
Online Format

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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

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Chicago citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Ila Patton, and Ila Patton. "I usually quilt in fans, most of the time.". Galax, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, (Accessed February 26, 2017.)

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Patton, I. & Patton, I. (1978) "I usually quilt in fans, most of the time.". Galax, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Ila Patton, and Ila Patton. "I usually quilt in fans, most of the time.". Galax, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.