Audio Recording "I used to always hem them, but they're pretty bound."

About this Item

"I used to always hem them, but they're pretty bound."
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 binding
-  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: How do you finish a quilt off, then? / IP: Well I just take it out of the frames, then, I have had to bind it around. You can take, bind a quilt all the way around in a different color to match that. To match the lining, or the top, and that makes it pretty. Sew it on and then turn it over and whip it, on there, about, say about a half an inch binding, makes it awful pretty. It's prettier than it is to hem it. Just to bind the quilt. But I used to always hem them, but they're pretty bound. / GJ: How did you hem 'em? / IP: I just hemmed 'em with my fingers, just turned, sometimes I'd turn the lining over on the top, if it is a pretty colored lining, it's pretty to turn it on the top, you know. The lining over on the top and whip it about, say about a half inch or inch all the way. Ends and sides alike. And then I have took the top and hemmed it over the lining. You can do it that way. / GJ: What made you decide which way you were going to do it? / IP: Well, sometimes the top's a little bigger than the lining and I would hem it that way, and then sometimes the lining would be bigger than the top and I'd take it on top then. Just according to which one was the, and then sometimes they're just even, and you can just turn 'em under, either way, and not even put a hem on 'em, just whip 'em together like that. Turn each one together, the lining and the top together, and whip them together. Or you can either stitch it together if you want to. And not even have a hem around. Just whip 'em, you can whip 'em nice and not let that stitch show and they're pretty that way, with not even a hem on 'em. Just put 'em together. / GJ: So which way do you prefer? / IP: Well, I prefer a nice hem. I like for the lining to be hemmed, if it's a pretty lining, pretty color, to hem it over the top. I think they look nicer to hem the lining over the top, than they do the top over the lining, I believe. You can do 'em either way. A lot likes 'em better that way. Either way, you can do it either way.
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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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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 always hem them, but they're pretty bound.". Galax, Virginia, 1978. Audio.

APA citation style:

Johnson, G. N., Patton, I. & Patton, I. (1978) "I used to always hem them, but they're pretty bound.". Galax, Virginia. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Johnson, Geraldine Niva, Ila Patton, and Ila Patton. "I used to always hem them, but they're pretty bound.". Galax, Virginia, 1978. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.